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  • Discipline(s): Film & Media Studies
  • Available: Spring Semester 2022
  • Course Type: Standard Courses
  • Taught in: English
  • Lab Fee: None
  • Credits: 3
  • Course Travel: No


FLM 390: Italian Cinema from Neorealism to Netflix

Note: This course was formerly THIT 380.

Course Description
This course provides an in-depth examination of some of the most important Italian films from the post-World War II era to the present day. It will cover ideological and aesthetic rules of film art, reviewing and expanding upon the most important elements of film technique as well as essential topics in the field of film theory and criticism. The course will look at the roots of Italian cinema, closely analyze Neorealism (the cinematic phenomenon that had an important influence on the ideological and aesthetic rules of film as art) and examine the most important directors and genres. It will also consider recent small-screen productions that have had international relevance, such as HBO/RAI television’s My Brilliant Friend and Netflix’s first Italian series, Suburra.

Course Objectives
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 Benigni Johnny Stecchino – home viewing
— La vita è bella (Life is Beautiful)
Saverio Costanzo L’amica geniale (My Brilliant Friend)
Vittorio De Sica Ladri di biciclette (Bicycle Thieves)
Federico Fellini La strada
Pietro Germi Divorzio all’italiana (Divorce Italian Style)
Roberto Rossellini Roma, città aperta (Rome, Open City) – home viewing
Stefano Sollima Suburra. La serie
Paolo Sorrentino Le conseguenze dell’amore (Consequences of Love)
Giuseppe Tornatore Cinema Paradiso – evening screening

Course Materials
Sikov, Ed, Film Studies.
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.