In the Italian authorial films of post World War II, it is not uncommon to find references to nineteenth century opera, and in particular to the operas of Giuseppe Verdi. These references can change from the quotation of opera music in the film’s soundtrack to cinematic representations of operatic performances: Far from being incidental, this presence can be a decisive influence both on the formal and thematic profile of film. In this paper, I will review two films by a young Bernardo Bertolucci, Prima della rivoluzione (Before the Revolution) and Strategia del ragno (The Spyder’s Stratagem), in which contact with Verdi’s opera is particularly marked. The analysis will show how operatic elements in film were used to convey political views on the history and national identity of Italy.
Giuggioli, M. (2011). L'eredità culturale verdiana alle origini del cinema politico di Bernardo Bertolucci. COMUNICAZIONI SOCIALI, 2011(1), 102-112.