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ITAL 4040/6040

Course Name:
Italian Cinema
Credit Hours:
3 hours

A study of the major periods and trends in Italian cinema combined with a critical analysis of selected movies by the major auteurs including, but not limited to, Rossellini, De Sica Visconti Fellini, Antonioni and Bertolucci. Given in English.

This is a course on the recent history of Italian cinema.  The first half of the course covers films by the classic directors of the late 20th century, while the second half deals with more recent works.

(We will have weekly screenings at the time most suitable for the largest number of students, probably either Monday or Tuesday afternoons.)

Students will acquire a basic knowledge of the mechanics of film narrative and the analysis of film structure.  In reviewing each film on the syllabus, students will consider such questions as plot and setting, the major characters and principal action.  In our analysis of the conflicts and crises around which the plot and action of the films are configured, we will take a careful look at narrative form and narrative time.  We will also examine a range of film genres, from tragedy to comedy, from melodrama to parody.

Another goal of the course is to study the films from the perspective of Italian culture and life.  We will discuss the regional and cultural differences that prevail across Italy, including questions of gender, social class and linguistic differences, as these differences are present thematically in the films.

Given the determining impact that a film’s director has on its final form and message, we will learn about each director’s general profile, his or her dominant concerns and stylistic qualities. Among the directors and films that might be included in our master list are the following:

Luchino Visconti, Ossessione (1943) or Senso (1954)

Michelangelo Antonioni, L’eclisse (1962)

Roberto Rossellini, Viaggio in Italia (1954)

Federico Fellini, I vitelloni (1953)

Ettore Scola, We All Loved Each Other So Much (1974) or The Family (1987)

Francesco Rosi, Tre fratelli (1981)

Taviani brothers, Kaos (1984) or Fiorile (1993)

Ricky Tognazzi, La scorta (1993)

Gianni Amelio, Open Doors (1990) or The Stolen Children (1992) or Lamerica (1994)

Marco Bellocchio, The Hour of Religion (2002) or Il traditore (2019)

Francesca Archibugi, Verso sera (1990) or Lezioni di volo (2007) or Vivere (2019)

Silvio Soldini, Days and Clouds (2007)

Giorgio Diritti, The Wind Blows Round (2005) or L’uomo che verrà (2009)

Mario Martone, We Believed (2010) or Leopardi (2014)

Paolo Virzì, Human Capital (2013)

Francesca Comencini, Le parole di mio padre (2001)

Paolo Sorrentino, La grande bellezza (2013)

Nanni Moretti, Habemus Papam (2011) or Mia madre (2015)

Alice Rohrwacher, The Wonders (2016) or Corpo celeste (2011)

Required readings for the course will be posted on eLC or placed on Library Reserve.


 Not offered on a regular basis.


Duplicate Credit:
Not open to students with credit in ITAL 4040I or ITAL 6040I

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