This blog is named for two Italian movies. The "70" comes from the epic portmanteau film Boccaccio 70. The "Mondo" comes from Mondo Cane ("Dog's World"), a global sensation of the 1960s that set the tone for "shockumentaries" without actually inventing the genre. Mondo movies are distinguished, at their best, by an ambitious global sweep framed by expansive cinematography, a mordant or cynically chiding narrative sensibility that deplores the miseries and mocks the follies on display while maximizing their sensation value, and the opulent music, romantic and opulent at once, of Riz Ortolani. Created in collaboration with many hands, Franco Prosperi most importantly, Mondo Cane expressed above all the vision of Gualtiero Jacopetti, who died yesterday at the approximate age of 92. Jacopetti and Prosperi pushed beyond the anecdotal Mondo format to create two staggering and fearsome films: Africa Addio, a vividly violent chronicle of the aftermath of colonialism, and Goodbye Uncle Tom, an incendiary inquiry into the roots of racial unrest in America. Condemned in their time as exploitative, complicit, counterfeit, irresponsible and outright racist, these features and the work of Jacopetti overall arguably exerted an important influence on more respectable filmmakers. They pointed the way toward full-scale feature filmmaking that at once transcended the conventions of literary narrative and the bare reportage of conventional documentary film. Think of them as essay films, for good or ill, expressing an auteur's interpretation of the world around him. In more sensitive hands, the same approach results in films like Fellini Roma from a fellow Italian, F for Fake from Orson Welles, and so on. The Mondo films are milestones of the vulgar avant-garde, spectacular examples for the future and as liberating in their potential as the experiments of Jean-Luc Godard. If cinema is something other than literature and theater, Jacopetti should loom as a giant -- or, if you prefer, a monster -- in the medium's historical landscape, for broadening our horizon of cinema's potential.