Naples for Urban Voy(ag)eurs: Tourism and the Representation
Event type: Seminars5 September 2019 from 12.00 pm - 1.00 pm
This talk analyses the representation of place and space in the TV drama series, Gormorrah (2014-present) and the film, My Brilliant Friend (2018), which have both influenced national and international perceptions of the city of Naples.
Presented by: Dr Alfio Leotta
The production and release of the critically acclaimed TV drama series Gomorrah (2014-ongoing) and My Brilliant Friend (2018) has been characterized by extensive debates about the impact of the two shows on national and international perceptions of the city of Naples. While some local authorities openly criticised Gomorrah and denied shooting permits to the producers, the TV adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s best seller, My Brilliant Friend, has garnered unanimously positive responses from local stakeholders. This paper aims to analyse the representation of place and space in both Gomorrah and My Brilliant Friend. More specifically, it will analyse the stylistic and narrative strategies deployed by the series’ producers to construct a tourist gaze over an urban space which plays a crucial role within the narrative economy of both shows. It will argue that Gomorrah and My Brilliant Friend articulate a consistent aesthetic treatment of Naples which in the two shows is simultaneously depicted as a site of poverty, violence and abuse and a potentially appealing and exotic urban destination.
Dr Alfio Leotta is a Senior Lecturer in Film at Victoria University of Wellington. His primary research interests focus on the relation between film and tourism; national cinema and film authorship. His first book Touring the Screen:Tourism and New Zealand Film Geographies (Intellect, 2011) examines film-induced tourism in New Zealand. Dr Leotta is also the author of The Bloomsbury Companionto Peter Jackson (Bloomsbury, 2016) and The Cinema of John Milius (Rowman & Littlefield/Lexington, 2018).