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Stefania Parigi

Paisà had its premiere at the Venice Film Festival in 1946. It is considered the most emblematic film of neorealism, though the term ‘neorealism’ was not yet part of critical debate until early in 1948. Rossellini had made his first film in 1939, Fantasia sottomarina / Underwater Fantasy , a short film on fish, halfway between a documentary and a fairy-tale. By 1946, he was shooting his sixth

in Cinema – Italy
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Author: Stefania Parigi

This book is a collection of essays on the author's journeys taken during the past fifteen years. They are journeys in time and of memory about a country that no longer exists: the Italy of Roberto Rossellini's Paisà, torn by war and sometimes in conflict with the American 'liberators'. The essays concentrate on the structure and forms of the films they discuss; a confrontation of cultures, the Italy of Luchino Visconti, a territory more cultural than physical, subject to transfigurations wrought by a sophisticated intellectual who viewed the world through the lens of his sensibilities. The first three essays focus on discussions and films relating to neorealism. They seek problems and inconsistencies in points of view and prejudices that have become institutionalized in popular accounts of neorealism. The next two essays are dedicated to Visconti's commemorative and antiquarian vein, to the central importance of mise en scène (in the theatrical sense) in his films. The final essay is an attempt to recover an archetypical image in Pasolini's work. The characteristics shared by these essays include a sensitivity and knowledge of the cinema, genuine scholarship, and the ability to see aesthetic resonances to painting, literature, poetry, music. The contrast between darkness and light in Paisà and in Visconti's Vaghe stelle dell'Orsais most incisive and dramatic. They are all traversed by recurrent themes and obsessions: the contrast between darkness and light, night and day.

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Stefania Parigi

The journeys described in this book were taken during the past fifteen years but refer to a period still more distant. They are journeys in time and of memory about a country that no longer exists: the Italy of Roberto Rossellini’s Paisà , torn by war and sometimes in conflict with the American ‘liberators’, a confrontation of cultures, as real now as it was then; the Italy of Luchino Visconti, a

in Cinema – Italy
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Brian McFarlane and Deane Williams

all his films. The figure of Rossellini provides a useful way into thinking about Winterbottom’s work in relation to the historical imperative that motivates these films. Rossellini’s earliest films Rome, Open City (1945) and Paisà (1946) provide a useful comparison with In This World and Welcome to Sarajevo in particular. In This World In This World employs a

in Michael Winterbottom
Stefania Parigi

cinema nor in the history of Italian cinema generally, with the exception perhaps of L’albero degli zoccoli (1978) by Ermanno Olmi. Fundamentally shot in direct sound, Visconti’s ‘cherished’ and incomprehensible Sicilian has no links with the dubbed Roman in Vittorio De Sica’s Ladri di biciclette (1948) nor with the plurality of languages of Paisà . If, as in these films, it responds to the call for an

in Cinema – Italy
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Sam Rohdie

Realities Rossellini’s Paisà was made in 1946, a few years after the events it depicts. It is composed of six episodes that trace the course of the war in Italy from the Allied invasion of Sicily in 1943 to the end of the Italian campaign in 1945. The film begins in Sicily, then moves north to Naples, then to Florence, then Emilia Romagna and concludes in the Po valley. Each episode is different in setting, in the events depicted and in their characters. The continuity between the episodes is purely geographical (south to north) and all involve a meeting of

in Film modernism
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Sam Rohdie

), the history of the cinema (the films of the Soviet Union in the 1920s, Chaplin, the Nouvelle Vague, Italian neorealism, the studio system under Irving Thalberg) and the stories (histoires) of films evoked by cited fragments (from The Searchers (1956), M (1931), Ordet (1925), Potemkin (1925), Broken Blossoms (1919), La Règle du jeu (1939), Cries and Whispers (1972), Gigi (1958), Paisà (1946)), the history of art (Van Gogh, Picasso, Goya, Rembrandt, Utrillo, Matisse, pornography), all notable for their range, differences and distance from each other, are criss

in Film modernism
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Sam Rohdie

, the fishermen of Aci Trezza in La terra trema (1948) speaking a sub-dialect of Sicilian). What the linguistic diversity of Italy revealed is contradictory: on the one hand the reality of a plurality of languages identified with regions and with class (dialect as the language of the Sicilian poor and the dispossessed in La terra trema and in the earlier films of Pasolini, in the Neapolitan sequence in Rossellini’s Paisà) whereas ‘Italian’ is a language of the educated and the relatively comfortable, belonging to bourgeois culture and the bourgeois State (the language

in Film modernism
Open Access (free)
Sequence and the rise of auteurism in 1950s Britain
Erik Hedling

the documentarists, he shared with them certain values and also gave them some credit. He supported their realist aesthetic, the creative use of spatial verisimilitude, but generally spurned what he thought of as the use of realism as an ‘excuse’ for bad films. In a review of Rossellini’s Paisa (1946) Anderson said that the so

in British cinema of the 1950s
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Sam Rohdie

Rossellini, in particular Rossellini’s earliest films of the 1940s and 1950s, Roma città aperta (1945), Paisà (1946), Germania anno zero, Stromboli (1949), Francesco, giullare di Dio (1950), Europa ’51 (1952), Viaggio in Italia (1954). In Histoire(s) du cinéma there are more than twenty-five references to Rossellini and citations from his films. Characteristic of early Rossellini is a difference posed between the fictional and the reality exterior to it, between cultures, languages, and persons who cannot be easily assimilated into a fictional world. The ‘other’ is not

in Film modernism