ITAL261 History of Italian Cinema, Tina Fallani, Fall 2019 | SACI College of Art & Design Florence

ITAL261 History of Italian Cinema, Tina Fallani, Fall 2019

Required Texts

In compliance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act Textbook Provision, SACI provides, when possible, the International Standard Book Number (ISBN) and retail price of required and recommended reading. Note: Students are not required to purchase this text; it is on reserve at all times in the SACI Worthington Library.

  • Peter Bondanella: Italian Cinema: From Neorealism to PresentContinuum Third Edition, 2001.
    ISBN: 9780826412478 (Retail price: To Be Determined)  
  • Readers of articles and reviews (in the library)

Assignments

  • Attendance to lectures and screenings.
  • One midterm paper and a final test (essay questions).
  • Oral presentations.

Grades

  • 30% class participation
  • 30% midterm paper
  • 40% final exam

Attendance

Attendance to class and screenings is mandatory! Unjustified absences as well as being late for class will result in the lowering of the grade.

Expectations

Come to class. Be on time. Do the homework. Engage in discussion. Develop your own perspective. You are expected to have completed all the readings and critically engage in dialogue with the material each time you step into the classroom. You are expected to carefully watch the film and take notes during the showing. You are expected to work together as groups, equalizing participation among your members. You are expected to do research, be friendly, and think constantly.

Two unexcused absences from class will count as a loss of one third grade point: example, A becomes A-. Excused absences are: a doctor’s note, fingerprinting for Permit of Stay, absences for administrative reasons like official school meetings.

Structure of Class - Presentations

Prepare a plot summary of the film. Point out the main points of the articles. If you are unsure about a concept, we will discuss it in class. Your investigation will explore the social, political, technological, industrial, aesthetic, and cultural elements that relate to the film (including production and reception). You can engage with popular and scholarly sources, books and periodicals, DVDs and websites, trailers and advertisements, statistics and movie reviews and any historical document that informs us about the period. Select a few clips from the film to illustrate your argument. After presenting your analysis, ask questions of your classmates. 
Use your notes taken during the film to assist you in recalling information and thoughts.

To prepare for a discussion of the film, research these questions to put the film in a broader context:

  1. Prepare a brief biography of the director.
  2. What is the historical context of the film?
  3. What were the conditions of the film's production? 
  4. What elements of the film itself are of artistic importance? 
  5. Cultural and social importance? 
  6. Historical importance? 
  7. Analyze each character of the film.
  8. What are the main issues that the film deals with?
  9. What was the reception of the film? 
  10. How was the film reviewed when it opened? 
  11. How did it do at the box office? 
  12. Does the film engage with any particular technology or storytelling aesthetics? 
  13. How does it compare to the other films we have viewed?
  14. Prepare a few questions for class discussion.

Choose a few clips to anchor discussion of some of the above topics. Make sure your approach to the film has a point. Do research, make an argument, and support it with well-chosen evidence and supplementary material. If members of your group disagree on a point or two, present it in the context of your report. Disagreement is productive and natural. If you feel something is significant, repeat it without hesitation. What's better than repetition is amplification to lead the discussion into a larger concept or issue. 
 

Schedule

Week 1

Tuesday, September 10
Introduction to the course
Weekly screening: L’ULTIMO BACIO, Gabriele Muccino 2000
Weekly assignment: Film reviews and essays

Week 2

Tuesday, September 17
Lecture on L'Ultimo Bacio and class discussion
Weekly screening: THE LAST KISS, Tony Goldwyn 2006 (103 minutes)
Weekly assignment: Film reviews and essays

Week 3

Tuesday, September 24
Class discussion
Weekly screening: OPEN CITY, Roberto Rossellini 1945 (100 minutes)
Weekly assignment: Bondanella: Chapter 3 (pages 61-71)
Marcus: Rossellini’s Open City: The Founding

Week 4

Tuesday, October 1
Lecture on Open City
Weekly screening: THE MIRACLE OF SANT'ANNA, Spike Lee, 2008(160 minutes)
Weekly assignment: Film reviews

Week 5

Tuesday, October 8
Class discussion
Weekly screening: THE BICYCLE THIEF, Vittorio De Sica 1948 (93 minutes)
Weekly assignment: Bondanella: Chaper 3 (pages 85-89)
Marcus: De Sica's The Bicycle Thief: Casting Shadows on the Visionary City

Week 6

Tuesday, October 15
Lecture on The Bicycle Thief
Weekly screening: THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS, Gabriele Muccino, 2006 (117 minutes)
Weekly assignment: Film reviews

Week 7

Tuesday, October 22
Midterm Exam

   

Week 8

MIDTERM BREAK (October 26 - November 3)

   

Week 9

Tuesday, November 5
Student presentation and class discussion
Weekly screening: LA DOLCE VITA, Federico Fellini 1959 (180 minutes)
Weekly assignment: Bondanella: Chapter 9 (pages 259 and 285-292)
Burke: La Dolce Vita

Week 10

Tuesday, November 12
Student presentation and class discussion
Weekly screening: LA GRANDE BELLEZZA, Paolo Sorrentino, 2013 (142 minutes)
Weekly assignment: Film reviews

Week 11

Tuesday, November 19
Student presentation and class discussion
Weekly screening: CINEMA PARADISO, Giuseppe Tornatore, 1988 (123 minutes)
Weekly assignment: Bondanella: Chapter 12 (focus o Tornatore)
Marcus: "Giuseppe Tornatore's Cinema Paradiso and the Art of Nostalgia"
Essay by Barbara Poyner
Film reviews

Week 12

Tuesday, November 26
Student presentation and class discussion
Weekly screening: LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL, Roberto Benigni, 1998 (188 minutes)
Weekly assignment: Bondanella: Chapter 12 (focus on Benigni)
Marcus: "The Seriousness of Humour in Roberto Benigni's Life is Beautiful"
Brian Logan: "Does This Man Really Think the Holocaust Was a Joke?"
Film reviews

Week 13

Tuesday, December 3
Student presentation and class discussion
Weekly screening: IO NON HO PAURA, Gabriele Salvatore, 2003 (108 minutes)
Weekly assignment: Film reviews and essays

Week 14

Tuesday, December 10
Student presentation and class discussion
TBA

Week 15

Tuesday, December 17
Final Exam

 

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