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JOHN CABOT UNIVERSITY

COURSE CODE: "CMS/ITS 243"
COURSE NAME: "Cinematic Rome"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Summer Session II 2020
SYLLABUS

INSTRUCTOR: Erika Tasini
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: Remote Learning
TOTAL NO. OF CONTACT HOURS: 45
CREDITS: 3
PREREQUISITES: This course carries 3 semester hours of credit.
OFFICE HOURS:

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
An analysis of the social, aesthetic, political, and rhetorical implications of cinematic representations of Rome, from silent films to the present. This course will evaluate and discuss ten primary films, along with excerpts from a number of others. We will consider five main topics: Images of Ancient Rome; Before and After World War II; "Americans" in Rome, and Rome in America; Fellini’s Rome; and Urban Angst, Roman Style. As the semester progresses, we will consider how Rome functions as a "character" in the movies, as well as how The Eternal City comprises the mise-en-scène. We will assess the artistic representations of Roman monuments and streetscapes on movie sets, as opposed to location shooting. Special attention will be given to memory construction, as well as the rhetoric of "places and spaces" (how the physical/symbolic setting influences us). In this course, students will visit cinematic landmarks in Rome and write about their experiences
SUMMARY OF COURSE CONTENT:

 

This course explores the multifaceted and shifting identity of Rome and its development. Since its founding in 753 b.C., many have been the roles played by this eclectic "character": The Eternal City, Caput Mundi, the City of Ruins, Cloaca Maxima, the Divine City of Christendom. Yet, it is impossible to investigate and comprehend such roles without contextualizing them in Rome's historical dimension and temporality. As Goethe poignantly described the uniqueness of the Eternal City: "It is history, above all, that one reads differently [In Rome] from anywhere else in the world."

As well as a journey in time, this course is a journey beginning with the screen and moving towards the city. By exploring the complex relationships between urban and cinematic space, "Rhetoric of Rome" delves into an analysis of the social, aesthetic, political, and rhetorical implications of its representations. Special attention will be given to the city's memory construction as well as the rhetoric of “places and spaces”: how does the physical and symbolic setting influence us?

 

Through film texts, critical texts and on-site lectures, this course will highlight parallel perspectives by opening out from the cinematic city and on to a broader cultural terrain of city culture and memory.

 

LEARNING OUTCOMES:

Film screenings, lectures and analysis, critical readings, as well as written exams and a paper/creative project will be utilized in order to achieve the following objectives:

 

Students will gain an understanding of representations of Rome in aesthetic and critical texts, with particular attention to the relationship between urban and cinematic space.

 

Students will deepen their knowledge of Italy's history and its impact on the country's capital city.

 

Students will become familiar with critically acclaimed films that prominently feature Roman landmarks and streetscapes.

 

Students will consider cinema as an expression of national and international culture, aesthetics, values, and politics. As a result, they will develop their film criticism competence, with special emphasis on analysis of the mise en scène, memory construction and the rhetoric of places and spaces.

 

Students will hone their descriptive, experiential, and analytical writing skills through academic and creative assignments tailored to foster personal engagement with the Eternal City.

TEXTBOOK:
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
italian cinema in the light of NeorealismMILLICENT MARCUSPrinceton UNiversity Press9780691102085  
REQUIRED RESERVED READING:
NONE

RECOMMENDED RESERVED READING:
NONE
GRADING POLICY
-ASSESSMENT METHODS:
AssignmentGuidelinesWeight
PARTICIPATION 15
MIDTERM EXAM 25
FINAL CREATIVE VIDEO (INDIVIDUAL OR IN GROUP project)  30
POSTCARDS FROM ROME  30

-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:
2 missed classes with no impact on the grade.
3/4 2 points are taken from final grade
5 missed sessions: F in participation
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

 

INTRO TO COURSE, organization, requirements etc.

INTRO SCREENING: TO ROME WITH LOVE (Woody Allen, 2012)

THE TALENTED MR RIPLEY (MINGHELLA)

FILM GLOSSARY HANDOUT

 

Lecture/discussion: From Rome with love or Stereotypes about the city and culture

Analysis of film terms.

