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ITAL2200
ITAL2200/2201 Module Reading List

Italian Cinema: Genre and Social Change, 2021/22, Semester 1, 2
Dr Laura Lucia Rossi
l.l.rossi@leeds.ac.uk
Tutor information is taken from the Module Catalogue

ITAL 2200/01 Italian Cinema: Genre and Social Change

Core Reading

Much of our reading comes from three key texts, your "textbooks" for the semester:

The Cinema Book(3rd edition), ed. by Pam Cook (London: BFI, 2007)    

The Italian Cinema Book, ed. by Peter Bondanella (London: BFI/Palgrave Macmillan, 2013)    

Italian CinemaMary Wood (Oxford: Berg, 2005)   


These books will be supplemented by core reading relevant to the themes and films we will study.

Please read the semester outlines below carefully for a list of compulsory and recommended readings for each class.

Semester One: Knowing the Canon; Questioning the Canon

Lecture 1: Introduction

Sorlin, Pierre (1996). Italian National Cinema (London: Routledge). Read the Introduction, pp. 7-12.     

Lecture 2: Italian Film History - Canon, Tradition and Beyond

Dyer, Richard (2007). ‘Italian Cinema’, in The Cinema Book(3rd edition), ed. by Pam Cook (London: BFI), pp. 231-2.  

O'Leary, Alan and O'Rawe, Catherine (2011). 'Against realism: on a 'certain tendency' in Italian film criticism', Journal of Modern Italian Studies, 16: 1, pp. 107-119.  

* Recommended reading (not compulsory): Sorlin, Pierre (1996). ‘Introduction’, in Italian National Cinema (London: Routledge), pp. 12-15 .

Seminar 1: Issues in Italian Film History

Dyer, Richard (2007). ‘Italian Cinema’, in The Cinema Book (3rd edition), ed. by P. Cook (London: BFI), pp. 231-2.  

O'Leary, Alan and O'Rawe, Catherine (2011). 'Against realism (…)’, Journal of Modern Italian Studies, 16:1. Read Millicent Marcus's intervention, pp. 121-123.  

Bondanella, Peter (2013). The Italian Cinema Book (London: BFI/Palgrave Macmillan). Read the Introduction, pp. 1-5.
 
 

Lecture 3: Neorealism I

Hayward, Susan (2000). ‘Italian neo-realism’, in Cinema Studies: The Key Concepts  (London: Routledge), pp.201-4.
 

Kemp, Philip (2011). Cinema - The Whole Story (London: Thames&Hudson). Read pp. 178-9.   Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva   

* Recommended reading (not compulsory): Marcus, Millicent (1986). Preface and Introduction in Italian Film in the Light of Neorealism (Princeton: Princeton University Press). Read pp. xiii-xix ; pp. 18-29 

Lecture 4: Neorealism II

Kemp, Philip (2011). Cinema - The Whole Story (London: Thames&Hudson). Read pp. 182-83. Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva 

* Recoommended reading (not compulsory): Bazin, André (1971). What is Cinema. II. (Los Angeles: California University Press). Read the section ‘Bicycle Thief’, pp. 47-60.

Seminar 2: Cinematography and Editing - Fuocoammare

There is no set reading for this seminar - please refer to the Module Handbook for instructions on how to prepare.

Lecture 5: Auteur Cinema I

Cook, Pam (2007), ‘Authorship and Cinema’, in Cook, P. (ed.), The Cinema Book (3rd edn) (London: BFI). Read the introduction to the section, pp. 387-89.  

Wood, Mary P. (2005). Italian Cinema (Oxford: Berg). Read 'Auteur Cinema', pp. 110-12.   Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva 

* Recommended reading (not compulsory): pp. 113-35 of Wood's Italian Cinema (above).

Lecture 6: Auteur Cinema II

* Recommended reading (not compulsory): Chatman, Seymour (1985).Antonioni: The Surface of the World (Berkeley: University of California Press). Read pp. 51-82.

