French and Italian | Readings in the Italian Cinema: The Cinema of Gianni Amelio
M565 | 26306 | Vitti, Antonio


Films: 7:15 - 10:00 W TBA.  Gianni Amelio is a writer, a critic, and
the only filmmaker ever to win three Felix awards for best European
film. Abroad, in spite of his great success in the early nineties,
his name is not always recognized. In Italy, where the dominant
culture likes to think of itself as one of the five superpowers, he
is perceived as a difficult artist who faults the nation for its
short memory and the younger generation for pursuing material goods
and status symbols. So why take a course on Amelio? Why explore a
type of cinema that for many is not entertaining or modern or even
Italian? The answers to these questions and to the reservations
about Amelio’s films are complex, and this course will address them
in a variety of ways.

Amelio has explored themes intrinsic to Italian cinema, art, and
literature but in a way that unsettles many critics and audiences
and contradicts commonly held expectations. Part of Amelio’s reading
of the past directly confronts realism, cinephilism, and neorealism.
He constantly uses narrative digression and ellipse to rework
autobiographical elements in a cinematic amalgam that includes the
style of American classics. Although regarded as the primary living
descendent of neorealism, true to his unmistakable evasion of
categorization, he discounts both the term and the association with
postwar filmmakers.

Class discussion will be in Italian, the films will be shown with
English subtitles.