Film glossary reading due today.

Epic cinema, Epic Rome.

SCREENING SPARTACUS (Stanley Kubrick, 1960)

 

Week 2

Lecture on Epic Cinema and Epic Rome

Plus: A few considerations on Rome, cinema and fascism

Clip: SCIPIONE L’AFRICANO.

 

1) Mora, Carl J. “The Image of Ancient Rome in the Cinema”:

HYPERLINK "http://www.publicacions.ub.es/bibliotecadigital/cinema/filmhistoria/Art.Mora.pdf" http://www.publicacions.ub.es/bibliotecadigital/cinema/filmhistoria/Art.Mora.pdf

 

2) Urbainczyk, Theresa. “Spartacus: A Hero Turns 50.” Film International 8, 2010, p. 713. (uploaded PDF)

 

RECC. READING:

3) Ricci, Steven. Cinema and Fascism: Italian Film and Society, 1922-1943, University of California Press, 2008, pp. 97-104.

 

World War 2 and beyond: Neorealist Rome

 

 

Lecture/discussion: ROME OPEN CITY, the beginning of Neorealism.

 

screening: BICYCLE THIEVES (V. DE Sica)

screening BIG DEAL ON MADONNA STREET (MONICELLI)

 

Week 3

 

LECTURE/DISCUSSION: FROM WAR TO POST WORLD WAR 2 ROME. A NEOREALIST AESTHETICS.

 

READING DUE ON BICYCLE THIEVES/NEOREALISM:

Shiel, Mark. “Imagined and Built Spaces in the Rome of Neorealism.” in Cinematic Rome, edited by Richard Wrigley, Leicester, UK: Troubador Publishing, Ltd., 2008, pp. 27-42. (PDF)

 

THE END OF NEOREALISM and CINECITTA’— SOUNDSTAGE AS A REAL LOCATION

Screening: BELLISSIMA (Visconti).

Reading due today: Marcus: “Luchino Visconti’s BELLISSIMA. THE DIVA, THE MIRROR and the SCREEN.” (PDF)

 

Screening:

Rome in the Age of the Economic Miracle: Fellini's screenscapes of Rome (take 1)

ROMA (Fellini)

LA DOLCE VITA (FELLINI)

Reading:

1)         Fabio Benincasa, The Explosion of a Postmodern Iconography; Federico Fellini and the Forma Urbis, in Rome, Postmodern Narratives of a Cityscape, pp. 39-50. (PDF)

 

Lecture discussion: Rome in the Age of the Economic Miracle: FELLINI's Rome & Fellini CINECITTÀ.

 

Reading due today: Peter Harcourt, The Secret Life of Federico Fellini, “Film Quarterly”, 19, 1966, (PDF)

 

When Hollywood made it to Rome

Screening: “ROMAN HOLIDAY”

  

Week 4

 Lecture/discussion: When Hollywood made it to Rome.

READING DUE TODAY: Robert Shandley:“How Hollywood Saved Rome” (PDF)

 PRESENTATION OF FINAL ASSIGNMENT: POSTCARDS FROM ROME

 

Week 5

Contemporary Rome 1:

Screening: The Great Beauty: transitioning into Postmodernism or a return to Fellini?

Screening: THE GREAT BEAUTY (Paolo Sorrentino, 2014) 

 

Reading due today:

1)    C. Fonzi Kliemann, "Cultural and Political Exhaustion in Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty" in SENSES OF CINEMA, issue 70, March 2014. (PDF)

weblink:

http://sensesofcinema.com/2014/feature-articles/cultural-and-political-exhaustion-in-paolo-sorrentinos-the-great-beauty/  

 

2) Ryan Gilbey, "The Last Days Of Rome" New Statesman, August, 30, 2013. (PDF)

 


Contemporary Rome 2: Superhero Italian-Style

Screening: JEEG ROBOT

Reading due today:  Haley Foutch: “They Call ME Jeeg: Italy gets a Gritty, Gangster Superehero Movie” in COLLIDER (PDF).