To install click the Add extension button. That's it.

The source code for the WIKI 2 extension is being checked by specialists of the Mozilla Foundation, Google, and Apple. You could also do it yourself at any point in time.

Kelly Slayton
Congratulations on this excellent venture… what a great idea!
Alexander Grigorievskiy
I use WIKI 2 every day and almost forgot how the original Wikipedia looks like.
What we do. Every page goes through several hundred of perfecting techniques; in live mode. Quite the same Wikipedia. Just better.

Italian neorealism

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Italian neorealism (Italian: Neorealismo), also known as the Golden Age, is a national film movement characterized by stories set amongst the poor and the working class, filmed on location, and frequently using non-professional actors. Italian neorealism films mostly contend with the difficult economic and moral conditions of post-World War II Italy, representing changes in the Italian psyche and conditions of everyday life, including poverty, oppression, injustice, and desperation.


Italian neorealism came about as World War II ended and Benito Mussolini's government fell, causing the Italian film industry to lose its centre. Neorealism was a sign of cultural change and social progress in Italy. Its films presented contemporary stories and ideas and were often shot on location as the Cinecittà film studios had been damaged significantly during the war.

The neorealist style was developed by a circle of film critics that revolved around the magazine Cinema, including:

Largely prevented from writing about politics (the editor-in-chief of the magazine was Vittorio Mussolini, son of Benito Mussolini), the critics attacked the Telefoni Bianchi ("white telephone") films that dominated the industry at the time. As a counter to the popular mainstream films, some critics felt that Italian cinema should turn to the realist writers from the turn of the 20th century.

Wandering Musicians by Italian neorealist artist Bruno Caruso (1953)
Wandering Musicians by Italian neorealist artist Bruno Caruso (1953)

Many of the filmmakers involved in neorealism developed their skills working on Calligrafismo films in the early 1940s (though the short-lived movement was markedly different from neorealism). Elements of neorealism are also found in the films of Alessandro Blasetti and the documentary-style films of Francesco De Robertis. Two of the most significant precursors of neorealism are Jean Renoir's Toni (1935) and Blasetti's 1860 (1934). Both Visconti and Michelangelo Antonioni worked closely with Renoir.

In the spring of 1945, Mussolini was executed and Italy was liberated from German occupation. This period, known as the "Italian Spring," broke from old ways and fostered a more realistic approach to making films. Italian cinema went from utilizing elaborate studio sets to shooting on location in the countryside and city streets in a realist style.[1]

Although the true beginning of neorealism has been widely contested by theorists and filmmakers, the first neorealist film is generally thought to be Visconti's Ossessione, released in 1943, during the occupation. Neorealism became famous globally in 1946 with Roberto Rossellini's Rome, Open City, when it won the Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival as the first major film produced in Italy after the war.

Italian neorealism rapidly declined in the early 1950s. liberal and socialist parties were having difficulties presenting their message. The vision of the existing poverty and despair, presented by neorealist cinema, was demoralizing a nation anxious for prosperity and change. Additionally, the first positive effects of the Italian economic miracle period—such as gradual rises in income levels—caused the themes of neorealism to lose their relevance. As a consequence, most Italians favored the optimism shown in many American movies of the time. The views of the post-war Italian government of the time were also far from positive, and the remark of Giulio Andreotti, who was then a vice-minister in the De Gasperi cabinet, characterized the official view of the movement: Neorealism is "dirty laundry that shouldn't be washed and hung to dry in the open".[citation needed]

Italy's move from individual concern with neorealism to the tragic frailty of the human condition can be seen through Federico Fellini's films. His early works La Strada (1954) and Il bidone (1955) are transitional movies. The larger social concerns of humanity, treated by neorealists, gave way to the exploration of individuals. Their needs, their alienation from society and their tragic failure to communicate became the main focal point in the Italian films to follow in the 1960s. Similarly, Antonioni's Red Desert (1964) and Blow-up (1966) take the neorealist trappings and internalise them in the suffering and search for knowledge brought out by Italy's post-war economic and political climate.

In the early 1950s the neorealist torch was picked up by artists like Sicily's Bruno Caruso, whose work focused on the warehouses, shipyards and psychiatric wards of his native Palermo.[2]


Neorealist films were generally filmed with nonprofessional actors, although in a number of cases, well-known actors were cast in leading roles, playing strongly against their normal character types in front of a background populated by local people rather than extras brought in for the film.

They were shot almost exclusively on location, mostly in rundown cities as well as rural areas.

Neorealist films typically explore the conditions of the poor and the lower working class. Characters often exist within a simple social order where survival is the primary objective. Performances are mostly constructed from scenes of people performing fairly mundane and quotidian activities, devoid of the self-consciousness that amateur acting usually entails. Neorealist films often feature children in major roles, though their characters are frequently more observational than participatory.

Open City established several of the principles of neorealism, depicting clearly the struggle of normal Italian people to live from day to day under the extraordinary difficulties of the German occupation of Rome, consciously doing what they can to resist the occupation. The children play a key role in this, and their presence at the end of the film is indicative of their role in neorealism as a whole: as observers of the difficulties of today who hold the key to the future. Vittorio De Sica's 1948 film Bicycle Thieves is also representative of the genre, with non-professional actors, and a story that details the hardships of working-class life after the war.

