Italian Neorealism

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  • Topic: Italian neorealism, Vittorio De Sica, Umberto D.
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  • Published : December 28, 2011
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The Italian Neo-Realism Movement (1943-1952)
a.Response to Fascism
b.Anti-Hollywood Artifice
c.Cesare Zavattini – Neo-realist screenwriter (incl. Bicycle Thieves) who wrote a manifesto to guide filmmaking d.Film journals Cinema and Bianco e Nero
i.Called for a cinema that resembled the realism of literature e.Influenced by Jean Renoir’s Toni (1935) and Alessandro Blassetti’s 1860 (1934) f.Influenced by American noir books and films
a.Humanistic and moralistic philosophy with emphasis on contemporary social issues b.Focus on ordinary people (especially the working class) and everyday life c.Bazin – Neo-realism gives the viewer “a sense of the ambiguity of the real” rather than the appearance of the real. III.Style

a.Shot on location mostly in rural areas/working class neighborhoods and with natural light b.Gritty, documentary-like cinematography
c.Post-synchronized sound (dubbing)
d.Scenes in real time
e.Used non-professional actors & conversational speech
f.Plot evolves organically
g.Lack of artifice in camerawork and editing
IV.Leading Directors & Films
a.Roberto Rossellini (Open City, 1946; Paisan, 1946)
b.Luchino Visconti (The Earth Trembles, 1948)
c.Vittorio De Sica (Bicycle Thieves, 1948; Umberto D, 1951) V.Influence & Legacy
a.Fellini and Antonioni
i.Worked on neo-realist films early in their careers
ii.Documented social realities as directors
b.French New Wave (Late 1950s & 1960s)
c.Dogme 95 (Denmark – 1995-2005)
d.L.A. School of Black Independent Filmmakers (get dates)

Italian Neorealism (1943-1952):
• Social reality of normal Italians
• Location shooting and post-synchronized sound (dubbing of dialogue) • Use of non-professional actors
• Documentary visual style
• No contrived plots or “happy endings”
• Bicycle Thieves (1948):
o In Italian: Ladri di biciclette
o Directed by Vittorio De Sica
o Adapted...
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