JCU Logo

JOHN CABOT UNIVERSITY

COURSE CODE: "CMS/ITS 241"
COURSE NAME: "Italian Cinema"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2018
SYLLABUS

INSTRUCTOR: Erika Tasini
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: MW 3:00-5:00 PM
TOTAL NO. OF CONTACT HOURS: 45
CREDITS: 3
PREREQUISITES: This course carries 3 semester hours of credit.
OFFICE HOURS: by appointment

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
This course surveys films, directors, and film movements and styles in Italy from 1945 to the present. The films are examined as complex aesthetic and signifying systems with wider social and cultural relationships to post-war Italy. The role of Italian cinema as participating in the reconstitution and maintenance of post-War Italian culture and as a tool of historiographic inquiry is also investigated. Realism, modernism and post-modernism are discussed in relation to Italian cinema in particular and Italian society in general. Films are shown in the original Italian version with English subtitles.
SUMMARY OF COURSE CONTENT:
Realist, modernist and post-modernist aesthetics will be discussed in relation to Italian cinema, in particular, and Italian society in general. Directors to be treated include (but are not limited to) De Sica, Rossellini, Fellini, Pasolini, Visconti, Risi, Monicelli, Petri, Bertolucci, the Taviani brothers, Moretti, and Sorrentino. The relation of art cinema to popular cinema will be considered, with a particular emphasis on comedy. Film screenings will be supplemented by lectures, class discussions and readings.       
LEARNING OUTCOMES:
Students will gain:   · ability to analyze film texts using specific theoretical approaches · ability to write analytical essays that employ specific critical frameworks · ability to discuss key social, political, and economic events, and movements in contemporary Italian history. 
TEXTBOOK:
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
ITALIAN FILM IN THE LIGHT OF NEOREALISMMILLICENT MARCUSP.U.P.0-691-10208-2    
REQUIRED RESERVED READING:
NONE

RECOMMENDED RESERVED READING:
NONE
GRADING POLICY
-ASSESSMENT METHODS:
AssignmentGuidelinesWeight
MIDTERM EXAM 25%
FINAL EXAM 25%
PAPER 25
PRESENTATION 15
PARTICIPATION 10

-ASSESSMENT CRITERIA:
AWork of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required for the course.
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised.There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluatetheory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture andreference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material.Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included.In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.

-ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS:
ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS AND EXAMINATION POLICY
You cannot make-up a major exam (midterm or final) without the permission of the Dean’s Office. The Dean’s Office will grant such permission only when the absence was caused by a serious impediment, such as a documented illness, hospitalization or death in the immediate family (in which you must attend the funeral) or other situations of similar gravity. Absences due to other meaningful conflicts, such as job interviews, family celebrations, travel difficulties, student misunderstandings or personal convenience, will not be excused. Students who will be absent from a major exam must notify the Dean’s Office prior to that exam. Absences from class due to the observance of a religious holiday will normally be excused. Individual students who will have to miss class to observe a religious holiday should notify the instructor by the end of the Add/Drop period to make prior arrangements for making up any work that will be missed. The final exam period runs until ____________
ACADEMIC HONESTY
As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
STUDENTS WITH LEARNING OR OTHER DISABILITIES
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.

SCHEDULE

WEEK 1   NEOREALISM 1: CINEMA, NATION, HISTORY   Screening: Rome, Open City/Rome città aperta (Roberto Rossellini, 1945) Martin Scorsese’s Journey into Italian Cinema (CLIPS)   Reading:               M. Marcus – “Introduction” to Italian Film in the Light of Neorealism (Princeton University Press, 1987), 3-29.           M. Marcus – “Rossellini’s Open City: The Founding” in Italian Film, 33-53.  P. Brunette “Open City” pp. 41-60 (reader)     

WEEK 2   NEOREALISM 2: POLITICS AND AESTHETICS   Screening: The Bicycle Thief/Ladri di biciclette (Vittorio De Sica, 1948)   Reading:        M. Marcus – “De Sica’s Bicycle Thief:Casting Shadows on the Visionary City,” in Italian Film, 54-75.   A. Bazin, De Sica Metteur en Scène, pp 61-68 (reader)      

