Skip to main content

Italian Language Feature Films in Leavey Library (DVDs): Books About Italian Cinema

Books About Italian Cinema (Selected Titles)

Historical Dictionary of Italian Cinema
"Written by classically trained philosopher Moliterno (film studies, Australian National Univ., Canberra), this book argues persuasively that Italian cinema is important to both the history of popular culture and world film studies as an academic discipline. Scarecrow Press consistently publishes high-quality reference books in its Historical Dictionary series, and this volume is an excellent resource for college and public libraries. The bulk of the scholarship consists of dictionary entries for actors, directors, producers, companies, and schools (e.g., neorealism, New Italian Cinema) associated with film in Italy. The author's expertise in Italian culture is reflected in these enjoyable, thoughtful entries. Moliterno addresses some of the peculiarities of Italian film, e.g., formal government censorship endured until the 1970s, and compares Italian cinema to other movements in Europe, like France's New Wave, and competition from Hollywood. Also included are a time line, photographs, a list of Italian film award-winners (Venice Film Festival, David di Donatello awards, etc.), and an especially fine bibliographic essay. While aimed at an English-speaking market, this work surveys all the important scholarship on the topic in both Italian and English."

The History of Italian Cinema: A Guide to Italian Film from Its Origins to the Twenty-First Century
is the most comprehensive guide to Italian film ever published. Written by the foremost scholar of Italian cinema and presented here for the first time in English, this landmark book traces the complete history of filmmaking in Italy, from its origins in the silent era; through its golden age in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, and its subsequent decline; to its resurgence today. Gian Piero Brunetta covers more than 1,500 films, discussing renowned masters including Roberto Rossellini and Federico Fellini, as well as directors lesser known outside Italy like Dino Risi and Ettore Scola. He examines overlooked Italian genre films such as horror movies, comedies, and Westerns, and he also devotes attention to neglected periods like the Fascist era. Brunetta illuminates the epic scope of Italian filmmaking, showing it to be a powerful cultural force in Italy and leaving no doubt about its enduring influence abroad. Encompassing the social, political, and technical aspects of the craft, he recreates the world of Italian cinema, giving readers rare insights into the actors, cinematographers, film critics, and producers that have made Italian cinema unique. Brunetta's passion as a true fan of Italian movies comes across on every page of this panoramic guide. A delight for film lovers everywhere, The History of Italian Cinema reveals the full artistry of Italian film."

Italian Neorealist Cinema: An Aesthetic Approach
"Probably the fullest study to date in this well-ploughed field, this book crams the usual definitions and data old and new into 27 appendixes, saving the body for a brilliant demonstration of how to analyze film. After reviewing the industrial and cultural contexts and the critical issues around neorealist cinema, Wagstaff provides exhaustive analyses of three landmark films of the 1940s: Roberto Rossellini's Rome, Open City and Paisa and Vittorio De Sica's Bicycle Thieves. The author examines the films' structure, dispelling myths and drawing many shrewd contrasts, and traces their production, clarifying the intention behind some confusing elements in the films. Even the flaws he points out in particular scenes confirm the films' power. These micro- and macroscopic analyses make this an unequalled study of each film and of the neorealist movement. Wagstaff's neorealism is a point of departure, not of arrival. He 'looks at the poetics of the films, rather than at some notion of accurate representation, or of the artists a s people who develop a discourse about Italian society.' When used in conjunction with the films themselves, this book is, in and of itself, a course in neorealist Italian cinema." - Choice Review

A New Guide to Italian Cinema
is a complete reworking and update of Marga Cottino-Jones' popular A Student's Guide to Italian Film (1983, 1993.) This guide retains earlier editions' interest in renowned films and directors but is also attentive to popular cinema, the films which actually achieved box office success among the Italian public. The Guide introduces the Italian cinema not just as a 20th century phenomenon but as an expression of the deeper roots of Italy's historic, cultural and literary past. Chapters offer historical timelines and commentary on political and cultural events and trends, followed by discussion of the Italian cinema industry and key films. Appendices offer guides to writing about film, statistical data of Italian box office history and short biographies and filmographies of important directors. The aim of the book is to provide the cinephile, student, teacher, or fan with a guide where points of interest may be identified and studied with clarity."