Professor Menarini is one of the most influential and active scholars of cinema and mass media in Italy, and, through his video analyses on YouTube, one of the most familiar film reviewers in Italy. His field is vast, and touches upon American as well as European cinema, TV series and cinephilia, WebTV and the internet. He has published on all cinematic genres, and on issues related to technology and cinema, urban spaces, migration, film and other visual arts, film and literature, production matters, as well as specific directors (Visconti, Antonioni, Pasolini, Lynch, Cronenberg, Tarantino, Sorrentino, Cristina Comencini, etc.) or iconic figures of film and cinema (Anna Magnani, Marylin Monroe, Marcello Mastroianni, Sophia Loren, etc.). Amongst his books and editions, we can mention Il discorso e lo sguardo. Forme della critica e pratiche della cinefilia (Parma: Diabasis, 2018), Cinema e fantascienza (Bologna: Cluebb, 2012), Il cinema europeo, with Mariapia Command (Roma-Bari: Laterza, 2006), Il corpo nel cinema. Storie, simboli e immaginari (Milano: Bruno Mondadori, 2005).
In this conversation, Professor Menarini reflects upon the cultural boundaries of contemporary Italian cinema. He begins addressing the so-called crisis of Italian cinema, a crisis that has been lamented by some –if not many— for years, despite the international success of numerous Italian directors in the last decades. He discusses the areas, the trends, the genres, as well as the commercial prevalence of comedy in the more recent productions. He analyzes the evolution of the representation of migration in the last years, along with its geographic, cultural, and symbolic depiction. He examines the phenomenon of cinephilia and its role in spreading interest about auteur cinema in Italy. Finally, he assesses the aesthetic and commercial correlations among cinema, television, and web films.