Sunday, September 20, 2009

Here is Andrea's syllabus for his course that starts in two weeks. If anyone wants to audit it, I am sure he wouldn't mind. And you can stay with us for the ten weeks. But note that it is all in Italian! And most of the films are pretty heavy since it does cover Italian history after WWII.

BCSP – Fall 2009

DESCRIPTION: This course aims to offer a broad view of the Italian cinema in its historical passage from the widely recognized Neo-realist foundations to the great divide of the revolutionary sixties, which we see as the culmination of its golden age. The modernization of Italian society, the building up of the urban space over the agricultural tradition, and the problem of Italian identity as reflected in the cinema of the sixties will be among the main points discussed in the course.

All the films we will study, with a variety of styles and ideological underpinnings, explore crucial moments in the history of modern Italian society. By interpreting that history from different standpoints, the directors/authors represent encounters between cultures and religions, social classes, and the sexes. These films lend themselves to enriching discussions on film aesthetics, the development of Italian cinema, and notions of national identity and ethnicity, gender roles, and the class struggle.
INSTRUCTOR: Andrea Ricci is Adjunct Assistant Professor of Italian at Indiana University and Resident Director of the Bologna Consortial Studies Program in Bologna. His research interests are focused on several aspects of the Italian Cinema and Literature of the XX century. He has published several articles especially on genres like the Italian poliziesco, the police procedural novel, and the noir film. His most recent interests are centered upon the problem of the Italian identity as represented through film.

METHOD OF PRESENTATION: Classroom lectures and group discussions.
REQUIRED WORK AND FORM OF ASSESSMENT: Participation (20%), mid-term exam (30%), oral exam (30%), class assignments (20%)

• Introduction to the course. Italian History at the end of the Fascist period. Italo Calvino’s introduction to his "Il sentiero dei nidi di ragno" (1964)
• Neo-realism: a point of re-birth. The three directors: Rossellini, De Sica, Visconti.Roberto Rossellini: Roma città aperta (1945)
• Neo-realism according to André Bazin vs. Cesare Zavattini.
• The great divide and the fake reconciliation between two opposite concepts of Italy as a unified country. The "catholic-communism" Guareschi, censorship, and the "Neorealismo rosa." Julien Duvivier: Don Camillo (1952)
• The Italian provinces - the dreams of a group of young men: escape or integration? Federico Fellini: I Vitelloni (1953)
• Moraldo goes to town. Neo-realism betrayed?
• A new genre: Comedy Italian Style. The regional identities. The first signs of the Italian industrial revolution. Mario Monicelli: I soliti ignoti (1958)
• Getting ready for the Economic Miracle. Religion, morals, politics, culture.
• Italian history in the life of an ordinary Italian: the case of Alberto Sordi. The "Boom". Dino Risi: Una vita difficile (1961)
• Politics and History of the Economic Miracle. Social and cultural changes. The industrialization of family ties. The economic Boom in the north, in the south and in central Italy. The "film-inchiesta".
• The change from a country of peasants to a country of employees. Society in fast and constant change. Ermanno Olmi and the pseudo-documentary feature film. Ermanno Olmi: Il Posto (1961)
• Olmi’s style. Signs and cinema. The boom in the north. Calvino’s "La speculazione edilizia". What is "La dolce vita"? Structuralism and new theories. The great international success. The turning point in cinema and society. The country is changing, its cinema is changing. Italy is no longer the same. Art film vs. neo-realist film. Federico Fellini: La dolce vita (1960)
• The group ’63. Roland Barthes’ structuralist theory. Fellini and Antonioni: two ways to intend cinema and art. Instinct vs. intellectualism. Painting vs. geometry. Michelangelo Antonioni: L’Avventura (1959)
• More about the the bittersweet mix of the Comedy Italian Style. The Italian stereotypes. The problem of national identity. Pietro Germi: Divorzio all’italiana (1962)
• The episodic film: the representation of women. Dino Risi: I mostri (1962) and Federico Fellini: Le tentazioni del Dottor Antonio (1963)
• A voice in the desert. Pier Paolo Pasolini: a non-traditional personality. Hopelessness and death in the rural communities of Rome. Pasolini’s theories of cinema.
• How to negotiate between religion and Marxism: unresolved conflict. Right and Left in Italy. Pier Paolo Pasolini: Mamma Roma (1962)
• Identity and comedy. Broken dreams. The separation of classes creates the basis of conflict. The s-boom. Dino Risi: Il sorpasso (1963)

General rules:
The course is based on the instructor’s lectures on films and on historical periods that will be gradually examined, but the participation of students to discussion is required. At every meeting, readings or homework will be assigned and every week the instructor will start the class with questions about such readings or the vision of films. Students’ ability in answering these questions will be taken into consideration in the count of the final grade.


Paula said...

hmmm, interesting! My italian is not quite up to par, and I think I'll have to wait for Andrea's next class offering to see if it is a good fit for me!
hope all is well,

suziq said...

I'm packing my bags !
Only I need to bring Angela along to translate for me :-)
Oh to be able to spend time expanding the mind-- why didnt I enjoy those years more.

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