* Recommended reading (not compulsory): Brunette, Peter (1998). The Films of Michelangelo Antonioni (Cambridge: CUP). Read pp. 52-72.

Seminar 3: Mise-en-scene and Soundtrack - La grande bellezza

There is no set reading for this seminar - please refer to the seminar folder on Minerva for instructions on how to prepare.

* reading week *

Lecture 7: Early Cinema I

Bertellini, Giorgio (2013). ‘Silent Italian Cinema: An International Story’, in Bondanella (ed.), The Italian Cinema Book (London: BFI/Palgrave Macmillan), pp. 9-16.  

Seminar 4: Film Style, Putting it all together - Cabiria

Kemp, Philip (2011). Cinema - The Whole Story (London: Thames&Hudson). Read pp. 28-9.   Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva 

Lecture 8: Early Cinema II

Recommended reading (not compulsory): Dalle Vacche, Anna (2013). ‘The Diva Film: Context, Actresses, Issues’, in Bondanella (ed.), The Italian Cinema Book (London: BFI/Palgrave Macmillan), Read pp. 24-30.

Lecture 9: Italian Cinema - Debunking the Canon?

Wood, Mary P. (2005). Italian Cinema (Oxford: Berg). Read 'What is Italian Cinema?', pp. 1-34.
  Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva 

Seminar 5: Analysing Films Thematically

Dyer, Richard (2007). ‘Italian Cinema’, in The Cinema Book (3rd edition), ed. by P. Cook (London: BFI), pp. 231-2.

O'Leary, Alan and O'Rawe, Catherine (2011) 'Against realism: on a 'certain tendency' in Italian film criticism', Journal of Modern Italian Studies, 16:1, pp. 119-28.

Lecture 10: Writing about Italian Cinema

This is a student-led session. Select materials to revise from the texts above.

Semester Two: Genres and filoni in Italian Cinema

Lecture 1: Genres and Modes of Italian Cinema

Neale, Steve (2007). ‘Genre theory’, in The Cinema Book (3rd edition), ed. by Pam Cook (London: BFI), pp. 260-264.  

Recommended reading (not compulsory): Corrigan, Timothy & White, Patricia (2004). The Film Experience: An Introduction (Boston & New York: Bedford/St. Martins). Read 316-7, 321-.

Recommended reading (not compulsory): Wagstaff, Christopher (1996). ‘Cinema’, in Forgacs and Lumley (ed). Italian Cultural Studies: An Introduction, (Oxford: Oxford University Press). Read pp. 216-223.

Lecture 2: Genres and filoni

Totaro, Donato (2011). ‘A Genealogy of Italian Popular Cinema: the Filone’, Off Screen, 15. Available from: https://offscreen.com/view/genealogy_filone 

Recommended reading (not compulsory): O’Leary, Alan (2017). ‘What is Italian Cinema?’, California Italian Studies, 7(1), pp. 1-26. Available from: https://escholarship.org/uc/item/7z9275bz

Recommended reading (not compulsory): Wagstaff, Christopher (1996). ‘Cinema’, in Forgacs and Lumley (ed). Italian Cultural Studies: an Introduction, (Oxford: Oxford University Press), pp. 216-232.   OCR REQUESTED BY LIBRARY (HT 10/02/2021) 

Recommended reading (not compulsory):  Wagstaff, Christopher (1997). 'A Forkful of Westerns: Industry, Audiences and the Italian Western’', in Dyer, Richard and Ginette Vincendeau (eds),Popular European Cinema (London: Routledge), pp. 245-261.   

