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Topic 1: Italian Cinema (weeks 2-5)

We will explore the thematic, narrative and cinematographic features of a sample of Italian classic films in order to develop an understanding of technical and stylistic questions specifically pertaining to film. In addition, an awareness of the broader issues of artistic representation and meaning central to creative debates of the post-war period in Italy will be examined.

Core texts

De Sica, Ladri di biciclette
Fellini, La dolce vita
Özpetek, Le fate ignoranti


Week 2: Introduction to Italian cinema / Italian Neorealist Cinema

Week 3: De Sica, Ladri di biciclette / cinematography

Week 4: Italian auteur cinema / Fellini & La Dolce Vita

Week 5: Contemporary Italian directors / Özpetek, Le fate ignoranti


Suggested Readings

** These articles/chapters are available online via Library Course Extracts

Film Theory:

Bordwell, D. and Thompson, K., Film Art: An Introduction (New York, London: McGraw-Hill, 1997)

Buckland, Warren, (Teach Yourself) Film Studies (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1998)

Hayward, Susan, Cinema Studies: The Key Concepts (London: Routledge, 1996)

Monaco, James, How to Read a Film (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1981/2000)

Roberts, Graham and Wallis, Heather, Introducing Film (London: Arnold, 2001)

**Vincendeau, Ginette, ‘Issues in European Cinema’, in J. Hill and P. Gibson (eds), World Cinema: Critical Approaches (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), pp. 56-64

Italian cinema: General History

Bondanella, Peter, Italian Cinema: From Neorealism to the Present (New York: Continuum, 1996)

**Bondanella, Peter, ‘Italian Cinema’, in Zygmunt G. Baranski and Rebecca J. West (eds), Cambridge Companion to Modern Italian Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001), pp. 215-42

**Caldwell, Lesley, ‘What about Women? Italian Films and their Concerns’, in Ulrike Sieglohr (ed.), Heroines without Heroes: Reconstructing Female and National Identities in European Cinema, 1945-51 (London: Cassell, 2000)

Dalle Vacche, Angela, The Body in the Mirror: Shapes of History in Italian Cinema (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991)

Forgacs, David, Italian Culture in the Industrial Era 1880-1980 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1990)

**Forgacs, David, ‘Cultural Consumption, 1940s to 1990s’, in David Forgacs and Robert Lumley (eds), Italian Cultural Studies: an Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), pp. 273-290

**Gundle, Stephen, ‘From Neo-Realism to Luci Rosse: Cinema, Politics, Society, 1945-85’, in Zygmunt G. Baranski and Robert Lumley (eds), Culture and Conflict in Postwar Italy (London: Macmillan, 1990), pp.195-224

Jarratt, Vernon, The Italian Cinema (London: Falcon Press, 1951)

Landy, Marcia, Italian Film (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000)

Liehm, Mira, Passion and Defiance: Film in Italy from 1942 to the Present (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984)

Leprohon, Pierre, The Italian Cinema (London: Secker and Warburg, 1972)

Marcus, Millicent, ‘The Italian Body Politic is a Woman: Feminized National Identity in Postwar Italian Film’, in Dana E. Stewart and Alison Cornish (eds), Sparks and Seeds: Medieval Literature and its Afterlife. Essays in honour of John Freccero (Turnhout: Brepols, 2000), pp. 329-47

Marcus, Millicent, After Fellini: National Cinema in the Postmodern Age (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002)

Nowell-Smith, Geoffrey, The Companion to Italian Cinema (London: Cassell/BFI, 1996)

Sorlin, Pierre, Italian National Cinema 1896-1996 (London and New York: Routledge, 1996)

Wagstaff, Christopher, ‘Cinema’, in David Forgacs and Robert Lumley (eds), Italian Cultural Studies: an Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), pp. 216-32, and ‘Ladri di biciclette: analysis’, ibid., pp. 261-265

Wood, Mary P. Italian Cinema (Oxford: Berg, 2005)


Robert S.C. Gordon, Bicycle thieves = Ladri di biciclette (Basingstoke ; New York : Palgrave Macmillan : BFI, 2008).

Armes, Roy, Patterns of Realism (Cranbury, NJ: A. S. Barnes, 1971)

**Forgacs, David, ‘The Making and Unmaking of Neorealism in Postwar Italy’, in N. Hewitt (ed.), The Culture of Reconstruction: European Literature, Thought and Film (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1989), pp. 51-56

Marcus, Millicent, Italian Film in the Light of Neorealism (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1986)

Micciché, Lino (ed.), Il neorealismo cinematografico italiano (Venice: Marsilio, 1999)

Monticelli, Simona, ‘Italian Post-War Cinema and Neo-Realism’, in J. Hill and P. Gibson (eds), World Cinema: Critical Approaches (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), pp. 71-76

Overbey, David, Springtime in Italy: A Reader on Neorealism (London: Talisman, 1978)

Rocchio, Vincent F., Cinema of Anxiety: A Psychoanalysis of Italian Neo-Realism (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1999)

Federico Fellini

Bondanella, Peter, Federico Fellini: Essays in Criticism (Oxford: Oxford University Press)

Bondanella, Peter, The Films of Federico Fellini (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002)

Burke, Frank and Waller, Marguerite (eds), Federico Fellini: Contemporary Perspectives (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2002)

Fellini, Federico, Fellini on Fellini, ed. by Costanzo Costanzi, trans. by Sohrab Sorooshian (London: Faber and Faber, 1995)

Marcus, Millicent, ‘Fellini’s La strada: Transcending Neorealism’, in Italian Film in the Light of Neorealism (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1986), pp. 144-163

Tornabuoni, Lietta, Federico Fellini (Milan: Rizzoli, 1995)

Moretti, Caro Diario

Bragaglia, Cristina, ‘Autobiografie e cari diari: Nanni Moretti e gli altri’, in Annali d’Italianistica, vol. 17 (1999), 69-76

Rosa Barotsi and Pierpaolo Antonello, ‘The Personal and the Political: The Cinema of Nanni Moretti’, in Pierpaolo Antonello and Florian Mussgnug (eds), Postmodern impegno: Ethics and Commitment in Contemporary Italian Culture (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2009), pp. 189-212

Ewa Mazierska & Laura Rascaroli, The Cinema of Nanni Moretti: Dreams and Diaries (London & New York: Wallflower Press, 2004)

Millicent Marcus, Caro Diario and the Cinematic Body of Nanni Moretti, Italica, Vol 73, No. 2. (1996), pp. 223-247

Porton, Richard, and Lee Ellickson, ‘Comedy, Communism, and Pastry: An Interview with Nanni Moretti’, in Cineaste, vol. 21, no. 1-2 (1995), 11-15