World Cinema: Italy

Italian film industry has been developing since early 1900s and has remained one of the most important cinematic cultures to this day. Post-war Italy has brought us the Italian Neorealist movement (also known as the Italian Golden Age) which took as its main topics the economical and moral hardship, lives of poor and working-class citizens of the Post-war Italy and neighbouring countries. In the 50s the movement declined, giving a lighter in tone films known as Commedia all’italiana which is best known by works of Federico Fellini and Michelangelo Antonini. Later years have brought to light influential genre films (spaghetti westerns and erotic thrillers) as well as other internationally recognised masterpieces of cinema. The country is also famed for its prestigious Venice Film Festival.

1. Cinema Paradiso (1988)

The story of a young boy who is becomes infatuated with film. What is so remarkable about a film such as this one is that you feel satisfied watching it, and truly absorbed into the world of the characters. The chemistry and connection on screen is breath-taking, watching love, death, sadness, anger and hope play out on screen.

2. Life is Beautiful (1997)

A bitter-sweet story of an Italian man Guido, who is often clowning around and engaging in slapstick like behaviour, who falls deeply in love with the beautiful Dora. They get married, have a child, traditional love story. Guido then is forced to take his son on an adventure, in which he plays an extreme game of hide and seek. Or, that’s what it seems to the young child.

3. Bicycle Thieves (1948)

The story of Antonio and Bruno, father and son. An Italian Neo-Realism theme of a poor man who gets his bicycle stolen, in which him and his son go on a journey to reclaim it. An accurate portrayal of still having hope when nothing appears to be going your way.

4. La Dolche Vita (1960)

Not to be confused with the restaurant on campus. The story of a paparazzo who entwines the stories of different characters. The cinematography is beautiful, as is the dialogue. Worth a watch.

5. Battle of Algiars (1966)

Historically discusses the issues of colonisation and post-colonialism, the Battle of Algaries is a saddening film that makes you realise how harsh some countries really were. Educational but not to be mistaken for boring.