In the period between 1943 and 1950 Italian cinema was dominated by Neorealism which became the most significant film style of post-war Europe. Formation began back in 1936 when propagandists opened modern Cincitta studios and the film school name ‘Centro Sperimentaledi Cinematografia’. Along with the opening of schools such as this was a movement that placed a group of cinematographers under full-year contracts, among them was Carlo Montuori who used his classic techniques in creating ‘Bicycle Thieves’ (1948) one of the most well known films produced during the Neo-Realism movement. Perhaps also one of the most influential directors was Roberto Rossellini who directed Rome Open City at the end of WWII. Many directors and influential films such as this began to change and shape the way Italian films were made and what their relation to society was like.
The neorealist style was developed by a circle of film critics that revolved around the magazine Cinema, despite a severe lack of funds and equipment the Neorealist film makers sought to reveal truth of the everyday life. Filming outdoors in natural light and starring nonprofessional actors, it was a return to the Lumiere ethic of framed reality. NeoRealism became a style of film which was characterised by stories that were set amongst the poor and working class people. Realism would always be emphasized, and performances were mostly constructed from scenes of ordinary people performing fairly uninteresting and everyday tasks, completely derived of the self-consciousness that a trained actor would usually produce. The films would generally feature children as the major role but they were usually more observational rather than engaging.
The film makers were heavily influenced by French poetic realism which was a stylised and studio bound movement that recreated the realism of society. Elements of neorealism can be found in the films of Alessandro Blasetti and the documentary-style films of Francesco De...
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