Common Neorealist Elements



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1) Common Neorealist Elements

  • 1) Common Neorealist Elements

  • 2) Who is Luchino Visconti?

  • 3) La Terra trema

  • 4) Neorealist Ideals and Reality



(1) In CONTENT

  • (1) In CONTENT

  • a. An emphasis on contemporary subjects

  • and the life of the working class

  • b. Calling for political reform and unity

  • c. Moral commitment to make characters’

  • problems gain universal recognition

  • d. Beauty of ordinary life, drama hidden in

  • everyday life



(2) In FORM

  • (2) In FORM

  • a. Location shooting

  • b. Use of non-professional actors

  • c. Rough, off-hand composition

  • d. Shooting with available natural light

  • e. Restraint in using expressive shots (close-up, wide-angle, telephoto, zoom shot, etc.)











f. Long take

  • f. Long take

  • g. Restraint in expressive montage



  • Born on 2 Nov. 1906 and died on 17 March 1976.

  • Aristocrat, film and theatre director: the maker of the films of harsh realism as well as sublime melodrama



Met Jean Renoir in Paris in the 1930s through the introduction of Coco Chanel and worked for him.

  • Met Jean Renoir in Paris in the 1930s through the introduction of Coco Chanel and worked for him.

  • Returning to Italy during the war, he became a resistance fighter and Marxist.

  • The leading light of Neorealismo.



Early (neo)realist works

  • Early (neo)realist works

  • Ossessione (1943)

  • Giorni di gloria (1945)

  • La Terra Trema (The Earth Trembles, 1948)



Ossessione (1943) - based on James M. Cain’s The Postman Always Rings Twice, it is about a doomed love affair between a drifter and the wife of a roadside restaurant owner.

  • Ossessione (1943) - based on James M. Cain’s The Postman Always Rings Twice, it is about a doomed love affair between a drifter and the wife of a roadside restaurant owner.

  • First neorealist film (?)



  • Giorni di gloria (1945) - a documentary film about the Nazi-Fascist oppression of Italians during the war. Includes footage of executions, atrocities and humiliation.



La Terra Trema (1948) - based on Giovanni Verga’s Il Malavoglia, it is about a fisherman family’s revolt against the exploitation and its failure.

  • La Terra Trema (1948) - based on Giovanni Verga’s Il Malavoglia, it is about a fisherman family’s revolt against the exploitation and its failure.



Shot on location in Aci Trezza, Sicily.

  • Shot on location in Aci Trezza, Sicily.

  • All the people who appear in the films are fishermen, residents or their families of Aci Trezza.



No artificial light

  • No artificial light

  • The dialect of Eastern Sicily

  • The pressing contemporary issue - the exploitation of the poor in the South



PARADOX AND CONTRADICTION

  • PARADOX AND CONTRADICTION

  • ‘Realistic’ representation of the life in a Sicilian fishing village / A Marxist re-interpretation of the novel of Giovanni Verga, I Malavoglia (Financially backed by the Italian Communist Party.)



The gritty realism of Visconti’s mise-en-scène / High aesthetic sensibility (mise-en-scène: slow and fluid pan shot; perfectly balanced composition; picturesque depth of deep focus photography

  • The gritty realism of Visconti’s mise-en-scène / High aesthetic sensibility (mise-en-scène: slow and fluid pan shot; perfectly balanced composition; picturesque depth of deep focus photography



Visconti’s composition of frames is like painting and his camerawork is as elaborate as that of any studio product.

  • Visconti’s composition of frames is like painting and his camerawork is as elaborate as that of any studio product.



Painterly composition - triangle composition

  • Painterly composition - triangle composition



Casper Friedrich, The Wanderer above the Sea of Fog 1818

  • Casper Friedrich, The Wanderer above the Sea of Fog 1818

  • Mary Cassat, The Family 1892



Perfect triangle compositions in La Terra trema

  • Perfect triangle compositions in La Terra trema



Another painterly composition

  • Another painterly composition



Narrative compromise – drama and suspense, gap between actual time and story time, ideological intention behind storytelling

  • Narrative compromise – drama and suspense, gap between actual time and story time, ideological intention behind storytelling

  • Formal compromise – filming in studio sets with careful lighting, non-synchronous recording (post-dabbing), ‘amalgam’ of professional and non-professional actors, self-conscious mise-en-scéne and montage



Career after neorealismo

  • Career after neorealismo

  • Theatre and opera producer - life long career.



Senso (1954)

  • Senso (1954)

  • A Venetian countess falls in love with a vile Austrian lieutenant at the end of Austrian occupation of Venice.

  • Doomed decadent love affair.



Le Notte bianche (1956) - based on Feodor Dostoevskij’s novel, it is about a fleeting love affair between a lonely man and a lonely woman.

  • Le Notte bianche (1956) - based on Feodor Dostoevskij’s novel, it is about a fleeting love affair between a lonely man and a lonely woman.

  • Entirely shot in sets and more stagy than cinematic.



Gattopardo (Leopard, 1965) - based on Giuseppe di Lampedusa’s autobiographical story, it is about the decline and fall of a Sicilian aristocratic family.

  • Gattopardo (Leopard, 1965) - based on Giuseppe di Lampedusa’s autobiographical story, it is about the decline and fall of a Sicilian aristocratic family.

  • Stylistic, aesthetic and operatic.



Later Career: Autobiographical elements - decadence and aestheticism; homosexuality

  • Later Career: Autobiographical elements - decadence and aestheticism; homosexuality

  • Morte a Venizia (Death in Venice 1971)

  • Ludwich (1973)



Morte a Venizia (1971) - based on Thomas Man’s short story, it is about a dying man’s infatuation with a beautiful boy.

  • Morte a Venizia (1971) - based on Thomas Man’s short story, it is about a dying man’s infatuation with a beautiful boy.

  • Operatic contemplation of love and death.



Ludwig (1973) – about ‘mad’ king of Bavaria, who is determined to create an artistic kingdom in his country inviting Richard Wagner.

  • Ludwig (1973) – about ‘mad’ king of Bavaria, who is determined to create an artistic kingdom in his country inviting Richard Wagner.

  • Visconti’s love for opera and anything beautiful.



Innocente (1976) - based on Gabriel D’Annunzio’s novel, it is about the breakup of a marriage, and jealousy and homosexual relationship.

  • Innocente (1976) - based on Gabriel D’Annunzio’s novel, it is about the breakup of a marriage, and jealousy and homosexual relationship.




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