Italian Neo-Realism Cinema Essay

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In this essay I will look at the emergence of Italian neo-realist cinema and how Italian Neo-realism has been defined and classified in the film industry as well as how its distinct cinematic characteristics could only have been conceived in Italy and how these characteristics set the neo-realist style apart from other realist movements and from Hollywood. The Italian Neo-Realist movement began to emerge with the fall of Mussolini's Fascist regime in 1943 and was able to entirely establish itself with the end of World War II with the end of German occupation. This caused audiences all around the globe to be “suddenly introduced to Italian films” (Historical Origins of Italian Neo-realism, n.d.) through works by “Roberto Rossellini…show more content…
They are filmed almost entirely on location, for the most part in poor neighbourhoods or the countryside. Its subject matter usually consists entirely of or involves life among the poor and the working classes. Realism is emphasized and performances are mainly constructed from scenes of people performing fairly mundane day to day activities and tasks, whilst remaining completely devoid of the self-consciousness that amateur acting usually incorporates. Neo-realist films also generally feature children in major roles, though these roles are often more observational than participatory parts. Early neo-realist films such as Rossellini’s ‘Rome Open City’ (1945). Which received the Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival contained many of these elements which are associated with neo-realist cinema. However Rossellini was also able reverse the ideological and cultural emphasis of the film as discussed by Bondanella: “It is a fascinating paradox that Roma città aperta continued many of the stylistic characteristics of cinema produced during the Fascist era, but it embodied, at the same time, a clear antifascist ideology that attempted to reconcile all of the different and conflicting political positions of the various groups making up the Italian antifascist resistance.” (Bondanella in Gottlieb, 2004) Rossellini was especially able to
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