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“How well I would write if I were not here!”

Italo Calvino profiled on the BBC TV show Book Mark in 1985: [SLYT] Rare interview with the great Italian journalist and writer of short stories and novels.
posted by Fizz on Aug 11, 2014 - 4 comments

Lasciarti non è possibile

"Ancora Tu" is an Italian phrase roughly translating to "You Again". It's also the name of a classic 1976 pop song by Lucio Battisti and Mogol. [more inside]
posted by rollick on Jul 23, 2014 - 1 comment

Las Corsas Piu Bellas del Mondo

"Less a race than a celebration of motorsports heritage," the Mille Miglia classic car rally takes place every May. Its thousand-mile course wends from Brescia through Verona and Padua to Rome and then back north to Brescia by way of Bologna. (PDF) First staged in 1927 with 77 entrants, the now-annual event draws driving enthusiasts from around the world. [more inside]
posted by GrammarMoses on Jul 11, 2014 - 5 comments

Learning languages with Muzzy, the clock-eating fuzzy alien

“Je Suis La Jeune Fille.” “Yes, that’s French they’re speaking. But no, these children aren’t French – they’re American!” If you grew up in the late 1980s and early 1990s, or watched children's TV programming from that era in the US or UK, no doubt you saw that commercial for Muzzy (formally titled Muzzy in Gondoland). The show was first produced by the BBC in 1986 to teach English as a second language, as seen in this playlist of five videos, and later expanded with Muzzy Comes Back in 1989 (six episode playlist). The shows were both translated in to French, German (playlist), Spanish (and the Spanish vocabulary builder), and Italian (Muzzy in Gondoland, Muzzy Comes Back).
posted by filthy light thief on Jun 28, 2014 - 32 comments

The goat says "Meh"

Visualize a comic book, in your language, and imagine what would be written in the text balloon coming from the mouth of an animal. Now translate it. Derek Abbott of The University of Adelaide (previously) has compiled "the world’s biggest multilingual list" of animal sounds, commands, and pet names.
posted by Room 641-A on May 21, 2014 - 20 comments

Eppur si muove

The Great Ptolemaic Smackdown is a nine-part series posted by sci-fi author and statistician Michael F. Flynn to his blog last year, covering the historical conflict between heliocentrism and geocentrism, with a special focus on Galileo. They are based on an article (pdf) by Flynn which originally appeared in the Jan/Feb 2013 issue of Analog. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 8, 2014 - 10 comments

On Engastration

His recipe calls for a bustard stuffed with a turkey stuffed with a goose stuffed with a pheasant stuffed with a chicken stuffed with a duck stuffed with a guinea fowl stuffed with a teal stuffed with a woodcock stuffed with a partridge stuffed with a plover stuffed with a lapwing stuffed with a quail stuffed with a thrush stuffed with a lark stuffed with an ortolan bunting stuffed with a garden warbler stuffed with an olive stuffed with an anchovy stuffed with a single caper - The Roti Sans Pareil or Roast Without Equal.
posted by The Whelk on Apr 5, 2014 - 70 comments

High Fashion

Italian models in high end clothing BASE jump from spectacular Monte Brento!
posted by esprit de l'escalier on Mar 17, 2014 - 27 comments

The thrillsville of it all...

Gay Talese's "Frank Sinatra Has A Cold" appeared in Esquire Magazine in April 1966. Sinatra had turned down interview requests from Esquire for years and refused to be interviewed for the profile. Rather than give up, Talese spent the three months following and observing the man and interviewing any members of his entourage who were willing to speak -- and the final story was published without Sinatra's cooperation or blessing. In 2003, editors pronounced it the best article the magazine had ever published. Nieman Storyboard interviewed Talese last month about the piece and has annotated it with his comments. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 8, 2013 - 46 comments

Marcella Hazan - A Culinary Giant

A Culinary Giant Perhaps like no other food writer, Marcella Hazan, helped intergrate a foreign cuisine into American culture with her no-nonsense and easy to understand approach. Mrs. Hazan passed way yesterday a the ripe old age of 89. Her simple tomato sauce is legendary - she made all of us better cooks and eaters.
posted by helmutdog on Sep 30, 2013 - 87 comments

