85100 - History of Italian Cinema (1) (LM)

Academic Year 2022/2023

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Italian Studies, European Literary Cultures, Linguistics (cod. 9220)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, students will have learned the basic concepts required for them to find their bearings in the history of Italian cinematography. In particular, they will be capable of tackling a number of common focal points that can link cinema with the history of Italian culture (method of representation, cultural industry, relationships with other expressive forms).

Course contents

The class starts with an analysis of the concept of “national cinema” for better understanding both the focus and the approach adopted by the lecturer in presenting the Italian case study. After this methodological introduction, the class investigates the history of Italian cinema from the silent era to nowadays. In doing that, Italian film will be analysed both as art form and economic good. The aim of the class is twofold. On the one hand, it investigates an historical path in order to retrace the evolution of the Italian cinema in terms of style, aesthetics, themes, etc. On the other hand, it detects relationships between Italian cinema, Italian history, Italian art forms and Italian cultural industry.

This path will be supported by the in-depth analysis of some films which are particularly important for understanding key-periods, key-genres and key-trends of the Italian film history. The films are:

-Ossessione/Obsession (1943), by Luchino Visconti

-Ladri di biciclette/Bicycle Thieves (1948), by Vittorio De Sica

-Riso amaro/Bitter Rice (1949), by Giuseppe De Santis

-La strada/The Road (1954), by Federico Fellini

-La dolce vita (1960), by Federico Fellini

-Divorzio all’italiana/Divorce Italian Style (1961), by Pietro Germi

-Per un pugno di dollari/A Fistful of Dollars (1964), by Sergio Leone

-Blow-up (1966), by Michelangelo Antonioni

-Profondo rosso/Deep Red (1975), by Dario Argento

-Call me by your name (2017), by Luca Guadagnino


Lectures will be mainly based on the following references:

-BONDANELLA, P. (2009), A History of Italian Cinema. Continuum, New York.

-BONDANELLA P. (2014), The Italian Cinema Book (ed.), BFI-Palgrave, London.

-WOOD M. (2005) Italian Cinema, Berg, Oxford and New York.

Teaching methods

Lectures supported by slides and audiovisual materials. Students are invited to actively participate to the open discussions and in film analyses.

Teaching will be carried out with traditional methods: the professor will always be in the designated classroom.

Assessment methods

Attending studens have to study:

-BONDANELLA, P. (2009), A History of Italian Cinema, Continuum, New York (CHAPTERS 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13).

-the slides provided by the lecturer (uploaded on "Virtuale");

-their personal notes;

Students are also invited to actively participate in class discussion.


Non-attending students have to study:

-BONDANELLA, P. (2009), A History of Italian Cinema, Continuum, New York (CHAPTERS 1-17).

- BONDANELLA P. (2014), The Italian Cinema Book (ed.), BFI-Palgrave, London.

Both attending and non-attending students are requested to watch the films listed above.

Teaching tools

Slides, audiovisual materials.

Office hours

See the website of Claudio Bisoni


Quality education

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.