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Durham University

School of Modern Languages and Cultures: Italian Studies

Italian Cinema

Academic Year 2019-20

This module is designed to introduce students to the historical, theoretical, and technical evolution of Italian cinematic experience from the appearance of the first Italian movie in 1895 up to the present. The module aims to present the history of Italian cinema as the history of a visual art which progressively absorbed various forms of narrative, pictorial, musical, and performative elements belonging to other forms of representation. The module will concentrate on the ways in which cinema has consistently developed new narrative and visual means of representing developments in Italian society and culture in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Set Texts are likely to include:

  • Ossessione (Visconti 1943)
  • Pasqualino settebellezze (Wermuller 1975)
  • Il tè nel deserto (Bertolucci 1990)
  • La vita è bella (Benigni 1997)
  • Romanzo criminale (Placido 2005)

All material is posted on duo.


Professor Charles Burdett (, A27, Elvet Riverside I

Further details of pre-requisites, co-requisites, aims, contact hours and assessment