Topic outline

  • General

    The Italian cinematography course focuses on the acquisition by students of theoretical elements on cinematographic artistic creations, the awareness of students about the cultural diversity of cinematography and the development of their interest in new cinematic experiences, and the integration of students in the Italian environment by a better understanding of the mechanisms that govern the functioning of the respective society, as it appears from the films selected for viewing and analysis.

  • Ist WEEK

    An introduction to the history of cinema, from the theater of shadows, through silent film, the appearance of sound and colour, to the digital age. A foray into the variety of cinematic genres, from noir to musical film, from gangster film to war film, from western film to science fiction film. The beginnings of the Italian cinema (The Italian Film Industry. Italian Innovations. Italian Film Genres. The End of Neorealism. Commedia all’Italiana etc.).

  • IInd WEEK

    Roma, Città Aperta (1945) – a 1945 Italian neorealist drama film directed by Roberto Rossellini. The film features Aldo Fabrizi, Anna Magnani and Marcello Pagliero, and it is set in Rome during the Nazi occupation in 1944. The title refers to Rome being declared an open city after 14 August 1943. The film won several awards at various film festivals, including the most prestigious Cannes Grand Prix and it was nominated for the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar at the 19th Academy Awards.

  • IIIrd WEEK

    La terra trema (1948) – a 1948 Italian dramatic film directed by Luchino Visconti. The movie is adapted from Giovanni Verga’s novel I Malavoglia (1881).

  • IVth WEEK

    Ladri di Bicilette (1948) – a 1948 Italian neorealist drama film directed by Vittorio De Sica. It follows the story of a poor father searching post-World War II Rome for his stolen bicycle, without which he will lose the job which was to be the salvation of his young family. The film was cited by Turner Classic Movies as one of the most influential films in cinema history, and it is considered part of the canon of classic cinema.

  • Vth WEEK

    Riso amaro (1949) – a 1949 Italian film, written and directed by Giuseppe De Santis. It was a product of the Italian neorealism style. The Italian title of the film is based on a pun; since the Italian word riso can mean either "rice" or "laughter", riso amaro can be taken to mean either "bitter laughter" or "bitter rice". It was nominated for the 1950 Academy Award for Best Story and entered into the 1949 Cannes Film Festival.

  • VIth WEEK

    Miracolo a Milano (1951) – a 1951 Italian fantasy film directed by Vittorio De Sica. The screenplay was co-written by Cesare Zavattini, based on his novel Totò il Buono. The film, told as a neo-realist fable, explains the lives of a poverty-stricken group in post-war Milan, Italy.

  • VIIth WEEK

    Umberto D (1952) – a 1952 Italian neorealist film directed by Vittorio De Sica. Most of the actors were non-professional, including Carlo Battisti who plays the title role of Umberto Domenico Ferrari, a poor elderly man in Rome who is desperately trying to keep his rented room. Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.


    Il grido – a 1957 Italian black-and-white drama film directed by Michelangelo Antonioni and starring Steve Cochran, Alida Valli, Betsy Blair, and Dorian Gray. Based on a story by Antonioni, the film is about a man who wanders aimlessly, away from his town, away from the woman he loved, and becomes emotionally and socially inactive.

  • IXth WEEK

    Le notti bianche (1957) – a 1957 Italian film directed by Italian neorealist Luchino Visconti. The movie takes its title and basic plot from Fyodor Dostoevsky’s 1848 short story White Nights.

  • Xth WEEK

    La Dolce Vita (1960) – a comedy-drama film directed and co-written by Federico Fellini. The film follows Marcello Rubini (Marcello Mastroianni), a journalist writing for gossip magazines, over seven days and nights on his journey through the "sweet life" of Rome in a fruitless search for love and happiness. La Dolce Vita won the Palme d’Or (Golden Palm) at the 1960 Cannes Film Festival and the Oscar for Best Costumes.

  • XIth WEEK

    La ciociara (1960) – an Italian film directed by Vittorio De Sica. It tells the story of a woman trying to protect her young daughter from the horrors of war. The film stars Sophia Loren, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Raf Vallone, Eleonora Brown, Carlo Ninchi, and Andrea Checchi. The film was adapted by De Sica and Cesare Zavattini from the novel of the same name written by Alberto Moravia.

  • XIIth WEEK

    8½  (1963) – an Italian surrealist comedy-drama film directed by Federico Fellini and co-scripted by Fellini, Tullio Pinelli, Ennio Flaiano, and Brunello Rondi. It stars Marcello Mastroianni as Guido Anselmi, a famous Italian film director who suffers from stifled creativity as he attempts to direct an epic science fiction film.   won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and Best Costume Design (black-and-white).


    Ieri, oggi, domani (1963) – a comedy anthology film by Italian director Vittorio De Sica. It stars Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni. The film consists of three short stories about couples in different parts of Italy. The film won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 37th Academy Awards.

  • XIVth WEEK

    Amarcord (1973) –  a comedy-drama film directed by Federico Fellini, a semi-autobiographical tale about Titta, an adolescent boy growing up among an eccentric cast of characters in the village of Borgo San Giuliano (situated near the ancient walls of Rimini). The film won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, and was nominated for two more Academy Awards: Best Director and Best Original Screenplay.