Italian Neorealism Essay

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The aim of this report is to discuss Italian Neorealism (Neorealismo); looking at how the movement played a significant element in European cinema during and after the times of Benito Mussolini’s fascist regime. The report not only looks at how but why Neorealism became a growing phenomenon for filmmakers during its debatable 10 year period, and what implication of messages these Neorealist directors were trying to send out through their films. Backed up by several reliable book sources, the evidence for this report will also highlight the influences Neo-realism has created in modern filmmaking today. Before the dawn of Neorealism, Italy was under great turmoil in the early 1920s suffering from major economic crisis, bank failures and…show more content…
These films were seen as comfort products that would help satisfy the public’s “escapist tendencies”, particularly during the events of World War II, where they were predominately used as light entertainment to distract citizens from the traumatic and violent experiences (Landy, 2000). The harsh reality of war under fascism was contrasted by the glamour and wealth of what the white telephone films had depicted, which displayed life of opulent upper-class lifestyle but set in ordinarily common settings with ordinarily middle-class characters: “As a formal iconic feature of Italian films during the 1930’s, the White Telephone was said to have displayed the opulence, monochromatic luminescence, and social privilege of modern, bourgeois settings/characters/dialogue.” (Reich and Garofalo, 2002, p.115) It was an indirect approach of propaganda created by fascist ideology, where they had used the filming industry as a persuasive tool to captivate their audiences into believing false preconceptions about their home nation (Reich and Garofalo, 2002). After the fall of Benito Mussolini and his Fascist regime in 1943, the Italian film industry took a new direction in filmmaking that would soon re-define the true meaning of realism (Bondanella, 2001). Breaking away from White Telephone pieces and its’ traditional Hollywood roots, Italian filmmakers decided that Italy itself needed to be taken into a highly critical
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