FS 330 - The Golden Age of Italian Cinema: In Between Authors and Genres

From the very moment it was invented cinema has played a key role in Italian culture. Indeed, Italian cinema has played a significant role in the world market, influencing even Hollywood, at least in 3 historical moments:

  1. During the first and second decades of the twentieth century, when Italy was one of the leading countries in the new art-form
  2. After World War 2 - through the revolution introduced by Neorealism (mid 40s - early 50s)
  3. In the 60s, through the emergence of a number of great authors who were to become famous and beloved all over the world

Today this last period is known as the Golden Age in Italian cinema, as Bondanella points out: "It was during the 60s that the Italian cinema achieved its greatest results either from an artistic or economical point of view. In the 60s the Italian cinema developed a larger number of trends of evolution and a much higher production which, for a moment, was even able to compete with Hollywood. It was the period of Fellini and it was the moment in which Hollywood moved lots of its production to Rome. As a matter of fact the production of the Italian film industry of the period contains all aspects and all genres the Italian cinema has ever developed, so, studying this period as deeply as possible is, according to me, the best way to approach the History of the Italian cinema."

Following Peter Bondanella's textbook, our course on the History of Italian cinema will deal mainly with the period of its greatest achievements, Neorealism and the 60s, dwelling upon Fellini in particular, but also with more recent and contemporary Italian authors and films, culminating with Sorrentino’s award for best picture in a foreign language at the Academy Awards (2014).

To have a paramount view of Italian cinema we will attempt to combine the authors approach with the genre approach ("spaghetti" western, Comedy Italian Style), films that achieved great International critical and commercial acclaim and that had a great influence on the 7th art all over the world.

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Film Studies

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