Seminar 1: Genres, filoni and Issues in Italian Film History

O’Leary, Alan (2017). ‘Italian Cinema and its Companions’ in ‘What is Italian Cinema?’ California Italian Studies, 7(1), pp. 7-14

Wagstaff, Christopher (1997). 'A Forkful of Westerns: Industry, Audiences and the Italian Western’', in Dyer, Richard and Ginette Vincendeau (eds), Popular European Cinema (London: Routledge), pp. 245-261

Recommended reading (not compulsory): Sorlin, Pierre (2013). ‘How the Italians Happened to Cherish and Then to Disdain Their Cinema’ in Bondanella (ed.), The Italian Cinema Book (London: BFI/Palgrave Macmillan). 

Lecture 3: Horror and the Giallo

Needham, Gary (2011) ‘Horror - Playing with genre - An introduction to the Italian giallo’, Kinoeye: New Perspectives on European Film, 2. Available from: http://www.kinoeye.org/02/11/needham11.php.
 

Recommended reading (not compulsory): Koven, Mikel J. (2006), La Dolce Morte: Vernacular Cinema and the Italian Giallo Film (Lanham: Scarecrow Press), pp. 1-18.

Wood, Mary P. (2005). Italian Cinema (Oxford: Berg), pp. 53-4.

The Giallo fever blog: http://giallo-fever.blogspot.com/ 

Lecture 4: Giallo Films

Recommended reading (not compulsory): Wood, Mary P. (2013) ‘Italian Film Genres and Mario Bava’ in Bondanella (ed.), The Italian Cinema Book (London: BFI/Palgrave Macmillan).

Recommended reading (not compulsory):  Roberts, Seb (2018) ‘Strange Vices: Transgression and the Production of Difference in the Giallo’, Imaginations: Journal of Cross-Cultural Image Studies, 9(1), pp.115-131. Available from: http://imaginations.glendon.yorku.ca/?p=10655

Seminar 2: Giallo - Profondo rosso

Recommended reading (not compulsory): Koven, Mikel, J, (2013) ‘The Giallo and the Spaghetti Nightmare Film’, in in Bondanella (ed.), The Italian Cinema Book (London: BFI/Palgrave Macmillan), pp. 204-6.    

Recommended reading (not compulsory): Bertellini, Giorgio, (2004) ‘Profondo Rosso/Deep Red’, in Bertellini, Giorgio (ed.), The Cinema of Italy  (London: Wallflower). Read at least pp. 220-2.   Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva 

Recommended reading (not compulsory): McDonagh, Maitland (2010). Broken Mirrors/Broken Minds: The Dark Dreams of Dario Argento (New York: Citadel Press). Read pp. 35-58.   

Lecture 5: Crime - The Italian Mafia Movie

Dickie, John (2004) Cosa nostra: a History of Sicilian Mafia (London: Hodder). Read the Introduction. Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva 

Babini, Luana (2005), ‘The Mafia: New Cinematic Perspectives’, in Hope, William (ed), Italian Cinema: New Directions (Oxford: Peter Lang), pp. 229-236.    Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva 

Recommended reading (not compulsory): Renga, Dana. (2011). Mafia Movies: A Reader (Toronto: TUP). Read pp. 17-31.    

Lecture 6: Italian Mafia Films

Dickie, John (2004) Cosa nostra: a History of Sicilian Mafia (London: Hodder). Read ‘Death Of A ‘Leftist Fanatic’: Peppino Impastato’, pp. 268-77.   Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva 

Small, Pauline (2005). ‘Giordana's I cento passi: Renegotiating the Mafia Codes’. New Cinemas: Journal of Contemporary Film 3 (1). Read pp. 41-44. 

Recommended reading (not compulsory): Continue with Small's article (above), pp. 44-54.

Seminar 3: Italian Mafia Films: Angela

* Recommended reading (not compulsory): Renga, Dana (2013). Unfinished Business: Screening the Italian Mafia in the New Millennium. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Start with the Introduction, pp. 3-20.   

 

ITAL2201 students will finish teaching now; ITAL2200 will continue as we venture into the world of Italian comedy...

