The Soundtrack of Italian Americans: A Talk by Mark Rotella
Moderated by Teresa Fiore (Inserra Endowed Chair in Italian and Italian American Studies)
Tue. Dec. 6. 2022 3:00pm – University Hall 1040
Shifting attention from cinema as image to cinema as sound, the talk uses the soundtrack of the film Moonstruck by Norman Jewison (1987) as a launching pad to explore the role of music in several films about the Italian American experience. A classic romcom that has gathered renewed interest during the pandemic (see NYTimes article), Moonstruck embraces classic songs like That’s Amore by Dean Martin as well as arias from operas (Puccini’s La Bohème) that will stand as examples for the adoption of evergreens by Italian American crooners or excerpts from operas in other films such as Raging Bull, The Godfather, or A Bronx Tale. The same way Italian American films have written American cinema at large, Italian American songs have both reflected and defined the rich tapestry of American music in unforgettable ways.
Designed in connection with “Italian Americans in Film,” a General Education course offered at MSU since 2012.
Mark Rotella is an American author and Senior Editor at Publishers Weekly. He graduated from Columbia University in 1992 with a B.A. in Russian Literature. Rotella’s first book, Stolen Figs: And Other Adventures in Calabria (2004), recounts his travels to Calabria, the region in southern Italy from which his grandparents immigrated.
- Linked to the Italian Program (Dept. of World Languages and Cultures)
Short url: tinyurl.com/SoundItAmFilm
“It’s A Wonderful (Italian-American) Life” by Mark Rotella, NPR.org (Dec. 2012).
“’Amore’: Italian-American Singers In The 20th Century” by Mark Rotella, NPR.org (Oct. 9, 2010)
“Living With Music: A Playlist by Mark Rotella” The New York Times (Oct. 6, 2010).
“Big Night: Soundtrack and Silence” by Andrea Sciarambella, ReelRundown. Nov. 23, 2020.