Italian neorealist cinema: an aesthetic approach
University of Toronto Press, 2007 - 504
"The end of the Second World War saw the emergence in Italy of the neorealism movement, which produced a number of films characterized by stories set among the poor and working class, often shot on location using non-professional actors. In this study Christopher Wagstaff provides an in-depth analysis of neorealist film, focusing on three films that have had a major impact on filmmakers and audiences around the world: Roberto Rossellini's Roma citt aperta and Pais and Vittorio De Sica's Ladri di biciclette. Indeed, these films are still, more than half a century after they were made, among the most highly regarded works in the history of cinema. In this insightful and carefully researched work, Wagstaff suggests that the importance of these films is largely due to the aesthetic and rhetorical qualities of their assembled sounds and images rather than, as commonly thought, their particular representations of historical reality.The author begins by situating neorealist cinema in its historical, industrial, commercial, and cultural context. He goes on to provide a theoretical discussion of realism and the merits of neorealist films, individually and collectively, as aesthetic artefacts. He follows with a detailed analysis of the three films, focusing on technical and production aspects as well as on the significance of the films as cinematic works of art.While providing a wealth of information and analysis previously unavailable to an English-speaking audience, Italian Neorealist Cinema offers a radically new perspective on neorealist cinema and the Italian art cinema that followed it."
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actors aesthetic artefacts Americans Amidei Antonio and Bruno Antonioni artistic assembled background Bergmann bicycle camera Carmela Cesare Zavattini characters Cigolani close-up comedy critical Dale delta episode dialogue director documentary Don Pietro elocutio event-story example fact Fascist Federico Fellini Fellini film's filmmakers footage foreground frame Francesco friars function Germans Giuseppe De Santis historical Italian cinema Italian films Italy Joe's Ladri di biciclette landscape looking Manfredi Marcello Maria matrix melodramatic mise en scene montage movement Naples narrates narrative neorealism neorealist films notion Pacifico Padre Guardiano Paisa partisans Pasquale Pina Pina's poetics point of view political procedure production protagonists realism reality reference representation reverse-angle sequence rhetorical Roberto Rossellini role Roma citta aperta Rome episode Santona screenplay script Sergio Amidei sermo humilis shooting shot Sica's social sound soundtrack starts story street takes thread tion Umberto viewer Vittorio De Sica voice voice-over Zavattini