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» Report 2008
Part Three - ARTISTS AND THE MARKET
WORK AND CAPITAL
Chapter 4 - Companies and private enterprise
“ITALIAN CINEMA?
TWO ROOMS PLUS A KITCHEN

Maurizio Porro, film critic of Corriere della Sera

The most appropriate image to capture the panorama of Italian cinematography brings to mind one of the most suggestive and noted long takes in the history of the national cinema: that in which Sergio Leone opens Once Upon a Time in the West, with the camera lens first being pointed  inside the waiting room of a tiny wooden railway station to reveal  the two protagonists, then exiting from the window to frame from above all of the surrounding area, further and further out with an increasingly vast horizon – vast enough to render the main setting of the opening scenes almost indistinct.
If one attempts to reconstruct the sector from the point of view of supply – in which  all of the companies, the firms and the workers are the protagonists – one finds oneself dealing with a universe so fragmented as to seem pulverized. The resulting image is far removed from the descriptions that the traditional repertory of analyses (schematically presented in only a few large United States companies and in a certain significant, albeit much smaller, number of Italian producers and distributors) by now, almost with resignation, has taken for granted. Whilst it is true that the market makers, as suggested by their own definition, carry the major part of the demand (and at the same time dominate the flow of supply), nevertheless, it is the consistency of the complementary or subsidiary market and the extension of the marginal or residual market – the so-called “rest of the population” – that represent the constitutive features of cinematography in Italy, indicating the nature, quality, size and, above all, fixing the confines of the market.
To come to a satisfactory definition of the every aspect of the whole sector, is, therefore, a necessary condition to describe, in every detail and as coherently as possible, its real current identity.
The main features of the few studies so far carried out on the demand market do not offer, as seen in the previous chapter, valid contributions for selecting a research area to explore. As well as reconstructing a census of vital statistics, already in itself difficult and not easily accessible, there is the need to trace the values of all the activities carried out and their property and administrative contents, all necessary for evaluating, from an economic and financial standpoint, both the single and comprehensive profiles of the various operators, both within the diverse sectors and within the whole market. Our ultimate intention then is to outline a  reliable assessment of collected and invested global resources and a picture of the existing equilibrium between employment and total earnings and the problems of verification regarding, in successive order: the quantitative census of effectively active subjects, their anagraphical identification, research on their respective accountancy elements and therefore the classification and analysis of data rendered available.

 

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