Translating the 'Zibaldone' of Giacomo Leopardi

“Fifteen years of diary entries. From 1817 to 1832. Some just a couple of lines. Some maybe a thousand words. At a rhythm ranging from two or three a day to one a month, or even less frequent. Suddenly, translating Giacomo Leopardi’s Zibaldone it occurs to me that if it were written today, it would most likely be a blog.”—Tim Parks writes of the challenges of translating from this “collection of personal impressions, aphorisms, profound philosophical observations, philological analyses, literary criticism and notes” written by “the finest Italian poet after Dante.” Meanwhile, a team based at the University of Birmingham have prepared the first-ever complete translation of the Zibaldone into English, which is due for publication next month. [more inside]
posted by misteraitch on Jun 27, 2013 - 7 comments

'80s Emiliano melodic pro-Soviet punk

CCCP Fedeli alla linea was an Italian "Emilian1 melodic music pro-Soviet punk" band that performed and recorded between 1981 and 1990, disbanding on the same day as German reunification. For those who can read Italian, here is their story in their words. For the rest of us, Wikpedia does a pretty good job of thumbnailing the group, calling their sound a "genre-defying convergence of militant rock, industrial music, Folk, electropop, Middle Eastern music, and even chamber music." CCP's final album was Epica Etica Etnica Pathos (Epic, Ethics, Ethnic, Pathos), recorded live in an abandoned farmhouse/villa in the Romagna countryside. (exterior shot, and a couple more pics on this page) [more inside]
posted by taz on Jun 16, 2013 - 9 comments

The Memphis Group

Ettore Sottsass was an industrial designer who was born in Innsbruck, Austria. Famous for his My Valentine typewriter design and his geometric enamel designs. [more inside]
posted by panaceanot on Jun 14, 2013 - 15 comments

ex voto suscepto

Suspended in Void - a lovely collection of Italian ex votos depicting people who survived falls under the watchful eye of the Virgin Mary. Previously: a larger collection of ex votos from various cultures. (Via Heading East)
posted by madamjujujive on May 14, 2013 - 9 comments

Addio a Enzo Jannacci

Enzo Jannacci, a father of Italian rock and roll, jazz musician, actor, writer, comedian, and doctor had a 50+ year career in Italy. He died yesterday of cancer at the age of 77. His biggest hit song, 1968's Ho Vista un Re (I Saw a King), written by the 1997 Nobel Prize winner for Literature Dario Fo and Eugenio Esposito, was banned on RAI TV and radio, due to its subversive lyrics. Jannacci performed and worked until illness forced his retirement in 2011, though still beloved by Italians of all ages.
posted by droplet on Mar 30, 2013 - 3 comments

Oggi Sono Io

Alex Britti's 'Oggi sono io' covered by Italian pop star Mina, who recorded it in one take. An English translation of the lyrics.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants on Feb 16, 2013 - 20 comments

Cities and the Soul

With cities, it is as with dreams: everything imaginable can be dreamed, but even the most unexpected dream is a rebus that conceals a desire or, its reverse, a fear. Cities, like dreams, are made of desires and fears, even if the thread of their discourse is secret, their rules are absurd, their perspectives deceitful, and everything conceals something else. December 2012 marks the 40th anniversary of Invisible Cities -- the sublime metaphysical travelogue by author-journalist Italo Calvino. In a series of pensive dialogues with jaded emperor Kublai Khan, the explorer Marco Polo describes a meandering litany of visionary and impossible places, dozens of surreal, fantastical cities, each poetically reifying ideas vital to language, philosophy, and the human spirit. This gracefully written love letter to urban life has inspired countless tributes, but it's just the most accessible of Calvino's fascinating literary catalogue. Look inside for a closer look at his most remarkable works, links to English translations of his magical prose, and collections of artistic interpretations from around the web -- including this treasure trove of essays, excerpts, articles, and recommended reading. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Dec 30, 2012 - 26 comments

Opening Night at La Scala

GlamourFilter: Opening Night at La Scala. Pictures from La Scala's opening nights, dating through the fifties and sixties. (Main story here, slideshow here, those links in Italian, but easy enough to figure out for non-speakers.) Pictures of Callas, Toscanini, Princess Grace, Dick and Liz, and many more, all looking impossibly fab and glamourous. (Via the always informative and entertaining Opera Chic.)
posted by Capt. Renault on Dec 13, 2012 - 10 comments

