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IT2340 Post-war Italian Cinema: The Auteur Tradition

2018-9: Term 1

Convenor: Dr Fabrizio De Donno


Formative piece (0%); Essay 1: 30%, 1,500-2,000 words; Essay 2: 70%, 2,000-2,500 words.


This course provides an introduction to Italian post-war cinema. It offers a general exploration of the context of the Italian film industry, of the main trends and movements in film production, and of the tradition of auterism in Italy. The first part of the course consists of a close examination of the most important movement in Italian film-making: Neorealism. This current roughly lasted from 1945 to 1952, and it gave rise to some of the most distinctive and influential Italian films which shocked for their unusual and raw examination of war and post-war reconstruction. The second part of the course explores the evolution and decline of Neorealism, and the emergence of a new cinematic realism and a new modernist aesthetic. Here attention is paid to the potentialities of modernist films with particular reference to technical device and practicalities on the one hand, and to the juxtaposition of fantasy and reality on the other.


Rome Open City (1946), dir. Roberto Rossellini

Paisan (1946), dir. Roberto Rossellini

Bitter Rice (1948), dir. Giuseppe De Santis

Rocco and His Brothers (1960), dir. Luchino Visconti

La dolce vita (1960), dir. Federico Fellini

8 ½ (1962), dir. Federico Fellini

Red Desert (1964), Michelangelo Antonioni

Secondary Literature: General, Theoretical, Introductory

Hayward, Susan, Cinema Studies. The Key Concepts (London-New York: Routledge, 2000)  

Bondanella, Peter, Italian Cinema: From Neorealism to the Present, 3rd rev. edn. (New York: Continuum, 2001)

Landy, Marcia, Italian Film (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000)

Marcus, Millicent, Italian Film in the Light of Neorealism (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1986)

Monaco, James, How to Read a Film: the world of movies, media, multimedia: language, history and theory (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000)

Shiel, Mark, Italian Neo-Realism. Rebuilding the Cinematic City (London: Wallflower, 2006)

Wood, Mary, Italian Cinema (Oxford: Berg, 2005)



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