Since the development of the Italian film industry in the early 1900s, Italian filmmakers have continued to inspire generations of directors and the public worldwide. As of 2014, Italian films have won 14 Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film, the most of any country, as well as 12 Palmes d'Or, the second-most of any country. There is something about Italian filmmaking that speaks to all your senses. During this three-hour walking seminar we will set out to discover what that something is.
In the company of our docent, an independent filmmaker or film studies expert, we will look at Rome through the eyes, or rather the camera lenses, of the most influential and skilled Italian film directors: from Neorealism, through the fantastic world of imagery of Fellini to the contemporary achievements of Paolo Sorrentino.
We begin with exploring the magnitude of Federico Fellini and his La Dolce Vita (1960). With Piazza del Popolo as our first location, we discuss Fellini's work and approach by setting the scene of what came before; Italian Neorealism and after: contemporary filmmaking.
Skirting around the bustling streets, we will make for via Margutta, peeking into the private life of Fellini and further delving into his relationship with directors such as Scola and Rossellini.
We will then proceed to visit one of the filming locations of De Sica's Bicycle Thieves (1948) through which we will further discuss Italian Neorealism and the creation of a new cinematographic language tied to the social and political context of the country in the aftermath of World War II.
Our walk will continue towards a number of iconic sites for Italian cinema lovers such as the Trevi Fountain and Piazza Navona. At these filming locations, with the help of our docent's iPad, we will focus on the mise-en-scène, i.e. the director’s perspective, aiming to understand the specific artistic meaning of the chosen space as well as to re-create the atmosphere that the selected scenes of the film intend to suggest.
By the end of this walk, we will have observed Rome as a source of inspiration for directors such as De Sica, Fellini, Scola and Sorrentino and explored the interplay between art, film and the city. We will also consider the city's social and urban developments through the comparison between the original scenes (screened on a iPad) and the filming locations nowadays. We will have encountered and familiarized ourselves with Italian Cinema from the end of the World War II up until now: its history, its directors, and some of its most important films, experiencing the real settings that have contributed to creating Rome and Italy’s “cultural image”.
Note: We can also arrange private versions of the walk geared towards foreign movies filmed in Rome or specific directors such as Pier Paolo Pasolini or Nanni Moretti.