 

Lecture 7: Comedy and Commedia italiana

Farinotti, Luisella (2011). Introductory essay to ‘Comedy’ section of Louis Bayman (ed.),Directory of World Cinema - Italy (Bristol: Intellect), pp. 108-111.  

Wood, Mary P. (2005). Italian Cinema (Oxford: Berg). Section on comedy, pp. 43-52.
 
  Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva 

Recommended reading (not compulsory): King, Geoff. (2002). Film Comedy (New York: Wallflower Press). Read pp. 63-92.   Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva 

Lecture 8: Comedy, Italian Style I

Fournier Lanzoni, Rémi (2008). Comedy Italian Style: The Golden Age of Italian Film Comedies (New York: Continuum). Read introductory section, pp. 7-11.

Fournier Lanzoni, Rémi (2013). ‘Chronicles of a Hastened Modernisation: The Cynical Eye of the Commedia all’italiana’ in Bondanella (ed.), The Italian Cinema Book (London: BFI/Palgrave Macmillan).

Recommended reading (not compulsory): Moliterno, Gino (2014). ‘Commedia all’italiana – Comedy Italian Style’, Senses of Cinema, 71. Available from: http://www.sensesofcinema.com/2014/2014-melbourne-international-film-festival-dossier/commedia-allitaliana-comedy-italian-style/ 

Seminar 4: Comedy, Italian Style - I soliti ignoti

Recommended reading (not compulsory): Passi, Federico (2014). ‘I soliti ignoti’, Senses of Cinema, 71. Available from: http://www.sensesofcinema.com/2014/2014-melbourne-international-film-festival-dossier/i-soliti-ignoti/  

Recommended reading (not compulsory): Bini, Andrea (2015). Male Anxiety and Psychopathology in Film: Comedy, Italian Style (Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan). Read 'Mario Monicelli and the Dark Side of Neorealist Comedy', pp. 62-71.    

Lecture 9: Comedy, Italian Style II

Recommended reading (not compulsory): Marcus, Millicent (1986). Italian Cinema in the Light of Neorealism (Princeton: Princeton University Press). Read 'Germi's Seduced and Abandoned: Inside the Honor Code', pp. 228-244.

Recommended reading (not compulsory): Bini, Andrea (2015). Male Anxiety and Psychopathology in Film: Comedy, Italian Style (Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan). Read 'The Last Decade: The Years of Lead', pp. 183-185. 

Seminar 5: Essay plans - discussion

There is no set reading for this seminar - please refer to the seminar folder on Minerva for instructions on how to prepare.

Lecture 10: What is Italian Cinema?

This is a student-led session. Select materials to revise from the texts above.

 

Top of page

Further reading

Annotated Reading List – the best material to start with is in bold

Bayman, Louis (ed.) (2011). Directory of world cinema : Italy (Bristol: Intellect)    

- Mostly short discussions of a vast range of films but also contains short introductions to various modes, genres and other issues.

Bertellini, Giorgio (ed.), The cinema of Italy (London: Wallflower, 2004).  

- Introductory readings of twenty-four films by top scholars, with a useful introduction (that however might also be disagreed with in parts) by the editor Bertellini that also briefly discusses other books on Italian cinema.  

Bordwell, David, and Kristin Thompson (2001). Film Art: An Introduction 6th or subsequent editions (McGraw-Hill)     

Bordwell, David, and Kristin Thompson (2003), Sections on Italian cinema in Film History: An Introduction (McGraw-Hill)     

- Bordwell and Thompson are two of the most famous historians and theorists of cinema in the world. These two books are designed for students, though the material in the Film History book is sometimes a little secondhand.

Bondanella, Peter (2001). 'Italian Cinema', in Baranski and West (eds, The Cambridge Companion to Modern Italian Culture  (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), pp. 215-42    

- Narrative introductory account

Bondanella, Peter (2009). A History of Italian Cinema (London: Continuum).    

- This updates and replaces his previous Italian Cinema from Neorealism to the Present (available in three editions), which has been the most popular introduction to Italian cinema.