WEEK 3   NEOREALISM 3: EXPLORING THE BOUNDARIES   Screening: Bitter Rice/Riso amaro (Giuseppe De Santis, 1948)   Reading:               M. Marcus – “De Santis’s Bitter Rice: A NeorealistHybrid,” in Italian Film, 76-95. A. Bazin – “An Aesthetic of Reality: Neorealism,” in What is Cinema?, 16-40. (READER) A. Bazin – “Umberto D,” in What is Cinema? 79-82. (READER) 

 WEEK 4   THE ECONOMIC MIRACLE: MODERNIZATION AND MIGRATION   Screening: Big Deal on Madonna Street/I soliti ignoti (Mario Monicelli, 1958)   Reading: Paul Ginsborg – “The ‘Economic Miracle’: Rural Exodus and SocialTransformation, 1958-1963,” in History of  Contemporary Italy, 210-253 (READER).     

WEEK 5   ITALY IN THE 60S: The definition of comedy Italian style   Screening: Il Sorpasso (Dino Risi, 1962)   Reading: Pierre Sorlin – “Fourth Generation: The Sweet Life” in ItaliaN NationalCinema, 115-143. (READER)     

WEEK 6   THE ECONOMIC MIRACLE take 2: a real social and cultural change? (documenting the 60s)   Screening: COMIZI D’AMORE  (PIER PAOLO PASOLINI, 1964)   READING: TBD     

WEEK 7:   BEYOND NEOREALISM: ITALIAN MODERNIST AUTEURS take 1: FELLINI   Screening 8 1/2  (Federico Fellini, 1963)   Reading: Peter Bondanella – “8 1/2 The celebration of artistic creativity” in The Films of Federico Fellini (Cambridge University Press, 2002), 65-92 (READER).   Lecture and review for MIDTERM     

WEEK 8   TUESDAY: MIDTERM EXAM   THURSDAY: BEYOND NEOREALISM: ITALIAN MODERNIST AUTEURS take 2: ANTONIONI   SCREENING: BLOW UP (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1966)   READING: S. Chatman – “‘Il provino’ and BlowUp” in Antonioni: Or, The Surface ofthe World (University of California Press, 1985), 136-158. (READER)     

WEEK 9   RETHINKING THE PAST, QUESTIONING THE PRESENT:   Screening: The Conformist/Il conformista (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1970)   Reading:               M. Marcus – “Bernardo Bertolucci’s TheConformist: A Morals Charge,” in Italian Film, p. 285-312.   

WEEK 10   questioning the present: comparing Bertolucci’s and Scola’s representation of the past.   Screening: We all loved each other so much (ETTORE SCOLA, 1977)   Reading:               M. Marcus - "We all loved each other so much: an epilogue" 391-421 in Italian Film in the light of neorealism  (Princeton University Press, 2001), 253-274.   PRESENTATION PROPOSAL DUE THIS WEEK!     

WEEK 11   GENDER and CLASS CONFLICT in 1970s ITALY   Screening: SWEPT AWAY (LinaWertmüller, 1975)   Reading:           M. MARCUS “ WERTMULLER’s LOVE AND ANARCHY: THE HIGH PRICE OF COMMITMENT” p. 313-338 in Italian Film in the light of neorealism  (Princeton University Press, 2001).   

WEEK 12   GENRE ITALIAN STYLE:   SCREENING: “DEEP RED” (DARIO ARGENTO, 1975)   READING : M.K. KOVEN “WHAT IS GIALLO?” (reader) F. Jameson, Postmodernism and Consumer Society, pp. 1-20, 121 (reader)   

WEEK 13   THE 1980s AND 1990s: “NEW ITALIAN CINEMA”    Screening: Caro Diario/Dear Diary (Nanni Moretti, 1993)   Reading:           M. Marcus – “Caro diario and the Cinematic Body of Nanni Moretti,” in After Fellini (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002), p. 285-299. M. Gieri. “The New Italian Cinema: Restoration or Subversion?” in Contemporary Italian Filmmaking.  p. 198-232, 261-268 (READER).   

WEEK 14   CLASS PRESENTATIONS AND REVIEW   WEEK 15   FINAL EXAM