New world vs old world cooking

Sara White, Canadian blogger who recently moved to Rome, shares some thoughts about old world food cultures versus the American approach to cooking. One of the most interesting things to me about her post is the discussion about how having no limitations (many Americans can just waltz into a large supermarket and get almost anything from almost anywhere) can negatively impact culinary creativity.
posted by hansbrough on Oct 16, 2012 - 107 comments

Michelangelo Antonioni's "The Passenger"

[all links may contain SPOILERS] Antonioni's unique style works beautifully in The Passenger. The dream-like long takes, especially the final seven minute one where the dusty town square is seen through the barred window of Locke's hotel room—evokes a world that he is barred from. There is nothing romantic or sentimental about the space that we see, but it conveys a sense of an ongoing life that Locke has chosen to retreat from. There is also Antonioni's eye for aesthetic detail-for whitewashed walls of buildings, and vividly colored backgrounds like yellow doors and red car seats. He is a director of great formal rigor and beauty, whose style effortlessly suits his vision. The slow rhythm of the film may put off some viewers, but it forces them to be more observant, and understand there is nothing accidental in the images that Antonioni constructs. - Leonard Quart [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen on Sep 9, 2012 - 8 comments

Lunch Box.

LunchBook won the 1st prize in the competition “Expopack” for the design of a paper lunch box for Expo Milan 2015, which is dedicated to food and sustainability. LunchBook is a recipe book made of paper dishes showing recipes from all over the world. The user can taste the food while walking among the Expo 2015 stands. Once a dish gets dirty, he can remove it and use the following dish. (via book patrol) [more inside]
posted by Marauding Ennui on Aug 22, 2012 - 8 comments

Sara Lando - On Photographing People

Picture a tiny Italian woman gesturing continuously as she uncorks a full brain dump (from a very, very creative mind) on all of the little things that many people never think of when photographing others.
"... the first time I had to photograph someone that wasn’t myself, I spent the night before puking, and it was half a disaster. Ten years later, these are the things I wish someone had told me back then."
Sara Lando's On Photographing People: Pt. 1, the first in her three-part series on photographing people on Strobist. [more inside]
posted by jillithd on Aug 10, 2012 - 6 comments

Photographer Stefano Bonazzi's nude series, Smoke

Photographer Stefano Bonazzi's series Smoke, where nude subjects vanish into the air.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Jul 1, 2012 - 15 comments

Cor!

Shining Examples of European Comic Book Covers
posted by infini on May 4, 2012 - 34 comments

Michelangelo Antonioni's "L'Avventura"

Many films are called “classic,” but few qualify as turning points in the evolution of cinematic language, films that opened the way to a more mature art form. Michelangelo Antonioni’s L’Avventura is such a work. It divided film history into that which came before and that which was possible after its epochal appearance. It expanded our knowledge of what a film could be and do. It is more than a classic, it’s an historical milestone. ... Antonioni’s great achievement was to put the burden of narration almost entirely on the image itself, that is, on the characters’ actions and on the visual surface of their environment. He uses natural or manmade settings to evoke his characters’ state of mind, their emotions, their life circumstances. We learn more about them by watching what they do than by hearing what they say. We follow the story more by reading images than we do by listening to dialogue. The settings are not symbolic or metaphoric—they are extensions, manifestations, of the characters’ psyches. Physical landscape and mental landscape become one. - Gene Youngblood
posted by Trurl on Apr 29, 2012 - 20 comments

Guasto Titanico

Cruise Captain says he 'tripped' into lifeboat and couldn't get out. Audio recording of an Italian Coast Guard Captain telling him to get back on board [Transcript]
posted by panaceanot on Jan 18, 2012 - 194 comments

Giorgio Morandi

Aspirants to the role of painter-as-poet are many. Giorgio Morandi was the real thing. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Dec 22, 2011 - 5 comments

Liliana Cavani's "The Night Porter"

