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Blood in the Streets


Winner of the BAFTSS "Best Monograph" Award 2020

Blood in the Streets investigates the various ways in which 1970s Italian crime films were embedded in their immediate cultural and political contexts. The book analyses the emergence, proliferation and distribution of a range of popular film cycles (or filoni) - from conspiracy thrillers and vigilante films, to mafia and serial killer narratives - and examines what these reveal about their time and place. With industrial conditions geared around rapid production schedules and concentrated release patterns, the engagement in these films with both the contemporary political turmoil of 1970s Italy and the traumas of the nation's recent past offers a range of fascinating insights into the wider anxieties of this decade concerning the Second World War and its ongoing political aftermath.

Austin Fisher's study of crime films in Italy's anni di piombo or Years of Lead is an excellently written and exemplarily conducted investigation into a large corpus of films. Its research methods - organised analysis of Italian newspaper reviews and their discussion of the films' seriality, as well as critical reception patterns in US newspaper reviews - consistently impress. The book should prove to be a landmark study in the field, for scholars and students.

BAFTSS 2020 "Best Monograph" Award Panel

The filone is the subject; film convention, cycles and series the method; and government corruption, crime syndicates, policing, murder mysteries, street riots and political violence is the topic of enquiry. Adroitly pulling these strands together, Austin Fisher has produced one of the finest histories of post-war Italian popular cinema.

Professor Peter Stanfield, University of Kent

Radical Frontiers in the Spaghetti Western: Politics, Violence and Popular Italian Cinema

Radical Frontiers in the Spaghetti Western


Ever more popular in the age of DVDs, eBay and online fandom, the Spaghetti Westerns of the 1960s have undergone a mainstream renaissance which has nevertheless left their intimate relationship to the troubled politics of 1960s Italy unexamined. Radical Frontiers reappraises the genre in relation to the revolutionary New Left and the events of 1968 to uncover the complexities of a cinematic milieu too often dismissed as formulaic and homogeneous. 


Establishing the backdrop of post-war Italy in which the Roman studio system actively blended Italian and American culture, Austin Fisher looks in detail at the works of Damiano Damiani, Sergio Sollima, Sergio Corbucci, Giulio Questi and Giulio Petroni and how these directors reformatted the Hollywood Western to yield new resonance for militant constituencies and radical groups.

This is a major re-appraisal of a neglected set of 1960s films, films which become more and more interesting with the passing of the years. 

Professor Sir Christopher Frayling, Royal College of Art 

Austin Fisher's grasp of the political complexion of this moment (on both sides of the Atlantic) is subtle and nuanced, while his close textual analyses are lucid and insightful.

Professor Barry Langford, Royal Holloway, University of London

A benchmark study of politics and popular cinema ... a commendable achievement and one that I highly recommend.

Professor Peter Stanfield, University of Kent

Winner of


"Best Monograph"

Award 2020

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