ITALIAN NEOREALISM (1944-1952). Major figures: Roberto Rossellini, Vittorio De Sica, Cesare Zavattini, Luchino Visconti, Giuseppe De Santis, Suso Cecchi d'Amico, Federico Fellini (transition). Neorealism became famous globally in 1946 with Roberto Rossellini's Rome, Open City. Neorealist films often feature children in major roles, though their characters are frequently more observational than participatory.
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Italian Neorealism as defined by the Criterion Collection. The neorealist movement began in Italy at the end of World War II as an urgent response to the political turmoil and desperate economic conditions afflicting the country. Directors such as Roberto Rossellini, Vittorio De Sica, and Luchino Visconti took up cameras to focus on lower-class characters and their concerns, using nonprofessional actors, outdoor shooting, (necessarily) very small budgets, and a realist aesthetic.
The Bicycle Thief is the best-known work of Italian Neorealism, the movement (begun by Roberto Rossellini’s 1945 Rome, Open City) which attempted to give cinema a new degree of realism. Vittorio De Sica was unable to get financial backing from any major studio for the film, so he raised the money himself from friends. Wanting to portray the poverty and unemployment of post-war Italy, he chose a novel by Luigi Bartolini to loosely base his script on, which he co-wrote with Cesare Zavattini…
Neorealism and the "New" Italy: Compassion in the Development of Italian Identity (Hardcover)
Neorealism and the "New" Italy: Compassion in the Development of Italian Identity