The familiar '70s query, "Is it art or porn?," took on a whole new dimension with The Night Porter (NSFW), a stylish and astoundingly seamy fusion of erotica and stark concentration camp trauma. While many subsequent films, mostly Italian, took the Nazi sexploitation route to unbelievably tastless levels, Liliana Cavani's treatment remains more problematic. More concerned with mood and characterization than cheap thrills, the film is nevertheless extremely kinky and shocking enough to prove that its R rating is the product of a ratings system far different than the one we have now. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Oct 19, 2011 - 17 comments

Italian American Sikh Female Taxi Driver

Life as an Italian American Sikh Female Taxi Driver Maria Provenzano Singh is an ordinary Italian American woman who married a Sikh man and became a taxi driver.
posted by ichimunki on Oct 10, 2011 - 15 comments

Carbonara

Pasta alla carbonara (usually spaghetti, but also fettuccine, rigatoni or bucatini) is an Italian pasta dish based on eggs, cheese (pecorino or parmesan), bacon (guanciale or pancetta), and black pepper. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Sep 20, 2011 - 105 comments

Michelangelo Antonioni's "Chung Kuo"

[Michelangelo Antonioni's Chung Kuo] as a documentary film was one which was draped with fascination for both filmmakers as well as an audience, rather than championing anti-whatever sentiments from either side of the world. Not having seen many movies, either features, shorts or documentaries made during the Cultural Revolution era or about that era in question (propaganda included), I think this Antonioni film has more than made its mark as a definitive documentary that anyone curious about the life of the time, would find it a gem to sit through.
posted by Trurl on Jul 11, 2011 - 3 comments

Chef Boyardee

26 years ago today, we said goodbye to Ettore Boiardi - who fed the Plaza Hotel, Woodrow Wilson, millions of GIs, and - more likely than not - you. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Jun 21, 2011 - 18 comments

"I wondered how much straight Galliano would deliver me to a merciful death."

Acclaimed food and music critic Jonathan Gold was hungry for some Italian. He decided to go to The Olive Garden.
posted by bardic on Apr 6, 2011 - 183 comments

Juxtaposed Nightlife Cultures

Bar Portraits — Dignified gentlemen sit for their portraits in bars and cafes across Italy. Contrast that with The Waste Land, a series of intimate portraits of young intoxicated people, photographed during or after parties, festivals, and raves. Both are portrait projects of Piero Martinello. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Nov 22, 2010 - 25 comments

Flying Dinner

Danakil Desert ; 1938 - Dinner from the sky "Italians love their food. And they love it fresh. You know this. What you might not know, though, is the lengths they will go to in order to enjoy a fine dining experience."
posted by manny_calavera on Oct 13, 2010 - 8 comments

Balzac, Eco, Chekov, Virgil: unnecessary

The State University of New York at Albany's motto is "the world within reach." But language faculty members are questioning the university's commitment to such a vision after being told Friday that the university was ending all admissions to programs in French, Italian, Russian and classics, leaving only Spanish left in the language department once current students graduate.
posted by Stewriffic on Oct 4, 2010 - 68 comments

The English Language In 24 Accents

Twenty-four different accents in just over eight minutes. (NSFW SLYT)
posted by gman on Oct 1, 2010 - 82 comments

The Geometry of Pasta

The Geometry of Pasta. If you click on a shape, on most of them, it tells you a bit of history and recipe suggestions. l Pasta shape names l Recipes l Farfalle (butterflies/bow-ties) with Prosciutto and cream animation. The geography of pasta l The origins of pasta. Glossary. More pasta shapes. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Oct 1, 2010 - 29 comments

The Italian Art of Living

Sit back and enjoy the many Italian recipes Great Chicago Italian Recipes.com has to offer. This site will provide you with a culinary adventure into the world of Italian food and wine. Choose from poultry, beef, vegetables, pasta, and sooo much more. Looking to finish off that perfect meal? Try Adriana's Italian Gourmet Cookies. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Jun 17, 2010 - 15 comments

Marcella Hazan

Marcella Polini Hazan, Cavaliere della Stella della Solidarietà Italiana, has Lifetime Achievement Awards from both the James Beard Foundation and the International Association of Culinary Professionals. She's also got one of those "cooking every recipe in her book" blogs.
posted by Joe Beese on Jun 14, 2010 - 16 comments

