This movement began as a response to the political and economic issues that arose in Italy after the end of World War II. The Italian Neorealism movement is characterized by stories about the lower class with non-professional actors. The budgets for these films were very low and the purpose was to display "real life," similar to a documentary. Most Italian neorealistic films were often shot outdoors in poor neighborhoods and the countryside.
· His films at the time were more documentary and less fiction
· Had a war trilogy starting with his first movie Rome Open City and then was followed by Paisan and Germany Year Zero.
· In his career he had an affair with Ingrid Bergman who was a Swedish actress. She was in his second trilogy, Stromboli, Europa ’51, and Voyage to Italy. At the time these films didn’t have much interest from the audience but now, they are admired.
· He didn’t always stay in documentary type films. He tested the waters in religion and drama.
· His most famous movie would be II Generale Della Rovere which is war drama.
· During the end of this movement, he worked on television with historical drama in major figures.
This film is a voyage through Italian cinema history, marking influential films for Scorsese and particularly covering the Italian Neorealism period. The films of Roberto Rossellini make up for half the films discussed in the documentary, dealing with his seminal influence on Italian cinema and cinema history.
The theme of Film Noir is the stories and everyday people with a sense of realism that the majority of audiences can relate to. Film Noir didn't take away the aspect of nonprofessional actors that was used in Italian Neorealism, but did take away the appeal of lower working class struggles. Film Noir continues to evolve today keeping the appeal of Italian Neorealism at its basis.
Rossellini's Rome: Open City portrayed a vivid chronicle of Nazi occupation of Italy's capital and a small underground movement against the Nazis. It brought global awareness to the Italian Neorealism Movement.The next two films "Paisan" and "Germany Year Zero" ended his war trilogy.
De Sica's Bicycle Thieves tells the story of a man roaming the streets trying to find his bicycle only to steal another bicycle but was caught and labeled a thief. He was promised a job as long as he has a way to get there and soon after taking the job, his bike was stolen. This film shows the degree of desperation most Italians had during the post-war period.
"Ossessione" was popularly thought of as being the film that coined the term "Neorealism." The was Visconti's first feature film based on the novel the" Postman Always Rings Twice." This film recieved much attention from Fascist Censors and even the church because of its depiction of an illicit love affair, his harsh representation of Italian Provincial life, and a homosexual character.
French New Wave came about in the 1950's and 1960's. It was influenced by Italian Neorealism and Classical Hollywood Cinema. These directors were experimental in their films. They rejected the normal conventions of film making and tried new things such as with editing, themes, and shot compositions. Both filmed on location using small crews , captured the way people really interacted and talked, and favored looser more organic stories rather than complex ideas.
Cinema Nova (New Cinema) was influenced by two foreign models to make independent non-industrial films. They drew from Italian Neorealism it's use of nonprofessional actors and on-location shooting and from the French New Wave it's low budget production strategy.
Umberto D. train scene D: Vittorio De Sica (1952) A: Carlo Battisti
Nyisha Jones's insight:
The fall of Neorealism was often dubbed the Crisis of Realism. Neorealism began to decline at the beginning of the 1950s. Italy had increase in economic growth and the Italian economic miracle began. The growth gave Italy more optimism, which was more prevalent in American movies at the time. People began to see that the Italian films were demoralizing, since they revolved around the theme of poverty and suffering. They began to import American films and started to create some with a Hollywood theme. Italy even began to ban the exporting of Italian films. Even though the Neorealism period was short, it was very influential for future films.
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