Italian Neorealistic Film

4 April 2015
Analyzes three major films: Rossellini’s Open City, De Sica’s “Bicycle Thief” and Visconti’s Obsession. Examines style, themes and social messages.

Italian neorealism developed under onerous circumstances and became a form by which Italian filmmakers could express themselves in a new way. Essentially, the early neorealist filmmakers were doing what they could with the tools at hand and doing it under the watchful eyes of an antagonistic ruling class, From the tensions this arrangement produced, they created something distinctive, allowing them to develop ideas and to do so in a new cinematic style. At the time, Italy was ruled by fascists, who viewed art as valuable only to the degree it was useful. Yet, these films were not made in service of fascist ideas but as a counter to them. The forces that helped shape these films, the style that was produced by these tensions, and some important examples demonstrate the vitality achieved by Italian directors as World War II ended.

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