THIT 350: Blockbusters and Bestsellers: Italian Cinema and Literature of the 21st Century

Instructor: Elgin Eckert - Ph.D.
Credits: 3
Prerequisite: None
Cross-Listing: Film & Media Studies, Italian Studies-Interdisciplinary, Literature

Course Description

This hybrid literature/cinema course provides an in-depth examination of some of the last three decade’s most popular Italian films and novels, systematically exploring various genres such as comedy, drama, mystery, historical and epic.


Key topics of Italian history, culture and society will be explored through an analysis of the selected literary and cinematic works. The course will focus on a careful analysis of cinematic and narrative techniques as well as literary and cinematic genre criticism.



Course Objectives

Students in this course will:

  • develop an interdisciplinary understanding of contemporary Italian literature and cinema
  • acquire a sufficient appreciation of the representation of contemporary Italy in written and cinematic popular culture
  • be able to discuss key issues of literature and film theory with a certain depth and sophistication
  • become familiar with basic cinematic techniques
  • critically analyze different genres of films according to their typologies
  • be able to relate films to their specific sociological and historical contexts



Course Materials



Francesco Albanese: Benvenuti al Sud (Welcome to the South)

Roberto Benigni: Il mostro

marco Bellocchio: Buongiorno, notte (Goodmorning, Night)

Bernardo Bertolucci: Io e te (You and Me)

Saverio Costanzo: The Solitude of Prime Numbers

Marco Tullio Giordana: I cento passi (One Hundred Steps)

Marco Tullio Giordana: La meglio gioventù (The Best of Youth)

Aberto Sironi: Excursion to Tindari

Giuseppe Tornatore: Novecento 

Ricky Tognazzi: Excellent Cadavers



Niccolò Ammaniti: You and Me (Io e te)

Alessandro Barrico: Novecento

Andrea Camilleri: Excursion to Tindari

Paolo Giordano: The Solitude of Prime Numbers 


A reader containing select articles from academic journals and books.