Italian movies and the cinema of Italy

For many years, Italian movies have been recognized around the world thanks to the flms made by Italian directors such as Rossellini, Visconti, Fellini, De Sica, Taviani, Bertolucci, Pasolini, to name a few.
Many Italian actors gained worldwide success, among them Sophia Loren, Marcello Mastroianni, Alberto Sordi, Vittorio Gassman, and recently Roberto Benigni and Monica Bellucci.
Italian movie genres range from drama to comedy and everything in between. Lately RAI has produced many made-for-tv movies but also internationally acclaimed Italian movies.
Today, many Italian movies with English subtitles are available in DVD and for download or streaming.
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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, including royals and popes, with a simple crank-operated camera. The first film of which we know the title, from 1896 and filmed by Alberini, has been lost; it showed the King and Queen of Florence. The first film that has lasted until today and still viewable is about Pope Leo XIII going to pray in the Vatican gardens and he uses the camera to perform the first filmed blessing by a Pope, the film is exactly 2 minutes long. Full article
The spaghetti western
For a Few Dollars More, Clint Eastwood, 1965
With this definition we mean an entire series of Italian movies with a "western" setting (often filmed in Spain), not only with Italian actors, but also with famous American actors like Clint Eastwood.
Sergio Leone is the progenitor of this genre with the so-called "dollar trilogy": "Per un pugno di dollari" (1964), "Per qualche dollaro in più" (1965), and "Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo" (1966). Full article
The Neo-Realism
Open City, (AKA Roma, Citta Aperta), Anna Magnani, 1945
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 non-professional and therefore immersed in the daily life; there is a special attention to the language, with a great emphasis on regional dialects; regarding the image itself, the directors (among them Luchino Visconti, Roberto Rossellini, Vittorio De Sica, Giuseppe De Santis, Pietro Germi) insist on not changing the reality, avoiding artificial lighting or filming in studio, giving more attention to the outdoors, with indoor scenes filmed in homes of relatives or friends. Full article