Seminar Weeks 5 & 7
Roma città aperta:
As you watch the film, make notes on the plot and characters. In preparation for the seminar, you should also make detailed notes on two of the following topics. Be prepared to talk for 5 minutes on your chosen topic.
COMEDY: Describe the comic scenes of the film. What happens and why are they funny? What role does comedy play in the film? Which characters are portrayed in a more comical role and why?
WOMEN: What role do women play in the resistance? Compare the presentation of Pina and her sister. How is Marina represented?
CHARACTERS: How are different groups in the film (Germans, Fascists, Communists, women, clergy) marked out as different from one another and how does this shape the viewer’s reaction to the characters? (Think of accent, clothing, mannerisms etc). How does this compare to Calvino’s representation?
CLASS: How are class differences portrayed in the film? Are there instances of class differences being overcome? How are the aspirations of working class people represented?
YOUTH: What role do children play in the film? How does the film end and what is the significance of its ending.
CHURCH: What is the relationship between the Catholic Church and the resistance movement in the film? How is the relationship between Catholicism and Communism portrayed? What role does the Catholic Church play in society?
DRAMA: What scenes are the most emotive / dramatic? What techniques are used to heighten tension and dramatic effect?
HISTORICAL CONTEXT and IDEOLOGY: What does the film add to our understanding of the war in Italy and in Rome? In what sense does this film make a political or ideological statement(s)?
NEOREALISM: What neorealist techniques are used in the film? What aspects of the film are not typically neorealist?