Liquid Hills

For Sale: Rural Italian countryside, Priced to MOVE! A landslide (mud flow?) splits a hillside apart in the southern Italian town of Maierato.
posted by thisisdrew on May 12, 2010 - 24 comments

Mondo Cane

"If you like orchestral music and have a heart in your fucking chest, you will like this record." Mike Patton, former front man of Faith No More, frequent John Zorn collaborator, founding member of Mr. Bungle, is releasing an album covering old Italian pop songs in May, called Mondo Cane. A live performance can be streamed from Youtube. [more inside]
posted by Rory Marinich on Apr 16, 2010 - 42 comments

Pier Paolo Pasolini's "Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom"

Despite my absolute fidelity to Sade's text, I have however introduced an absolutely new element: the action instead of taking place in eighteenth-century France, takes place practically in our own time, in Salò, around 1944, to be exact. (some links extremely NSFW)
posted by Joe Beese on Feb 14, 2010 - 95 comments

Prisencolinensinainciusol - Ol Raight!

Sung in incoherent pseudo-English, Adriano Celentano's Prisencolinensinainciusol (1973) could be thought of as an early example of rap.
posted by dunkadunc on Oct 22, 2009 - 64 comments

What the hell...?

VIDEOGIOCO (NSFW, vimeo) -- Crazy Animation/Stop-Motion of... I don't even know, gory stuff?
posted by azarbayejani on Oct 13, 2009 - 10 comments

Ex Voto

Everyday Miracles: Medical Imagery in Ex-Votos "The expression of our relationship with illness is wonderfully illustrated in the ex-voto, a devotional painting giving thanks to a saint or deity for a miraculous healing or a blessing. The faithful have always used prayer to invoke the aid of saints as a means to heal the sick and end one's suffering. These devotional paintings are an individual's expression of thanks for the intercession of the divine in a crisis, a snapshot in time of illness and healing. They offer a rare opportunity to view health, healing, and illness through the hearts and minds of the ordinary person." Anatomy::Italian Tradition::Mexican Tradition::Early Medical Guides::Gallery (click for larger) More Mexican antique ex-votos HERE [ some favorites]
posted by vronsky on Aug 12, 2009 - 7 comments

Michelangelo Antonioni's "Zabriskie Point"

Pauline Kael called it "a huge, jerry-built, crumbling ruin of a movie". Roger Ebert called it "such a silly and stupid movie... our immediate reaction is pity". Few directors of Michelangelo Antonioni's stature have followed a film as acclaimed as Blowup (1966) with one as reviled as Zabriskie Point (1970). [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Jun 25, 2009 - 30 comments

WTF Heather Parisi's "Crilù" OMG WTF

Gyrations atop a giant Rubik’s cube? Check. Uber groiny, hardbodied ballet dancers in metallic bowler shoes? Check. Intimated BJ three-way with male Moschino models? Check. Glittering Mickey Mouse butt cleavage? OKAY NOW THAT’S JUST GOING TOO FAR. Coilhouse is awesome.
posted by cgc373 on May 31, 2009 - 49 comments

La Luna

Three years after the failure of his recklessly ambitious Marxist epic 1900, Bernardo Bertolucci returned to directing with La Luna - a story of opera and incest featuring a Golden Globe-nominated performance by Jill Clayburgh, then at the height of her late 70s fame. [Also appearing in small roles were Fred Gwynne and an up-and-coming Roberto Benigni.] Writing in The New York Times, Vincent Canby described it as "one of the most sublimely foolish movies ever made by a director of Mr. Bertolucci's acknowledged talents." Roger Ebert wrote, "Bertolucci has sprung his gourd this time." [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on May 30, 2009 - 4 comments

Someone's Mama Made This

In Mamas Kitchen was born in the experience of living in New York where a bodega exists within blocks of a Jewish deli which is around the corner from an Italian salumeria which shares space with Chinatown which abuts Soho's gourmet stores. While this speaks of the legendary variety available in New York, it also tells of similarity, for in every bodega, every salumeria is someone shopping for the food that sustains physical life with a recipe that nourishes our hearts.
posted by netbros on Dec 15, 2008 - 11 comments

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