Christopher Castellani: Leading Men (in conversation with Christopher DiRaddo) – The Violet Hourhttp://ereqq.recherche.usherbrooke.ca/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/359810988_697519772410850_8666047266316657152_n.jpg1707960ÉRÉQQ AdminÉRÉQQ Adminhttp://0.gravatar.com/avatar/64996a02a1c49e6399ff537aa8416d01?s=96&d=mm&r=g
Description – An onstage interview with award-winning Italian-American author Christopher Castellani. Castellani is the author of five books, most of which centre on the Italian and/or queer experience. His most recent novel, Leading Men, tells the story of Frank Merlo, the somewhat forgotten working-class Italian-American who was transformational in the life and work of Tennessee Williams. Currently being adapted into a film by Luca Guadagnino (Call Me By Your Name), the book is a breathtaking work of historical fiction, blending together the real and imagined lives of the two men as they navigate the literary and film circles of 1950s Italy.
For the interview, Castellani was joined onstage by author Christopher DiRaddo (The Family Way). The two discussed Castellani’s work, as well as the generational tension that exists between immigrant and first-generation Italians and where it intersects with queer identity.
This event took place on August 9, 2023 at the Istituto Italiano di Cultura Montreal,.
A co-presentation between the Istituto Italiano di Cultura Montreal, the Queer Studies in Quebec Research Group (ÉRÉQQ), Blue Metropolis and Violet Hour.
Creative Spaces: Queer and Italian Canadian (2021)http://ereqq.recherche.usherbrooke.ca/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/96689609_104201271301370_2174963226716930048_n-1.png11351135ÉRÉQQ AdminÉRÉQQ Adminhttp://0.gravatar.com/avatar/64996a02a1c49e6399ff537aa8416d01?s=96&d=mm&r=g
Description – A short documentary that explores the intersections of queerness, creativity and culture with three Italian-Canadian writers living in Montreal. What does it mean to be queer and Italian Canadian? And what experiences do queer Italian Canadians have when their sexual orientation and gender identity come in contact with their cultural heritage and traditions?
Director Biography – Licia Canton makes her directorial debut with the documentary film « Creative Spaces: Queer and Italian Canadian. » Shot in Montreal, the film includes interviews with writers Steve Galluccio, Christopher DiRaddo, Liana Cusmano (aka Luca/BiCurious George) and commentary by queer studies expert Domenico Beneventi. She is the editor of the groundbreaking volume « Here & Now: An Anthology of Queer Italian-Canadian Writing » (2021). As Emilio Goggio Research Fellow (2021-2022) at the University of Toronto, she is working on a project on queer Italian-Canadian writers. Licia Canton has published eleven books as editor, including two volumes on the internment of Italian Canadians during World War II. She has authored two collections of short stories: « The Pink House and Other Stories » (2018) and « Almond Wine and Fertility » (2008), published in Italy as « Vino alla mandorla e fertilità » (2015). Her writing has been anthologized in English, French, Chinese, Italian and Venetian. She is co-founder and editor-in-chief of « ACCENTi, » the Canadian magazine with an Italian accent. Born in Italy, Licia Canton earned a Ph.D. at Université de Montréal and an M.A. at McGill University. For her work in culture, in 2018 Licia Canton received the prestigious « Italy in the World Prize » (Premio Italia nel Mondo).
Director Statement – I’m a Montrealer. I’m Canadian and I have a very strong connection to my Italian roots. As Domenic Beneventi states in the film « Creative Spaces » (2021), the Italian community in Canada adheres to a culture of silence, invisibility, and the erasure of LGBTQ+ realities. I had hoped that my community would have been more inclusive, more embracing, less silent. The documentary is a response to the denial and hesitation of some of the people around me. It brings attention to the queer children of immigrants, whose work is rarely acknowledged by the Italian-Canadian community itself.