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JOHN CABOT UNIVERSITY

COURSE CODE: "CMS/ITS 241"
COURSE NAME: "Italian Cinema"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Spring 2021
SYLLABUS

INSTRUCTOR: Federica Capoferri
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: TTH 1:30 PM 3:30 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, more in general. Directors to be treated include (but are not limited to) De Sica, Rossellini, Fellini, Pasolini, Monicelli, Petri,Cavani, Bertolucci, Bellocchio, and Sorrentino. Films are shown in the original Italian version with English subtitles. In Spring 2020 , in occasion of the centenary of his birth, special emphasis will be given to Fellini's works. Mandatory event: Roundtable on Federico Fellini's cinema with Frank Burke, Federica Capoferri, and Carolina Campaglia on April 6th at 18. 
LEARNING OUTCOMES:
-Students will learn how to analyze film texts using specific historical, cultural, and theoretical approaches.
- Students will learn how to write analytical essays that employ specific critical frameworks.
- Students will learn and be able to discuss key social, political, and economic events, and movements in contemporary Italian history.
TEXTBOOK:
NONE
REQUIRED RESERVED READING:
NONE

RECOMMENDED RESERVED READING:
NONE
GRADING POLICY
-ASSESSMENT METHODS:
AssignmentGuidelinesWeight
FINAL EXAMIN-CLASS EXAM with short questions on readings and class discussions and a critical essay on a given topic.25%
MIDTERM EXAMIn class exam. Questions on readings, screenings, and a 3-4 pages essay on a given topic25%
CLASS PARTICIPATIONStudents are expected to actively and critically participate to class discussions. The use of cell phones and laptops during class is strictly prohibited. Cell phones should be turned OFF (NOT kept on silent or vibrate mode). Text messaging/instant messaging/internet surfing is also PROHIBITED! If caught using a cell phone or misusing your laptop during class, you will receive a warning. Further violations of this policy will result in an F for this portion of your grade. 15%
Home-screenings and film profiles (4)Students are required to independently watch 4 movies when required by the syllabus and to write a film profile for each of them. Guidelines will be provided in class. The assignments should be typed (1.5 space) and submitted BOTH electronically and as hardcopy. NO LATE SUBMISSION will be accepted.20%
Group Oral Presentation20 minutes group oral presentation on a topic previously discussed with the professor.10%
ATTENDANCEStudents are allowed 2 absences, after which your grade in this portion of assessment will be 0. Students are expected to NOT leave the room during screenings and lectures (please avoid to leave the room in the first hour of the class),. More than 5 minutes outside the class will result in an absence. Students are supposed to arrive on time for the class. Please DO NOT ENTER the class if the door is closed. Any late arrival or early leaving will count as half absence. Students are required to attend special screenings and lectures organized by the Instructor (2 pts for each event).. The only accepted excuse to miss an event is a conflict with another class (in that case, students will be required to watch two extra movies and write the correspondent film profile). MANDATORY EVENT: April 6, h. 18: Roundtable on Fellini's cinema with Frank Burke, Federica Capoferri, and Carolina Ciampaglia.5%

-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 cours
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:

Please refer to the university catalog for the attendance and absence policy.
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

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE INSTRUCTOR CAN MAKE CHANGES TO THE SYLLABUS. MAKE SURE TO REGULARLY CHECK MyJCU.

WEEK 1
Introduction: Cinema, History, Nation. 
ScreeningRoma città aperta (Rome Open City, Rossellini, 1945)
READINGS: Millicent. Marcus Roma Città Aperta, "Introduction" to Italian Film in the Light of Neorealism, UP Princeton, 1986 pp. 3-29; Rossellini's Open City: The founding, pp. 33-53 .
P. Bondanella, History of Italian Cinema: "The Neorealist Era:Exploring the Boundaries of Neorealism"

WEEK 2 

Neo-Realism I: A Historical Approach. Lecture and class discussion 
Screening: Ladri di Biciclette (Bicycle Thief, De Sica, 1948).
READINGS: Millicent Marcus. "De Sica's Bycicle Thief: Casting shadows on the visionary city" in Italian film.

