Italian Cinema Syllabus

Schedule of Classes

August 23 Introduction

First Part: The Art of Seeing

August 25

  • Carmine Gallone, Scipio Africanus (1937).
  • Saunders, Thomas J. “A “New Man”: Fascism, Cinema and Image Creation.” International Journal of Politics, Culture and Society 12.2 (1998): 227-46. Read here.

August 30

  • Benjamin, Walter.”The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility,” in The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility, and Other Writings on Media. Harvard University Press, 2008. Read here.

September 1

  • Vittorio de Sica, The Children are Watching Us (1943).
  • Cardullo, Bert. “Neorealism, History, and the Children’s Film: Vittorio De Sica’s the Children Are Watching Us Reconsidered.” Pennsylvania Literary Journal 7.1 (2015): 99-106. Read here.

    Second Part: Neorealism

    September 6. No class meeting

September 8. No class meeting

  • Charles Vidor, Gilda (1946).
  • Vittorio de Sica, Bicycle Thief (1948).
  • Peter Bondanella, ” The Masters of Neorealism: Rossellini, De Sica, and Visconti,” from Italian Cinema: From Neorealism to the Present (1996), pp. 31-73. In Sakai Resources.

September 13

  • Discussion of the four movies from previous week.
  • Bazin, André. “An Aesthetic of Reality: Neorealism.” What is cinema? Vol. 1. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1967. 16-40. In Sakai Resources.

September 15

  • Discussion of the four movies from previous week.
  • Deleuze, Gilles. “Beyond the Movement-Image,” in Cinema II: The Time-Image. Trans. Hugh Tomlinson, and Robert Galeta. Bloomsbury Publishing, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997. pp. 1-24. In Sakai Resources.

Third Part: Comedy, Italian Style

September 20

  • Mario Monicelli, Big Deal in Madonna Street (1958).
  • Donato Totaro, “Comedy Italian Style: An Interview with Mario Monicelli,” from After Neorealism: Italian Filmmakers and Their Films; Essays and Interviews, ed. Bert Cardullo (2009), pp. 35-50. In Sakai Resources.

September 22

  • Pietro Germi, Divorce Italian Style (1961).
  • Bondanella, Peter E. “A Decisive Decade: Commedia all’italiana, Neorealism’s Legacy, and a New Generation.” Italian Cinema: From Neorealism to the Present. 3rd ed., New York: Continuum, 1996. Pp. 142-159. In Sakai Resources.

Fourth Part: Auteur Cinema

September 27

September 29

  • Andrew Sarris, “Notes on the Auteur Theory in 1962,” from Film Theory and Criticism, eds. Leo Braudy and Marshall Cohen (2009), pp. 451-454. Available here.
  • Ford, Hamish. “Antonioni’s L’Avventura and Deleuze’s Time-Image.” Senses of Cinema 28.7 (2003): np. Read here.

October 4. Fall Break

October 6

  • Federico Fellini, 8 1/2 (1963).

October 11

  • Cameron, Ed. “From Symptom to Sublimation: Fellini’s 8½ and the Circuit of Art Cinema.” Italica (2015): 102-20. Available here.

October 13

  • Pier Paolo Pasolini, Teorema (1968).

October 18

  • Rumble, Patrick. “A Cinema of Poetry.” ArtForum (December 13, 2012): np. Read here.

October 20

October 25

  • Brian Henderson, “Toward a Non-Bourgeois Camera Style,”from Film Theory and Criticism, eds. Leo Braudy and Marshall Cohen (2009), pp. 54-64. Read here.
  • Nancy Virtue, “Poaching Within the System: Gillo Pontecorvo’s Tactical Aesthetics in the Battle of Algiers.” Screen 55.3 (2014): 317-37. Read here.

October 27

  • Discussion and organization of Class Presentations

Fifth Part: At the Periphery of Cinema

November 1

  • Sergio Leone, A Fistful of Dollars (1964).
  • Leo Braudy, “Genre: The Conventions of Connection,”from The World in a Frame (2009), pp. 54-64. Read here.

November 3

  • Fernando Di Leo, Milano calibro 9 (1972).
  • Austin Fisher, “Il braccio violento della legge: Revelation, conspiracy and the politics of violence in the poliziottesco,” Journal of Italian Cinema and Media Studies (2014): 167-181. Available here.

November 8

  • Dario Argento, Suspiria (1977).
  • Tania Modleski, “The Terror of Pleasure: The Contemporary Horror Film and Postmodern Theory,” from Film Theory and Criticism, eds. Leo Braudy and Marshall Cohen (2009), pp. 617-626. Available here.
  • Linda Williams, “Film Bodies: Gender, Genre and Excess,” from Film Theory and Criticism, eds. Leo Braudy and Marshall Cohen (2009), pp. 602-616. Available here.

November 15

  • Lina Wertmüller, The seduction of Mimi (1972).
  • Rodica Diaconescu-Blumenfeld, “Regista Di Clausura: Lina Wertmüller and Her Feminism of Despair.” Italica 76.3 (1999): 389-403. Available here.

Sixth Part: The End of “Italian” Cinema

November 17

  • Paolo Sorrentino, The Great Beauty (2013).
  • Stephen Crofts, “Reconceptualizing National Cinema(s),” from Film Theory and Criticism, eds. Leo Braudy and Marshall Cohen (2009), pp. 853-864. Available here.

November 22

  • Class Presentations

November 24. Thanksgiving

November 29

  • Class Presentations

December 1

  • Class Presentations