Comparative Literature | Neorealism in Film and Literature
C310 | 1180 | --


Prof. Peter Bondanella     2:30-3:45    TR	       BH 109
		      Screening       7:00-10:00   T	       WH 120
Topic:  "Rossellini, De Sica, and the Heritage of Italian Neorealism in
Film and Literature"

*Satisfies COAS Requirements for AHLA*
Meets with WEUR W406, FRIT M390, CMCL C394

C310 and its crosslisted equivalents require no prerequisite and no
previous knowledge of Italian, although an introductory course in film,
such as C190, would certainly be useful.  The particular topic of this
course will be the Italian "school" of neorealism.  Italian neorealism
became an international force in film immediately after the end of World
War II and presented an ideal of film that abandoned the studio system for
non-professional actors, documentary photography, non-Hollywood scripts,
and a progressive ideology that seemed directly opposed to the cinema
Italy had developed under the Fascist regime from 1922 to its fall in
1943.  We shall examine films by such directors as Roberto Rossellini,
Vittorio De Sica, Luchino Visconti, Federico Fellini, Michelangelo
Antonioni, the Taviani brothers, and Maurizio Nichetti.  Italian
neorealism will be examined in terms of its genesis within Fascist cinema,
its brief but influential flowering in a single decade immediately
following the end of WWII, and its subsequent "crisis" and evolution. As
neorealism represents Italy's major cinematic tradition, an understanding
of it is crucial to any study of Italy's film history.  Films screened
will include some of the following:  ROSSELLINI'S OPEN CITY/PAISAN/THE
MACHINE TO KILL BAD PEOPLE/VOYAGE IN ITALY/GENERAL DELLA
ROVERE; DE SICA'S SHOESHINE/THE BICYCLE THIEF/UMBERTO D./MIRACLE IN MILAN;
DE SANTIS'S BITTER RICE; FELLINI'S LA STRADA/THE NIGHTS OF
CABIRIA/VISCONTI'S ROCCO AND HIS BROTHERS/THE TAVIANI BROTHERS' THE NIGHT
OF SAN LORENZO; AND NICHETTI'S THE ICYCLE THIEF.  Two neorealist
novels--Italo Calvino's THE PATH TO THE NEST OF SPIDERS and Carlo Levi's
CHRIST STOPPED AT
EBOLI--will be read to juxtapose neorealist style in literature to that in
the cinema.

Students will be asked to read two novels and two critical works (one
history of postwar Italian cinema and one introduction to Rossellini's
cinema).  In addition to class lectures, a regular film series will be
presented once a week (students missing a film may see it in the Main
Library's Media Collection).  Students will be asked to take three quizzes
during the semester, covering lectures, readings, and screenings, and will
be given an essay-type final exam.