Cesare Zavattini A Thesis On Neorealism

Cesare Zavattini A Thesis On Neorealism-85
These productions, often American imported, were lavishly decorated, “set in big hotels, tony nightclubs and ocean liners” and offered escapism from oppressive Fascist dictators (Ratner).Although these films were greater-than-life, well-polished, and preserved the status-quo, they failed to reflect issues that Italian audiences could relate with: issues like post-war poverty and chronic unemployment.He showed the blown out, war-torn landscapes of Italian life using natural lighting, actors with little or no make-up, and depicted social problems such as interrogation, torture, corrupt military violence, and rabid-poverty.

These productions, often American imported, were lavishly decorated, “set in big hotels, tony nightclubs and ocean liners” and offered escapism from oppressive Fascist dictators (Ratner).Although these films were greater-than-life, well-polished, and preserved the status-quo, they failed to reflect issues that Italian audiences could relate with: issues like post-war poverty and chronic unemployment.He showed the blown out, war-torn landscapes of Italian life using natural lighting, actors with little or no make-up, and depicted social problems such as interrogation, torture, corrupt military violence, and rabid-poverty.

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Surrounded by the chaotic ruins of World War II, darker, more sober attitudes began to reflect in people’s artistic expressions.

Specifically, the fall of Mussolini’s Fascist regime in 1943 spawned a new and provocative branch of Italian cinema that divorced itself from the theatrical conventions of Hollywood storytelling.

This new cinema was a reactionary movement away from the implacable restrictions of Fascist cinema, as well as American imported, slap-happy, unreality films that failed to reflect Italian realities.

The movement was referred to as Italian neo-realism.

To start, it will be helpful to prepare the grounds by first providing a basic overview of what Italian neorealism is, why the filmmakers of this movement felt compelled to react against the conventions of Fascist/Hollywood storytelling, and what this would mean for future filmmakers, both third-world and contemporary.

Before the fall of Mussolini, the ‘white telephone’ era was in effect.

By placing the camera in the hands of commoners, the neorealist movement helped paved the way for third-world cinemas to develop.

Spanish-born filmmaker, Luis Buñuel, was one of the first emerging third-world filmmakers to be influenced by the neorealist movement.

As Cesare Zavattini wrote:“This powerful desire of the [neorealist] cinema to see and to analyze, this hunger for reality, for truth, is a kind of concrete homage to other people, that is, to all who exist…

whereas we are attracted by the truth, by the reality which touches us and which we want to know and understand directly and thoroughly, the Americans continue to satisfy themselves with a sweetened version of truth produced through transpositions.” (Bertolucci).

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