French and Italian | Italian Film and Culture: Italian-Style Comedy
M311 | 14066 | Vitti, Antonio


Films: 7:15 - 10:00 T TBA

Topic: Laughing is a Serious Matter.  In the wake of postwar cinema
a new genre emerged that lasted from the late 1950s to the mid
1970s: _La commedia all’italiana - Italian Style Comedy_, influenced
by the Neo-realist movement, continued social critique by combining
it with comic techniques. From this new style a series of directors
managed to satirize the Italy of the economic boom by presenting it
as a “Miracolo economico all’italiana” in a genuinely popular form
of cinema. Despite its artistic and box-office success, _Italian
Style Comedy_ is rarely studied. In this course we will look at the
emergence of this genre, its key works, and compare and contrast the
way in which different directors developed the unique features of
the _commedia_. We will also examine the relationship between
cinematic creation, social issues and the historical conditions that
gave rise to the popularity of this particular form of comedy and
shaped its development. Class discussion will be in English, the
films will be shown with English subtitles, and students may write
their papers in either English or Italian, the choice of language
will not be a factor in the final grade.

Required texts:

* _A New Guide to Italian Cinema_; Year: 2007; Authors: Carlo
Celli and Maria Cottino-Jones; ISBN: 1-4039-7565-5; Publisher:
Palgrave MacMillan
* _Comedy Italian Style: The Golden Age of Italian Film
Comedies_ (paperback); Year: due to be published 10/15/2008);
Author: Remi Fournier Lanzoni; ISBN: 978-0826-418-227; Publisher:
Continuum International Publishing Group
* Additional essays will be provided by the instructor