In the period from 1944 to 1948, many neorealist filmmakers drifted away from pure neorealism. Some directors explored allegorical fantasy, such as de Sica's Miracle in Milan, and historical spectacle, like Senso by Visconti. It was also the time period when a more upbeat neorealism emerged, which produced films that melded working-class characters with 1930s-style populist comedy, as seen in de Sica's Umberto D.[3]

At the height of neorealism, in 1948, Visconti adapted I Malavoglia, a novel by Giovanni Verga, written during the 19th century realist verismo movement (in many ways the basis for neorealism, which is therefore sometimes referred to as neoverismo),[citation needed] bringing the story to a modern setting, which resulted in remarkably little change in either the plot or the tone. The resulting film, The Earth Trembles, starred only nonprofessional actors and was filmed in the same village (Aci Trezza) in which the novel was set.

More contemporary theorists of Italian neorealism characterize it less as a consistent set of stylistic characteristics and more as the relationship between film practice and the social reality of post-war Italy. Millicent Marcus delineates the lack of consistent film styles of neorealist film.[4] Peter Brunette and Marcia Landy both deconstruct the use of reworked cinematic forms in Rossellini's Open City.[5] Using psychoanalysis, Vincent Rocchio characterizes neorealist film as consistently engendering the structure of anxiety into the structure of the plot itself.[6]


The period between 1943 and 1950 in the history of Italian cinema is dominated by the impact of neorealism, which is properly defined as a moment or a trend in Italian film rather than an actual school or group of theoretically motivated and like-minded directors and scriptwriters. Its impact nevertheless has been enormous not only on Italian film but also on French New Wave cinema,[7] the Polish Film School and ultimately on films all over the world. It also influenced film directors of India's Parallel Cinema movement, including Satyajit Ray (who directed the award-winning Apu Trilogy) and Bimal Roy (who made Do Bigha Zameen [1953]), both heavily influenced by Vittorio De Sica's Bicycle Thieves (1948).[8]

Furthermore, as some critics have argued, the abandoning of the classical way of doing cinema and so the starting point of the French New Wave and the Modern Cinema can be found in the post-war Italian cinema and in the neorealism experiences.[9][10] In particular,

this cinema seems to be constituted as a new subject of knowledge, which itself builds and develops. It produces a new world in which the main elements have not so many narrative functions as they have their own aesthetic value, related with the eye that is watching them and not with the action they are coming from.[11]

The Neorealist period is often simply referred to as "The Golden Age" of Italian cinema by critics, filmmakers and scholars.

Significant works

Precursors and influences

The extent to which Italian neorealism was truly innovative continues to be debated among film historians. Despite its wide influence, some have argued that it was more a revival of earlier Italian creative works than a groundbreaking movement. Important forerunners of Italian neorealism include:

Main works

Major figures

Italian neorealist artist Bruno Caruso in Istanbul (1954)
Italian neorealist artist Bruno Caruso in Istanbul (1954)

See also


  1. ^ Thompson, Kristin. Bordwell, David. Film History: An Introduction, Third Edition. McGraw Hill. 2010, pp. 330-331.
  2. ^ Caruso - Italian Neorealist Ink Drawings
  3. ^ Bordwell, David. Thompson, Kristin. Film History: An Introduction. "Postwar European Cinema: Neorealism and Its Context, 1945-1959". Pg. 333
  4. ^ Marcus, Italian Film in the Light of Neorealism (Princeton University Press, 1987) ).
  5. ^ Brunette Roberto Rosellini (Oxford University Press, 1987) and Landy "Diverting clichés: femininity, masculinity, melodrama, and neorealism in Open City" in Roberto Rosellini's Rome Open City (Cambridge University Press, 2004) ).
  6. ^ Rocchio, Cinema of Anxiety: A Psychoanalysis of Italian Neorealism (UT Press, 1999).
  7. ^ "What is Italian Neorealism: The Movement That Changed Cinema". Filmmaking Lifestyle. Retrieved May 17, 2021.
  8. ^ Anwar Huda (2004). The Art and science of Cinema. Atlantic Publishers & Dist. p. 100. ISBN 81-269-0348-1.
  9. ^ Miccichè, Lino (1975). Il neorealismo cinematografico italiano (in Italian). Dharavi: Marsilio. ISBN 978-88-317-7237-2.
  10. ^ Daniele, Romina (2011). Ascenseur pour l'échafaud, Il luogo della musica nell'audiovisione. Milan: RDM. p. 41. ISBN 978-88-904905-9-0.
  11. ^ Sainati, Augusto (1998). Supporto, soggetto, oggetto: forme di costruzione del sapere dal cinema ai nuovi media, in Costruzione e appropriazione del sapere nei nuovi scenari tecnologici (in Italian). Napoli: CUEN. p. 154.
  12. ^ Ronald Bergan, The Film Book (Penguin, 2011), p. 154.
  13. ^ Bordwell, David & Thompson, Kristin. Film Art; An Introduction. 8th edition. p. 461

Further reading

  • Mario Verdone, Il Cinema Neorealista, da Rossellini a Pasolini (Celebes Editore, 1977).

External links

This page was last edited on 15 June 2021, at 09:54
Basis of this page is in Wikipedia. Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported License. Non-text media are available under their specified licenses. Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. WIKI 2 is an independent company and has no affiliation with Wikimedia Foundation.