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History of the Cinema of Italy

History of the Cinema of Italy

Read about the Cinema of Italy genres and periods, from the first movies to the new directors.

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Cinema of Italy: First stars and propaganda films

It was during those war years that a new genre was born, the so-called propaganda film: the one in which a hero, sometime a mythological character, becomes involved in war adventures with acts of heroism, but to never show any opposition to the real violence of war. During Mussolini's regime...
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Cinema of Italy: The social and political movies

In this context, new directors continue and expand the work already started years before by directors like Francesco Rosi, whose film "Salvatore Giuliano" recounts the life of the famous Sicilian outlaw in 1961. Some of the most relevant movies are "Indagine su un cittadino al di sopra di ogni...
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Cinema of Italy: Pier Paolo Pasolini

A case apart from the cultural and cinematographic landscape of the times is Pier Paolo Pasolini, director, actor and author, who in his work showed an opposition to the morals of the times. A true anti-conformist, until his death (occurred under obscure circumstances in 1975) he never tired of fighting...
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Cinema of Italy: Other authors from 1950 to 2006

Ermanno Olmi is considered by many the catholic opposite of Pasolini: a rare example of poet-director but opposed to the Marxist ideology of Pasolini's movies. Since the movie debut in 1958 of "Il tempo si è fermato", an emotional parable between the relationship of man with nature, Olmi's artistic...
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Cinema of Italy: The new millennium

The Italian movies of the 21st century In 2001 Nanni Moretti wins the Palm D'or at the Cannes Film festival with "La stanza del figlio" while Ermanno Olmi completes one of his most important works: "Il mestiere delle armi", a movie that strikes for its poetic and realistic vision and...
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Cinema of Italy: The season of neorealism (1943-1955)

In this context the neorealist genre was born, an artistic and cultural movement that embraces all forms of art, but in particular cinema. The neorealist cinema has the main focus of showing the real condition of the country: often it's about the struggle of poor families; actors are usually...
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Cinema of Italy: The beginning of the film industry

The first pioneer movies (1896-1902) The first Italian movies were documentaries, filmed in a few seconds in which those fierce pioneers (first and foremost a former cartographer of the Military Institute in Florence, none less inventor, camera operator and director, Filoteo Alberini) would record facts and people of their times,...
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Cinema of Italy: Horror and thriller

One of the fundamental directors of this genre was first and foremost Mario Bava, a cinematographer turned into director. Not only had he created a real starting point for the quality of horror movies in Italy but it was mostly because of his great narrative, both cultured and sophisticated....
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Cinema of Italy: The Golden Age (1910-1914)

Those colossals were directed by Mario Caserini ("Gli ultimi giorni di Pompei", 1913), Enrico Guazzone ("Marc Anthony and Cleopatra", 1913) and most notably Giovanni Pastrone, who in 1914 directed the famous "Cabiria", with the honor of being shown as a premiere at the White House in front of the...
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Cinema of Italy: The film crisis of 1980s

A new physiological process is taking place and it is bound to the popularity of commercial television, with similar effect in other countries with great cinema traditions such as Japan and France. During these years the Italian comedy disappears as a genre and the cinema d'autore becomes more isolated...
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Cinema of Italy: The great crisis (1919-1929)

Very popular now are the passion dramas, many of them inspired by classic literary works and theatre plays, directed by specialists like Roberto Roberti (father of Sergio Leone) and the religious colossals of Giulio Antamoro. Famous names from the stage, like Eleonora Duse ("Cenere", 1916) and La Bella Otero...
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Cinema of Italy: The Italian comedy movies

The movie won an Oscar in 1963 for best original screenplay. In this new genre, we can recall names of the main Italian actors of the times, from Alberto Sordi to Ugo Tognazzi, from Monica Vitti to Claudia Cardinale, from Vittorio Gassman to Nino Manfredi, not to mention Totò...
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Cinema of Italy: Cinecittà & monopoly (1937-1939)

Mussolini approved the project and an area South-East of Rome was selected and after two years of building, on April 21st 1937, he participated at the inauguration of Cinecittà, with a new slogan "Cinematography is the strongest weapon". Cinecittà was conceived like Hollywood, with everything a film maker could desire...
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Cinema of Italy: Avant-garde (1911-1919)

The Manifesto of Futuristic Cinematography dates back to 1916 (some sources say those experiments started earlier) and it was signed also by Filippo Marinetti, Armando Ginna, Bruno Corra, Giacomo Balla, etc. To the futurists, the cinema was an ideal form of art for their "wonderful plays", being a young medium,...
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Cinema of Italy: Authors from 1950s to 1970s

It is useless to classify a movie genre so deeply tied to their authors, a genre that began to develop during that decade and virtually ended with the death of Fellini in the early 1990s. Michelangelo Antonioni (with movies like "Le amiche", "Il grido" and the trilogy "L'avventura" in 1960,...
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Cinema of Italy: Animation

The pioneer of Italian animation has been Francesco Guido, better known as "Gibba". In 1946 he produced his first animated movies for the Italian cinema: "L'ultimo sciuscià" with neorealist undertones and in the following years "Rompicollo" and "I picchiatelli" in cooperation with Antonio Attanasi. In the 1970s, after...
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Cinema of Italy: The 1990s

During the 1990s, with great directors gone, a weakness in commercial success and the inability to create new genres, the Italian cinema production will go on with improvisation. Unfortunately, the prestige and international success of some of Italy's directors (among them Giuseppe Tornatore and Roberto Benigni), is not enough to...

Cinema of Italy, History and Biographies

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