Bondanellla, Peter (2014). The Italian cinema book (London: BFI/Palgrave Macmillan)

- Many articles on different aspects, periods and issues in Italian cinema, some more accessible than others. Proof copy of whole book available on VLE.

Brunetta, Gian Piero (2009). The history of Italian cinema : a guide to Italian film from its origins to the twenty-first century  (Princeton: Princeton University Press)    

- Major historian of Italian cinema. Various histories available in library in Italian. The book is a bad translation of one of his shorter books.

Dix, Andrew (2008). Beginning film studies (Manchester University Press)    

Dyer, Richard (2007). ‘Italian Cinema’, in The Cinema Book, ed. by Pam Cook (London: BFI), pp. 231-2.

- Short introduction to Italian cinema with a useful emphasis on issues of genre and ‘mode’ (On the VLE)

Hayward, Susan (2000). Entry on ‘Italian neo-realism’, in Cinema Studies: The Key Concepts (London: Routledge), pp.201-4. {4th ed. 2013}    

- Short, clear and only slightly inaccurate introduction to neorealism. Very good to give you an overview before you move onto more detailed reading. (The whole book also gives useful definitions of the key film studies concepts you will encounter in the module).

Landy, Marcia (2000). Italian Film (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press)    

Marcus, Millicent (1986). Italian film in the light of neorealism (Princeton: Princeton University Press)    

- Classic book with an important preface and introdcution and which includes chapters on Roma, città aperta and 16 other films.

Marcus, Millicent (2002). After Fellini : national cinema in the postmodern age (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press)    

Moliterno, Gino (2009). The A to Z of Italian cinema (Lanham: Scarecrow Press)    

- In effect a detailed dictionary of Italian cinema that may be useful when you need to check who someone or what something is. Contains a useful essay (from p. 400) on the scholarship devoted to Italian cinema in Italian and in English.

Nowell-Smith, Geoffrey (ed.) (1995). Sections on Italian cinema in The Oxford history of world cinema (Oxford: Clarendon press)    

- includes a particularly useful chapter on Italian silent cinema (all available on the VLE.

Nowell-Smith, Geoffrey (1995), The companion to Italian cinema (London: BFI)    

O’Leary, Alan (2017), ‘What is Italian Cinema? ’, California Italian Studies. Available online: http://escholarship.org/uc/ismrg_cisj

- An introduction to the range of Italian cinema and how it has been studied. A detailed article best read towards the end of semester 1.

O’Leary, Alan and Catherine O’Rawe (2011). ‘Against Realism: On a ‘Certain Tendency’ in Italian Film Criticism,” Journal of modern Italian studies. 16: 1, 107-19.

- Controversial polemic followed by responses from three major scholars, with a reply by O’Leary and O’Rawe to these responses.

Sorlin, Pierre (1996). Italian national cinema 1896-1996 (London: Routledge)

Wagstaff, Christopher (1996). ‘Cinema’, in Italian cultural studies : an introduction, ed. by David Forgacs and Robert Lumley (Oxford: Oxford University Press), pp. 216-232.  

-  Key text for the module. You will need to read it several times – each time you do, you will get more out of it.

Wagstaff, Christopher (1992). 'A Forkfull of Westerns: Industry, Audiences and the Italian Western’', in Dyer, Richard and Ginette Vincendeau (eds),  Popular European cinema  (London: Routledge), pp. 245-261    

Wagstaff, Christopher (2007). Italian neorealist cinema : an aesthetic approach (Toronto: Toronto University Press)    

- Massive and sometimes eccentric study of neorealism, with long analyses of three films, including Roma città aperta. Contains very useful appendices bursting with information.

Wood, Mary P. (2005). Italian cinema (Oxford: Berg)

- Excellent but sometimes difficult book which tends to assume a certain amount of knowledge already.

 

 

This list was last updated on 25/01/2021