WEEK 3 

From Neorealism to Commedia all'Italiana.
Screening: I soliti ignoti (Big Deal on Madonna Street, 1958, Mario Monicelli)
READINGS: P. Bondanella, History of Italian Cinema "The Golden Age of Italian Cinema:Commedia all'italiana-Comedy and Social Criticism"
P. Ginsborg, "The Economic Miracle: Rural Exodus and Social Transformation. 1958-1963" in History of Contemporary Italy. Penguin Books, 1990, pp. 210-253; 499-508.

WEEK 4
Italian Cinema and the Economic Miracle.
Screening: Le notti di Cabiria (F. Fellini, 1957)
READINGS: P. Bondanella, "La dolce vita, The Art Film Spectacular".in The Films of Federico Fellini, Cambridge UP, 2002.
Home screening and fim profile 1: La dolce vita (F. Fellini, 1960).

WEEK 5
Film profile 1 DUE
The other side of 'La dolce vita'.
Screening: Mamma Roma (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1962).
READINGS: D. J. Rhodes, Stupendous, Miserable City. Pasolini's Rome, Minnesota University Press, 2007.  Chapter 5

WEEK 6
Class Discussion on Pier Paolo Pasolini's cinema
Screening: L'eclisse (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1962)
READINGS: P. Bondanella History of Italian Cinema "The Neorealist Era:The Break With Neorealism, the Cinema of the Reconstruction in Rossellini and Antonioni, Fellini's Trilogy of Character and Grace; and the Return of Melodrama with Visconti and De Sica".
Home screening and film profile 2: Blow-up (M. Antonioni, 1966).

WEEK 7
Film Profile 2 DUE
Class Discussion. Review for Midterm
 MIDTERM

WEEK 8
Italian Cinema in the 70's.
Screening: Il conformista (B. Bertolucci, 1970)
READINGS: M. Marcus, Chapter on Il conformista in Italian Film.
P. Bondanella, History... "The Golden Age of Italian Cinema:Neorealism's Legacy to a New Generation and the Political Film" .

WEEK 9
Screening: Indagine di un cittadino al di sopra di ogni sospetto (E. Petri, 1970)
Class Discussion
READINGSM. Marcus, Chapter on Investigation
Mikel J Koven, What is giallo?in La dolce morte. Vernacular Cinema and the Italian Giallo Film, Scarecrow Press, 2006,  pp. 1-18
P. Bondanella, History... "Italian Crime Films from the 1970s to the Present".
Home screening and film profile 3: Portiere di notte (The Night Porter, L. Cavani, 1974).

WEEK
10
Film profile 3 DUE
Screening: Roma (F. Fellini, 1974)
Class Discussion

WEEK 11
Towards a Postmodern Cinema.
Screening: Caro Diario (Nanni Moretti, 1994)
Class Discussion
READINGS: M. Marcus, "Caro Diario and the Cinematic Body of Nanni Moretti" in After Fellini, John Hopkins University, 2002, pp. 285-299.
ORAL PRESENTATIONS (3)

WEEK 12
The Return of Politics in Italian Cinema.
Screening: Buongiorno notte (M. Bellocchio, 2004)
READINGS: Carlo Testa, "Film, Literature, and Terrorism: Mapping Italy's Political Landscape by Cinematic Means", Italica, Vol 84, n. 4, Winter 2007, pp. 781-798.
ORAL PRESENTATIONS (3-4)
Home screening and film profile 4: Non essere cattivo (Don't Be Bad, C. Caligari, 2015). 

WEEK 13
Film profile 4 DUE
Local, Global and Glocal in Contemporary Italian Cinema.
Screening: Lo chiamavano Jeeg Robot (G. Mainetti, 2016). (P. Sorrentino, 2007)
READINGS: P. Bondanella, History... "Italian Cinema Enters the Third Millennium".

WEEK 14
Rethinking Cinematic Visuality
A. Ferrente, Selfie (2019).
Class Discussion/Review for Final Exam.