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Italian part 4.docx

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University of Waterloo
Italian Studies

Italian Cinema Tuesday, March 12, 2013 10:24 AM The History of Italian Cinema  Precedents o Image-watching by mechanical means dates to 18th century Venice o Domenica Tiepolo's two frescoes, entitled Il mondo nuovo (The New World) show lantern device; first example of visual stimulation via mechanical means Peep Show Boxes  o People could look into a little box and they could watch a little mini version of the play  Silent Films o Filoteo Alberini (1865- 1937), inventor of Albertini Kinetograph  Improved by Thomas Edition; he was the first American to provide a 2 sec film o 1st commerical film: King Umberto and Margherita of Savoy Strolling in the Park (1896); director Vittorio Calcina (1847-1916) o Silent films = step beyond still photography o Lumiere brothers of France: inventors of cinema (1895)  Early film culture o Illiterate population o People-watching opportunity o Major movie theatres opened after 1905; prior, was cinema ambulante (itinerant cinema)  Itinerant cinema: when people would move around by train or wagon and go city to city to show them films  It was made for the poor so they could see the rich people in person o Fixed theatres = more sophisticated entertainment o 1906: Turin- 9 theatres, Milan-7, Rome- 23, and Naples- 25 o 1905: 1st feature film, The Taking of Rome; step toward more complex films  It was a big step forward because it was a longer film  Subject: breaching of Rome's Porta Pia by Italian troops, 1870=1870 annexation of Rome to Italian state  Plays civic function  Sets stage for historical epic  Lavish sets and large crowd scenes  Silent Film genre: Historical epic (most popular films) o Topics: Roman epics, Italy's literary classics, melodramas from verismo  Verismo: kind of narrative and naturalistic types of portraits o Features: lavish sets, large crows scenes o Popular in U.S. (b/c of George Kleine)  From the US and paid a fee to export films from Italy o Most successful: Pastrone's Cabiria (1914); historical accuracy; Gabriele D'Annunzio wrote intertitles  People would want to go see his film because of the name attached to it  Pastrone's Cabriria o Innovations:  Invention of dolly for moving between sets  Long shot to close-up for sense of space  More close-ups = emphasis on facial expressions and gestures  Superimpositions for dream sequences  Tinting of actors' hands  Artificial lighting o Storyline:  Epic battle between Rome and Carthage + Petrarch's Africa (2nd Punic War and love story)  Relationship between Cabiria (to be sacrificed to Carthaginian gods) and Fulvius Axilla (Roman spy, patrician)  Comtemporary significance: Italy victorious over Turkey (got Libya)  Divismo o Post WWI o =star system o Female actors = divas, meaning 'goddnesses' -> femme fatale o Female spectators wanted to identify with divas o Divas = seductive, so did not conform to 'acceptable' female behaviour-> subjected to punishment/suffering on-screen to re-establish 'order'  They were usually killed on set or tortured to show that woman should not be acting this way  Fascism in Italian Cinema o Fascism < Lat. Fasce (bundles), symbol of Roman authority o 1922: King of Italy asks Mussolini to replace current prime minister; begins 21 year dictatorship  The King had no idea that Mussolini would become a dictatorship and that it would last that long Mussolini had his roots as a socialist which is the opposite end of how he dictated   He was expelled from the party because of the newspaper he started  Became a fascist (far right); wanted an end to strike which was very prevalent in Italy  Fought in WWI at the front lines o Creation of government orgs to control society and eliminate anti-fascists (OVRA: secret police service) o Government policy: autonomy o Mussolini sees film industry as "the most powerful weapon" i.e. Propaganda o Documentary popular but also newsreels o 1926: Mussolini forms LUCE- state- sponsored documentary consortium making newsreels mandatory in movie theatres  Newreels would be projected because of Mussolini; before the movie would start  Through the reels, they would show what the regime was doing but only the good o Requirement of directors: highlight 'acceptable' gender roles on screen - men= virile, happy to fight for state; women= childbearers/mothers  Women were supposed to take on two roles when playing in theatres  Both as a mother and as a prostitute  WW II and Post WWII o Italy's ties to Germany strong by late 1930s o Italian king, Vittorio Emmanuele III plotted to arrest Mussolini and taken to prison; installed WWI hero, General Badoglio as head interim government o 1943: armistice signed between Italian monarchy and Allies; Germans still gained control over Italy; Mussolini rescued by German paratroopers o 1943-1945: Italy divided in half -  North: under Nazi German rule  South: under Allied protection o Anti-fascist resistance forming o 1945: Mussolini tries to escape to Switzerland, captured, killed, hung by feet in Milan along with mistress o Early 1950s: Italy in dire financial straits; the US gave them tons of money into Europe o Late 1950s: Italian economic 'miracle'  Neorealist Cinema: a cinema that tries to get people to want to reform o Began as Nazi troops departed Italy at end of WWII o Born to desire to tell story of suffering, through film o Country devastated o 1943: Allies invasion triggered fall of Mussolini, fascism, and Nazi occupation o Director Roberto Rossellini's 'Roma Open City' began in 1944 as Allies entered Rome  Released in 1945, the year the war ended  "Open City" refers to a city that in time of war that has been declared free from both sides o Genre characterized by desire for truth o Director Alberto Lattuada wrote 'Neorealist Manifesto', proposing neorealism as 'the great combat with truth' o Directors saw movement as social and aesthetic force; viewers identify with victims-> desire for reform  Did not want them turning into propaganda films o Element of newness: commitment to socio-political situation, invitation to solidarity o Characteristics: on-location shooting in authentic settings; non-pro actors (people taken off the streets); no elaborate plots; improvisation because they were not real actors  The sets are real buildings from the war; the buildings are actual buildings from the war  Kept things very simple to show what they were trying to fight against  Roma, citta aperta (1945) o Conflict between Nazism and Fascism and Italian Partisan Resistance o Male protags: Manifedi and Don Pietro o Female protags: Pina and Marina= victims of horrific times o Pina is only female depicted in 100% positive way- distate for fascist and Nazi men; partly heroic, partly 'good' woman and mother of Italian tradition o Pina is heroine of people, a leader o Camera shots of her same as for Manifredi = same level of importance o Represents tensions between 'good' woman and heroic woman = questioning of traditional fascist views of women o Film about defeat - highlights the misery and tragedy of war by re-creating wartime footage  It was so real that people thought they were watching a documentary Italian Immigration to Canada Wednesday, March 27, 2013 11:54 PM Definitions: What is emigration?? o Emigration (exit) is the act of leaving one country or region to settle in another What is immigration?? o Immigration (in) is the act of arriving in another country for the purposes of settlement In the beginning...  Cristoforo Colombo, Genoese, sailed for Spain in 1492, came upon shores of N. America in search of India o In search of spices and other luxurious things  Giovanni Caboto (John Cabot) sailed for England in 1497, landed on shores of Newfoundland o Bona vista Habour: John Cabot said Bona vista when finally reaching there  Amerigo Vespucci of Florence explored shores of Venezuela, name given to America  Jesuit priests in New France, esp. Father Giuseppe Bressani, in Huronia (present day Ste. Marie among the Hurons, Midland, Ontario) o New France (present day Quebec) Mass Exodus  1500-1870: sizable number of Italians go to British colonies of Americas  Post-1861: by end 19th century 7 million Italians left= Italy's #1 social and economic problem o Italy became a country in 1861; it was an unstable period because they had too many people leaving  1901: record year for emigration - 533,000 Italians left  Post
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