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Review: Videocracy

Silvio Berlusconi may have to work overtime after this
By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  June 9, 2010
2.0 2.0 Stars

 

Italian-born director Erik Gandini's damning mess of a documentary purports to reveal that Italy is TV- and celebrity-besotted — which is true but not new.

His desultory trek takes us from unmarried ("No woman deserves me") mama's boy Riccardo Canevali (who sees himself as a TV-ready combo of Ricky Martin and Jean-Claude Van Damme) to Sardinian starmaking guru Lele Mora (who calls Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi "a great man" and confesses his admiration for Mussolini) to paparazzi padrone Fabrizio Corona (who fashions celebrityhood out of his 80-day extortion sentence) to Berlusconi himself (whom Gandini, in his English-language voiceover, keeps misidentifying as the "president").

Yes, Italians are obsessed with being on television (even just as part of the audience), and Italian TV is obsessed with semi-naked women and big breasts, but Berlusconi, who owns three major television stations, didn't invent those phenomena — he simply built on them. At one point, he says, "Dedicating 50 percent of your time to making Italy a credible nation is extremely hard work." Now that Videocracy is out, Silvio might have to up that to 75 percent.

  Topics: Reviews , Politics, Entertainment, Italy,  More more >
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