This is most recent syllabus. Your final syllabus will be given during your first day of class
This course provides an in-depth examination of some of the most important Italian films of the past half century. Key topics of Italian history, culture, and society will be explored alongside an analysis of the selected cinematic works. The course will begin with an introduction of the roots of Italian cinema and a discussion of Neorealism, the cinematic phenomenon that had an important influence on the ideological and aesthetic rules of film as art. It will then examine different genres (Comedy Italian Style, Spaghetti Westerns) as well as the notion of the “auteur” cinema (Fellini). The second part of the course will be dedicated to contemporary Italian cinema, focusing on the role of the child and youth in those films.
This course will cover ideological and aesthetic rules of film art, reviewing basic elements of film technique as well as essential topics in the field of film theory and criticism.
Students in this course will:
• develop an interdisciplinary understanding of Italian cinema
• acquire a sufficient appreciation of the representation of modern and contemporary Italy in cinematic popular culture
• be able to discuss key issues of 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
Roberto Rossellini: Roma, città aperta (Rome, Open City)
Vittorio De Sica: Ladri di biciclette (Bicycle Thieves)
Federico Fellini: La strada (The Road)
Pietro Germi: Divorzio all’italiana (Divorce Italian Style)
Dino Risi: Il sorpasso (The Easy Life)
Sergio Leone: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
Giuseppe Tornatore: Nuovo Cinema Paradiso (Cinema Paradiso)
Giuseppe Tornatore: Malena (Malena)
Gianni Amelio: Il ladro di bambini (The Stolen Children)
Nanni Moretti: La stanza del figlio (The Son’s Room)
Gabriele Salvatores: Io non ho paura (I’m not afraid)
Roberto Benigni: La vita è bella (Life is beautiful)
A reader containing select articles from academic journals and books, including:
Bertellini, Giorgio. The Cinema of Italy. London: Wallflower, 2004.
Critical Visions in Film Theory: Classical and Contemporary Readings. eds. Timothy Corrigan, Patricia White, and Meta Mazaj New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s Press, 2011.
Corrigan, Timothy, and Patricia White. The Film Experience: An Introduction. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2004. 222-252.
Marcus, Millicent Joy. After Fellini: National Cinema in the Postmodern Age. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 2002.