As a kind of counterpart to the entertainment offer provided by the United States, European cultural production is supported by a tradition that generally guarantees quality and gives a particular stamp to what emerges from it. And although the majority of what we consume is of American origin, the link we maintain with the Old Continent after the immigration currents of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, makes the movies, music and books that come from there friendly to our idiosyncrasies. are exported, and that make up a highly cited catalog in the most demanding fields.
Within all this battery of appreciated products, Italian cinema occupies a transcendental place, since neorealism made its appearance in the postwar period and dazzled viewers with a stripped-down aesthetic but no less intense for that. Great directors protected by the warmth of that school painted their village and conquered the world thanks to feature films that emphasized their artistic conception, without neglecting the social message or the ability to reflect in their productions that Italian identity that has so much to do with the Argentina and that for logical reasons we perceive as very close.
Emblematic actors and actresses paraded across the screens and merged in the imagination of moviegoers with the characters they embodied in fiction, while the landscapes where they wandered became familiar to the local public, even though they were thousands of kilometers away. distance. Even Paolo Sorrentino himself, perhaps the last filmmaker of that lineage, delights in showing us in his films the nooks and crannies of cities like Rome or Naples, with the same rapture as those who preceded him in this task and invited us to develop a special taste for those cities of the Italian peninsula.
It could be said that the saga of “The Godfather”, by Francis Ford Coppola, is also integrated into that cinematographic lot in our journey as movie tasters, due to its way of telling a story that goes back to Italy, beyond the fact that it takes place in the American power. These films are still a tribute from the core of Hollywood to that Italian film factory that made water flow from stones and founded an innovative perspective for a cinema that reveled in blockbusters but that seemed to have sacrificed its good taste in order to amortize the enormous invested budgets.
Something similar is what Mike White does in the second season of his series “The White Lotus”, of which the first three of a total of seven episodes have been seen on HBO to date. Just as in the previous installment the chosen setting was Hawaii, now the action moves to Sicily, where once again a refined tourist contingent will arrive to stay at the subsidiary that the hotel chain owns in that region. Of the previous cast, only the couple that Jennifer Coolidge and John Gries assume in fiction is recovered in this continuation that does not continue too long.
The change of setting produces an intoxicating effect, because you can breathe there the atmosphere of that Italian cinema that we have learned to appreciate over so many years. Direct allusions to Monica Vitti and “The Godfather”, as well as complete speeches in the language of Dante, collaborate in this procedure that strives to maintain this season at least at the same level as its predecessor. With several awards to his credit and accolades of all kinds, “The White Lotus” could afford anything but disappointing, and until now he would be succeeding, with a little help made in Italy.