Cesare Zavattini: neorealism
in Cinema – Italy
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Cesare Zavattini was born in 1902, in Luzzara, in the province of Reggio Emilia. He worked as a journalist on La Gazzetta di Parma in the 1920s, and also worked in cartoons and radio. He is principally remembered as a theoretician of neorealism and as the author of the screenplays of some of the major post-war films of Vittorio De Sica. In an article, 'I sogni migliori' ('The Best Dreams'), published in the journal Cinema in April 1940, Zavattini foreshadowed, as in a preparatory sketch, the dense network of ideas that he would interweave after the war. 'Nine-tenths of world cinema', he wrote, 'relies on the romantic and the extreme'. For Zavattini, a dual emancipation of the means of cinema was necessary, namely a break from established industrial structures and canons of representation, in order for it to accomplish its philosophical function to promote knowledge.

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