West European Studies | Studies in Italian Film
W406 | 4241 | Bondanella


Meets TR 2:30-3:45, T 7:00-10:00
Meets with FRIT M390, CMCL C398, and CMLT C310
Film shown on T 7:00-10:00
This course satisfies distribution requirements for Arts and
Humanities (AHLA) and the Cultural Studies Requirement List B
Obtain online authorization from department

Topic:  "Rossellini, De Sica, and the Heritage of Italian Neorealism
in Film and Literature"

W406 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.