What do we know about Italy? That this is an amazing country where the sun is constantly shining. That this is an incredibly beautiful country, where landscapes amaze with diversity. That this is a very romantic country where love seems to be in the air. How do we know about this? Seen in the movies!
Italian cinema is Fellini and Antonioni, this is Mastroiani and Lollobrigida, this is Bellucci and Placido… The names of Italian actors and directors, whom we know and love well, caress the ear like a song. And the frames from the movies make you forget all the worries and worries and immerse yourself in another life. Italian cinema is a magic that changes our lives and brings into it a little sun, the scent of lemon trees, the whisper of the sea and such beautiful words: “I love you… I love you, Italian cinema”!
So, we bring to your attention our small dictionary. Five main words of Italian cinema.
Only 10 years — from 1945 to 1955 – contained the current, which was called “Italian neorealism” and had a huge impact on cinematographers around the world. The special language of the films told about the ordinary life of ordinary people. It seemed that every spectator could try on the fate of the heroes. The paintings often did not have a clear script, only a plot outline. Dialogues were also born right on the site. Freedom, sincerity, truth – that’s what bribed Italian neorealism in cinema.
What to watch: “Rome is an open city” (Roberto Rossellini, 1945), “Bicycle Thieves” (Vittorio de Sika, 1948).
Who to remember: Anna Magnani in the film “Rome is an open city”. The scene of her heroine’s death has entered the history of world cinema. Deprived of the classic glamorous beauty, Anna, nevertheless, became the face of Italian cinema. She, who grew up practically without parents and started her career singing in a restaurant, was awarded an Oscar for best actress. And the whole of Rome saw her off on her last journey.
Do you like to laugh heartily? You’re at the right place. Italian cinema has given us samples of truly funny comedies that do not age and do not become less vivid.
Italian comedy also grew out of neorealism. These films do not just make you smile, but carry a lyrical mood. Sometimes they are a little sad, thoughtful. And yet they are funny, because Italian comedy is films with the participation of Sophia Loren, Marcello Mastroiani, Gina Lollorigida, Toto, Hugo Tagnaci, and later — Adriano Celentano and other stars of the first magnitude.
Italian comedies are ironic, and the slightly exaggerated manner of acting on the screen looks like the famous Italian emotionality. Watch, laugh and have fun.
What to watch: “Cops and Thieves” (Mario Monicelli, 1951), “Divorce in Italian” (Pietro Germi, 1961), “Bluff” (Sergio Corbucci, 1976), “The Taming of the Shrew” (Franco Castellano, Giuseppe Moccia, 1980), “Signor Robinson” (Sergio Corbucci, 1976).
Who to remember: choosing one star of Italian comedies is not just difficult — it is impossible. Pay attention to Paolo Vilaggio, the performer of the main role in the super-popular comedy “Signor Robinson”. Few people know that Vilaggio is not only a brilliant actor, but also a writer: he was the author of the stories about the accountant Hugo Fantozzi, who became the hero of a whole series of films. Fantozzi was played by the author himself.
Federico Fellini and Giulietta Mazina
A great love story and a great history of a creative union, where both were masters of the first magnitude. It was not the cinema that brought them together, but the radio — Fellini wrote scripts for productions, Mazina performed them. And they’ve been together ever since. Even when Fellini got carried away, fell in love, went on a spree, he returned to Juliet and was the first to tell her about all his “sins”. And she dedicated her life to Fellini. It was Mazina who, having met and even made friends with Roberto Rossellini, arranged for her husband to be his second director at the studio. What follows is the story of the genius of Italian cinema.
Fellini rarely filmed his wife: she took part in only seven films, and played the main roles in four. Among their joint films are “Variety Lights”, “White Sheikh”, “The Road”, “Cabiria Nights”, “Juliet and Spirits”, “Ginger and Fred”. What connected them all their lives?
“Federico and I have not created what is called the word “family”. We have no offspring, no close relatives. Rather, we can be called a couple, a union of people who stay together by free choice. People always ask me if it’s not hard to live with a genius. I reply to this that living with a fool would annoy me more.”
What to watch: “Ginger and Fred” (1986)/
Who to remember: The role of Amelia Bonetti (Ginger) was one of Mazina’s favorites. Having played in this film, she made an amazing duet with Marcello Mastroiani.
Italian opera has long and firmly conquered the world — “La Traviata”, “Aida”, “Pagliacci”… But she conquered the world not only on stage, but also in the cinema: incomparable opera films gathered a whole army of fans around the world. Real stars of the world stage took part in them, so the enjoyment of the masterpieces on the screen will be complete.
What to watch: “Othello” (Franco Zeffirelli, 1986)
Who to remember: remember the name of the director — Franco Zeffirelli. He brought to the screens not only many Italian operas, but also classical tragedies. His adaptation of Romeo and Juliet has become one of the most subtle, tender and lyrical films dedicated to the history of Montague and Capulet.
And what about today?
The last decades are often called a crisis for Italian cinema — it has lost the world fame that it once won, Italian stars prefer to work abroad. However, even now there are paintings that are able to win the hearts of viewers not only in Italy, but also around the world.
For example, the opening of last year was the film “Perfect Strangers” directed by Paolo Genovese. Seven friends are going to a party. They put mobile phones on the table and agree: no secrets. All SMS messages are read out loud, and calls are put on speakerphone. What came out of it? The film is declared as a comedy, but imagine what would happen if the contents of your phone became available to the company of your friends?
The film has collected 25 nominations for Italian and international awards, including the main Italian film award “David Di Donatello.” In total, the picture has 12 awards. Maybe this is exactly the film with which you should start getting acquainted with modern Italian cinema?
Read also: “The five best films about school”