Italian Post-Neorealist Cinema

Italian Cinema: Neorealism
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Reflecting on Italy's fraught national identity, Barattoni Clemson Univ.

Films from the Post-Neorealist Era

Amid the postwar stagnation and disenchantment, the film industry proved "a fruitful model of viral capitalism. Alberto Lattuada, Renato Castellani, and especially Antonio Pietrangeli realigned neorealism to the other national cinemas by embracing the liberties of the nouvelle vague.

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Both art and commercial films reveal the debt to, yet impulse to escape from, the rooted authorities of Catholicism and Marxism. Fellini's La Dolce Vita spawned a cinema of growing distrust in the old ideologies and Italy's economic renaissance. In the conclusion Barattoni rues the contemporary lack of the classic cinema's interest in examining and defining what Italy is.

Introducing a wide range of unfamiliar directors and writers, Barattoni reconfigures traditional categories. Summing Up: Recommended.

Upper-division undergraduates and above. Yacowar emeritus, University of Calgary. Bowker Data Service Summary. Olmi, Pasolini, Antonioni, Fellini, Visconti, the Taviani Brothers, Cavani, Rosi, Ferreri and many others all made their debut or directed their most representative works during the period.

Topic 1: Italian Cinema (weeks 2-5)

Unlike countries such as France, the Czech Republic or Brazil, Italy did not have a new wave properly understood as a movement. However, while new artistic schools were emerging in many other countries, Italy was undergoing its most dramatic social and economic transformations. Those violent changes, together with the perceived necessity of renewing the aesthetic heritage of Neorealism, sparked a drastic regeneration of the cinematic language and marked the most memorable period of Italian film history.

Italian Post-Neorealist Cinema explores the ferments of Italian cinema from the mids to the end of the 60s, situating its wealth in the context of other national cinemas emerging at the same time. The book brings to the surface the lines of experimentation and artistic renewal appearing after the exhaustion of Neorealism, mapping complex areas of interest such as the emergence of ethical concerns, the relationship between ideology and representation, and the role of Italian counter-culture.

Unlike countries like France, the Czech Republic or Brazil, Italy did not have a new wave properly understood as a movement.

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As it happened, Amidei was a communist and Rossellini a Catholic, but these contrasting viewpoints served only to broaden the film's sympathies. According to Luchino Visconti, the first Italian film to be described as neorealist was his own "Ossessione" Obsession , which was inspired by James Cain's "The Postman Always Rings Twice," but with bleak settings and style of narration that assured it an enduring reputation as one of the keystones of the genre.

Indeed, the neorealism's capacity for combining social awareness with elements of sex and melodrama reached a kind of culmination in in Giuseppe De Santis's "Riso Amaro" Bitter Rice , acted out among the exploited mondine rice girls of the Po Plains. As a film critic during the s, De Santis had advocated a more realistic approach to cinema and collaborated with Visconti on the script of "Ossessione.

Many of cinematic neorealism's virtues derived from direct observation of society and its sympathetic depiction of ordinary people, but literature, both Italian and foreign, also played a major role in its inception.

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Olmi's L'Albero degli zoccoli The Tree of the Wooden Clogs , , one of many examples of successful films financed by Italian state television Radiotelevisione Italiana RAI , an increasingly important source of funding for major Italian works or for co-productions with other national cinemas, returned to a neorealist recreation of peasant life on a farm near Bergamo at the turn of the nineteenth century, employing nonprofessional peasants from the area who speak their local dialect. Alberto Zambenedetti. Sign In. Record Author s :. Their relationship to their neorealist heritage was therefore far more ambiguous than might be suggested by. The last section is dedicated to archive material, which is fundamental, because cinema memory has been safeguarded and handed down thanks to it.

Literary traditions of realism in Italy stretched back into the 19th century, notably in the works of the Sicilian novelist Giovanni Verga, who was revered by writers and filmmakers alike. But American authors, such as Faulkner, Steinbeck and Hemingway also exercised an influence.

Italian Neorealism

One of the most extraordinary publishing events of the war was the issue in of Elio Vittorini's "Americana," a substantial anthology of American writing, with an enthusiastic and informed commentary. Other writers soon enriched the genre, including Carlo Levi, whose majestic "Christ Stopped at Eboli," relating his experiences in Italy's deep south when he was exiled there in the s for opposing the Fascist regime, was finally printed in , and the chronicler of working-class Florentine life, Vasco Pratolini.

Levi was both a writer and painter, and his pictures feature both in the literary and art sections of the show. There are powerful works, by Levi and several other hands, of the tragedies and atrocities of war, including unforgettable eyewitness records of the horrors of the concentration camps by Corrado Cagli, a Jewish painter who fled persecution in Italy in the late s, subsequently joined the U. Many artists were of the left, yet initially, as in the case of cinema, their subject matter was not necessarily hidebound by ideological allegiances.

Renato Guttuso, for example, a committed communist produced a "Crucifixion" in , writing of it in his diary: "I want to paint this torture of Christ as a scene of today … as a symbol of all those who suffer outrage, imprisonment and torture for their ideas.

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The title of the famous pre-neorealist movie I bambini ci guardano () established children as the most sensitive and defenseless community of the s. Unlike countries such as France, the Czech Republic or Brazil, Italy did not have a new wave properly understood as a movement. However, while new artistic.

The crunch came in , with the triumph of the rightist Christian Democrats at the polls and a series of diktats from Moscow aimed at imposing Socialist Realism on artists among the party faithful, a direction many declined to follow.