Organised crime has long been a favourite topic in cinema with the gangster film being a favourite Hollywood genre ever since the 1930s. Gangster films reflected a dark, seductive and hedonistic side of capitalism where the glamour of the gangster lifestyle is only superficially undermined by the obligatory moral ending where the gangsters are either brought to justice or meet a violent demise. Italian gangsters have held the most fascination with The Godfather films, Goodfellas and the television series The Sopranos becoming dominant texts in contemporary popular culture. The depiction of the gangster lifestyle has become progressively less romantic across these texts as they increasingly examine the brutal reality of the criminal lifestyle and mentality. However, nothing has come close to the blunt depiction of Italian organised crime that is presented in the Italian film Gomorrah, which depicts the operations of the Camorra. The Camorra clans populate the Italian provinces of Naples and Caserta but their operations in both illegal and legal businesses, with an estimated yearly turnover of 150 billion euros, are global. They have been responsible for more than 4000 deaths in the last thirty years, which is more than any other criminal organisation or terrorist group.
Hollywoodland is a terrific based-on-true-events drama about the violent death of George Reeves, the actor who played Superman in the 50s television serial. Due to studio pressure, the police investigating Reeves death quickly write it off as suicide but struggling private detective Louis Simo believes that there are dubious circumstances pointing towards murder.
Barbara Creed. Media Matrix: Sexing the New Reality. Crows Nest: Allen & Unwin, 2003
Film critic, academic and media commentator Barbara Creed’s latest book Media Matrix: Sexing the New Reality is a collection of essays that argue that the growth of various forms of contemporary media have significantly shifted the boundaries between the traditional separate public and private spheres to herald visible shifts in morality. The various essays explore the many new forms of media (such as cyberfilm, reality TV, the woman’s romance, virtual pornography, crisis TV, the Internet, queermedia, cybersex and virtual reality) to argue that the spectator is no longer distanced but actively seeking to play with traditional notions of reality and fixed identities. This interplay with the media’s representations and explorations of sexuality and identity have led to the emergence of a new fluid, hybrid and multisexed global self that is not constrained by classical oppositions such as male/female or gay/straight.