The course will consist of a broad and varied sampling of classic Italian films from WWII to the present. We will consider the works which typify major directors and major trends through five decades of filmmaking. I will trace a certain stylistic and thematic development from WWII to the present, pointing out both the continuity of the tradition, and exceptions to it, in an attempt to define the art of Italian film. Units will include "Neorealism: The Cinematic Revolution," "Self-Reflexivity and Meta-cinema," "Fascism and War Revisited," and "Postmodernism, or the Death of Cinema." One of the aims of the course will be to make us aware of the expectations that Hollywood has implanted in us: that films be actionp-packed wish-fulfillment fantasies. Italian cinema will challenge us to re-examine and revise the very narrow conception that we Americans have of the cinematic medium. Classes will include close visual analysis of films using video clips and slides. Students will be required to attend weekly screenings of the films on Wednesdays from 4-6p.m. The films will be in Italian with English subtitles. There will be 12 in all, and though the schedule is still tentative, it will include works of Fellini, Antonioni, De Sica, Visconti, Pasolini, Wertmuller, Rossellini, Bertolucci and Moretti.
Readings: Duggan, Christopher: "A Concise History of Italy". Collected essays and interviews.
Assignments and Computation of Grades:
There will be 4 papers of at least 4 pages each and a comprehensive final exam.
Class Participation: 15%