Italian Neorealism Cinema

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The characteristics typically attributed to 1940s Italian neorealism films include a focus on destitute or working-class individuals, film production in the location which the movie is set, and a focus on the banalities of everyday life. The setting of these films is commonly following World War 2, and features the challenges, both “economical and moral” (as explained in the “Introduction to Italian Neorealism Cinema” class notes), that were faced by individuals at this time in history. Italian neorealist films also habitually include children as main characters, though as explained in the “Introduction to Italian Neorealism Cinema” notes explained, the roles of the children are often, “more observational than participatory.” Additionally,…show more content…
Cinema Paradiso featured a child in a main role- Salvatore Cascio as the elementary Salvatore Di Vita. The family on which this film focuses is working class, which is evident as the main character’s, Salvatore Di Vita, father was a soldier, but was killed in battle. Additionally, the majority of this film is set in the years immediately following World War 2. Cinema Paradiso was shot and produced on location in Italy. Cinema Paradiso presents to its audience the story of a young man with large dreams, who is stuck in a small and stifling town. One can observe the similarities of Cinema Paradiso to an Italian neorealism film by comparing this film with Bicycle Thieves, a highly regarded 1940s Italian neorealist film. Both Cinema Paradiso and Bicycle Thieves feature children in staring roles. As stated earlier, Salvatore Cascio plays the main character, Salvatore Di Vita, as a young boy. In Bicycle Thieves, Enzo Staiola plays a main role- that of Bruno Ricci, the son of the man whose bicycle has been…show more content…
As is common in Italian neorealism films, this film focuses on a working-class family. However, some may argue that the family in question is of greater means, as Amélie’s father is a doctor, and her mother a teacher. I, on the other hand, would argue that they are indeed working class, as they live in Eaubonne, a small suburb of Paris, though they might have chosen to live there in an attempt to be frugal. As an adult, Amélie moves to the 18th arrondissement of Paris, which is very clearly a working class neighborhood, as the farther away from the first arrondissement, the less wealthy the inhabitants. A good portion of this film is the description of its characters dislikes and likes, usually in that order, by a disembodied voice. One of the main plot point of this movie is Amélie’s desire to return to a man relics from his childhood. After she completes this task, she decides to do more good deeds- everyday banality typical of Italian neorealism films. Throughout the film, the audience never witnesses Amélie do anything particularly remarkable. We watch as she goes to work, sticks her hand in bags of grain, and many other mundane

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