Surrounded by the shambolic ruins of World War II, human and structural, filmmakers had ready-made drama even in their backdrop, the atmosphere anxiety-charged and utterly uncertain. After twenty-one years under Mussolini, all bets were off as to what direction Italy would take. Though unstated, this almost civil war-like tension fuels neo-realist cinema. Characteristics Ideologically, the characteristics of Italian neorealism were:
It was in this prosaic and pragmatic atmosphere that the middle classes—bored with the unheroic and positivist spirit of former decades—began to feel the need for a new myth. Perhaps his most influential work was his literary criticismwhich he expounded and continually revised in articles and books spanning nearly half a century.
Unfortunately, his highly systematized approach to criticism led to a certain rigidity and a refusal to recognize the merits of some obviously important writers, and this was undoubtedly one reason why after World War II his authority waned.
His monumental corpus of philosophical, critical, and historical works of great scholarship, humour, and common sense remains, however, the greatest single intellectual feat in the history of modern Italian culture.
Literary trends before World War I While Croce was starting his arduous task, literary life revolved mainly around reviews such as Leonardo Italian film essay, HermesLa Voceand Lacerbafounded and edited by relatively small literary coteries.
The leader of the Futuristi was Filippo Tommaso Marinettieditor of Poesiaa fashionable cosmopolitan review. This led to an excessive cult of form in the narrow sense—as exemplified by the elegant but somewhat bloodless essays elzeviri published in Italian newspapers on page three—and obviously fitted in with the stifling of free expression under fascism.
The sterility of this period, however, should not be exaggerated. The 20 years of fascist rule were hardly conducive to creativity, but in the dark picture there were a few glimmers of light.
Meanwhile, the Florentine literary reviews Solaria, Frontespizio, and Letteratura, while having to tread carefully with the authorities, provided an outlet for new talent.
Novelists such as Alberto MoraviaCorrado Alvaro Gente in Aspromonte [; Revolt in Aspromonte ]and Carlo Bernari had to use circumspection in stating their views but were not completely silenced.
The controversial Ignazio Silonehaving chosen exile, could speak openly in Fontamara Courtesy of the Italian Institute, London To multiply the fragmentation of levels of reality, Pirandello tried to destroy conventional dramatic structures and to adopt new ones: This was a way of transferring the dissociation of reality from the plane of content to that of form, thereby achieving an almost perfect unity between ideas and dramatic structure.
Pirandello was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. The Hermetic movement Poetry in the fascist period underwent a process of involution, partly influenced by French Symbolismwith its faith in the mystical power of words, and partly under the stress of changed political conditions after World War I, during which literature had declined.
Many poets of the wartime generation, weary of tradition and rhetorichad been seeking new expression: Out of those efforts grew a poetry combining the acoustic potentialities of words with emotional restraint and consisting mainly of fragmentary utterances in which words were enhanced by contextual isolation and disruption of syntactic and semantic links.
The resultant obscurity compensated poets for loss of influence in a society subservient to dictatorship by turning them into an elite and allowed some, notably Eugenio Montale who won the Nobel Prize for Literature into express their pessimism covertly.
The model for these poets was Giuseppe Ungaretti. Born, like the Futurist Marinetti, of Italian parents in the cosmopolitan Egyptian seaport of Alexandria, Ungaretti studied in Pariswhere among his friends were the avant-garde poet Guillaume Apollinaire and the painters Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque.
In these poems each word is pronounced in isolation, as if a petrified, shell-shocked language had to be invented from scratch. This allusive and hieratic poetry recovers many elements of the tradition and couches them in a splendid but opaque diction.
Thus, what in the s had appeared revolutionary proved later to be only another facet of the formalistic Petrarchan tradition. Against this background of refinement, obscurity, and unreality, only the simple and moving poems of the Triestine poet Umberto Saba preserved an immediate appeal.
This development had been foreshadowed by some writers under fascism. In Alberto Moravia had written a scathing indictment of middle-class moral indifference, Gli indifferenti ; Time of Indifference.
The Harvesters ; and Elio Vittorini wrote Conversazione in Sicilia ; Conversation in Sicily ; all definitely promised a new literary development.
Certain English authors, the homegrown veristi, and the ideas of Marxism were also an influence on postwar authors, to whom in varying degrees the rather imprecise label of Neorealism applied also to postwar Italian cinema was attached.
It was a stimulating time in which to write, with a wealth of unused material at hand. The Estate in Abruzzi]. The Naked Streets ] and Metello [; Eng. The Priest Among the Pigeons.
Other writings Literary tastes gradually became less homogeneous. On the one hand, there was the rediscovery of the experimentalism of Carlo Emilio Gaddawhose best works had been written between and For this reason, it is easier to see Italian writing in terms of individual territory rather than general trends.
Italo Calvino concentrated on fantastic tales Il visconte dimezzato [; The Cloven Viscount], Il barone rampante [; The Baron in the Trees ], and Il cavaliere inesistente [; The Nonexistent Knight ] and, later, on moralizing science fiction Le cosmicomiche [; Cosmicomics ] and Ti con zero [; t zero].
Meanwhile, Alberto Moravia and Mario Soldati defended their corners as never less than conspicuously competent writers. Moravia generally plowed a lone furrow.
Slant Magazine's film section is your gateway to some of the web's most incisive and biting film criticism and features. I saw "The Italian Job" in a Chicago screening room, in the midst of a rush of new summer releases. I recollect it now from the Cannes Film Festival, which has assembled one unendurable film after another for its worst year in memory. That doesn't make "The Italian Job" a better film, but it. Italian neorealism was the first postwar cinema to liberate filmmaking from the artificial confines of the studio and, by extension, from the Hollywood-originated studio system.
Of his mature writings, Agostino ; Eng. Empty Canvas stand out as particular achievements.Senso is a Italian historical melodrama film, an adaptation of Camillo Boito's Italian novella Senso by the Italian director Luchino Visconti, with Alida Valli as Livia Serpieri and Farley Granger as Lieutenant Franz Mahler..
Originally, Visconti had hoped to cast Ingrid Bergman and Marlon Brando in the lead roles. However, Bergman was then married to Italian . Crime and Gangster Films are developed around the sinister actions of criminals or gangsters, particularly bankrobbers, underworld figures, or ruthless hoodlums who operate outside the law, stealing and violently murdering their way through life.
In the s, a new type of crime thriller emerged, more dark and cynical - see the section on film .
I saw "The Italian Job" in a Chicago screening room, in the midst of a rush of new summer releases. I recollect it now from the Cannes Film Festival, which has assembled one unendurable film after another for its worst year in memory. That doesn't make "The Italian Job" a better film, but it. Italy (Italian: Italia (listen)), officially the Italian Republic (Italian: Repubblica Italiana [reˈpubblika itaˈljaːna]), is a country in Europe.
Located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, San Marino, and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of , km 2 (, sq mi) and has a largely temperate seasonal. Italian neorealism was the first postwar cinema to liberate filmmaking from the artificial confines of the studio and, by extension, from the Hollywood-originated studio system.
Slant Magazine's film section is your gateway to some of the web's most incisive and biting film criticism and features.