July 16, 2010 |
To many observers, the cheese quotient on American television is reaching alarming levels. But based on the evidence in this cautionary horror show of a documentary, our talk-show/reality extravaganza is the height of good taste compared with what's stinking up the small screen in Italy. Erik Gandini's fitfully absorbing "Videocracy," a look at TV-centric celebrity culture in the age of Silvio Berlusconi, is neither a full-on exposé nor an attempt at "balanced" discussion. Pulsing with incredulity and dread, it's less a fully developed argument than the seed of one. The central notion — the power of the image — is old but ever-relevant, and the particular players in this telling are the stuff of a satirist's dream.
April 11, 2010 |
They are enemies, yet so much alike, media tycoons fiddling with empires and battling over market shares and airways. The edge, though, goes to Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, owner of his country's largest TV corporation and head of a center-right government that regulates a network run by his voracious rival, Rupert Murdoch. The high-stakes tussle, which would make an enticing miniseries, is a saga of billionaires, pornography, technology, conflicted interests and the future of television in Italy and perhaps Europe.
December 15, 2009 |
The weekend assault on Silvio Berlusconi has highlighted how deeply polarizing a figure the Italian prime minister is, as friends and foes dug in even more firmly Monday to their respective positions on his leadership. Critics declared that, although nothing could excuse such violence, Berlusconi's clownish antics, scandal-ridden personal life and attempts to manipulate politics to protect his interests had alienated many Italians, and even sparked glee in some quarters over the attack.
December 14, 2009 |
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was struck in the face and left bloodied at a rally of his political coalition in Milan on Sunday. Vivid video shows the wounded prime minister appearing dazed in the aftermath of the attack, which took place as he was greeting supporters and signing autographs. Berlusconi was taken to a hospital and, according to the Italian news agency ANSA, treated for two broken teeth, a minor nose fracture and cuts to his lips. As a precaution, he remained hospitalized for overnight observation.
September 11, 2009 |
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has spent a lot of time this week talking about one of his favorite subjects: Silvio Berlusconi. On Thursday, he called himself the best prime minister "that Italy has had in its 150-year history." Earlier in the week, he proclaimed, "The majority of Italians in their hearts would like to be like me, and see themselves in me and in how I behave." Giovanni Sartori is a preeminent Italian political scientist and columnist for the newspaper Corriere della Sera.
July 10, 2009 |
If the earthquake that killed 300 people here in April was the injury, then the Group of 8 summit underway in this ravaged town is surely the insult -- at least in the eyes of plenty of its inhabitants. While builders scrambled to get suitable facilities ready for the onslaught of world leaders and journalists, thousands of residents made homeless by the temblor continue to live miserably in tent camps.
July 8, 2009 |
No one accuses Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi of being a reluctant host. In fact, as he greets the world leaders jetting in to Italy today for a three-day summit, the billionaire head of government's problem is just the opposite: Eyebrows are raised at home and abroad at Berlusconi's willingness to welcome guests who tend to be young, photogenic women.
May 31, 2009 |
Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is fighting back in a scandal feeding on his reported fondness for young women, with his lawyer acknowledging Saturday that the media mogul has moved to block publication of hundreds of photos taken of guests at his sumptuous Sardinian villa. The wife of the 72-year-old Berlusconi, Veronica Lario, 52, announced a few weeks ago that she was seeking a divorce, in part because of what she lamented was her husband's infatuation with young women.
June 13, 2008 |
Barack Obama no doubt could have lived without the nod he recently received from now-retired Cuban President Fidel Castro, who called the Democrat "the most advanced candidate" in America's presidential race. And on Thursday, John McCain received the type of backing from a foreign leader that he too would just as soon forgo. Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi, at a joint news conference with President Bush in Rome, initially demurred when asked about the U.S.
April 15, 2008 |
Italians elected Silvio Berlusconi to a third term as prime minister in two days of uninspired voting that ended Monday. The flamboyant billionaire and media tycoon warned of rough times ahead for the struggling nation. Partial returns gave Berlusconi and his center-right coalition, including a xenophobic party based in northern Italy, a sizable lead over their nearest rival, former mayor of Rome Walter Veltroni and his center-left Democratic Party.