Civic Cinema: Italian Neorealism After WWII

Thursdays, February 1 - March 8
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Instructor: Andre Puca
Thursdays at 10am
Thursday, February 1 - Thursday, March 8 (5 sessions, no class on February 8)
Cost: $120/members, $150/public


The neorealist movement following WWII inspired some of Italy’s most enduring and important filmmakers. Between 1945 and the early 1960s, several Italian directors combined the practices of documentary and fiction to provoke the socio-political consciousness of a nation, telling stories about working class struggles and confronting the harsh realities of post war Italy.

Using a mix of professional and non-professional actors and preferring to shoot on location, the neorealists set their sights on characters and stories that Italy’s film industry had turned a blind eye toward during the 1930s, a period known as “the cinema of distraction.” In the words of neorealist champion & screenwriter Cesare Zavattini, “the cinema’s overwhelming desire to see, to analyze, its hunger for reality, is an act of concrete homage towards other people, towards what is happening and existing in the world. And incidentally, it is what distinguishes ‘neorealism’ from the American cinema.” Vittorio De Sica's 1948 film Bicycle Thieves headlines the class, while the full list of film titles will be announced during the first session. To find out more and to see some of Italy’s finest classics, join professor Andre Puca for a 5-week course on one of the most significant movements in the history of cinema.

About the Instructor

Andre Puca received his B.A. in English from Cornell University, after which he earned his MFA in Film Studies from Boston University. He is a Senior Affiliated Faculty member at Emerson College, where he teaches courses on film and media studies. He has also taught film studies courses at Babson College as a Visiting Lecturer and presented papers at a number of film studies conferences in the U.S. As a citizen of Italy and a fluent speaker of Italian, Andre has spent a great deal of time travelling back and forth between the United States and his home country. As a result, he brings an intimate knowledge of Italian dialects, language, culture and history to the course. And while his primary research interest includes the history of American independent cinema, his most recent publication featured in The Journal of Italian Cinema & Media Studies was about the sadly overlooked Italian comedian and director, Massimo Troisi.

Please note: the dates have been updated since this class was first announced in our printed film guide, so please use the schedule outlined here for the correct times the class will occur.