Comparative Literature | Studies in Film and Literature
C790 | 1200 | Bondanella


Topic: 	Rossellini, De Sica, and the Heritage of Neorealism in
Film and Literature
Prof. Peter Bondanella    R   4:00-6:00      BH 335
Screenings at:            T   7:00-10:00    WH 120
C790 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 theFascist 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 OFSAN LORENZO; AND NICHETTI'S THE ICYCLE THIEF.  Two neorealist
novels--ItaloCalvino'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.