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Lecture 6: Film Theory 3 - Italian Film

Fellini an italian film director and screen writer is taken seriously as an auteur and became one of the most influential film makers of the 20th century, throughout his career which span 40 years, he won five academy awards, he was famous for his style which blended Barque with fantasy. Fellini famously comments on the superficiality of the middle class existence. He become critically acclaimed as his films were associated with with a distinctive style and sophistication.

La Dolce Vita, Fellini’s master piece released in 1960, another film by Fellini 8 1/2 released three years later in 1963 also received critical acclaim

La Dolce Vita also spurred the fashion trend for the sunglasses featured within the film

The staples to good Italian cinema is the audiences, the historical and social contexts and economics.

Within italy there are two types of cinema, Prima and Seconda visione, these are cinema which attract a middle to higher class audiences and are usually found within heavily populated cities and then terza visione cinemas which are found in less populated and poorer areas of italy and attract a lower class auidence, as tickets were cheaper and people went to cinema for habit rather than the selection of film. The films featured in these cinema were for formulaic and popular films than innovative, works of critical acclaim seen within prima visione and seconda visione cinemas.

Within 1970’s italy the cinema for the working classes was a very different experience, many would go to the cinema every night and the conventions of cinema are different in that it was common that people would talk, drink and eat during the film and people can enter to watch the film at any point start, middle or near the end, the cinema was a social experience rather than a experience in which you view a piece of cinematic genius. These conventions meant that the italian film industry required and needed many mediocre films to be produced

Wagstaff said that audiences at terza visione are more like televisions auidences in that experience in more casual, they don’t attend the cinema to see a specific film, they arrive irrespective of the film start time, and the experience is used as a social event to meet people

Filone is an italian word which has a similar meaning to genre, the term is based on the ideology of geology in which layer of veins create and exist within a large layer, types of filone include Giallo a type of film similar to detective films and is based on detective novels, Mondo/Cannibal films similar to horror films and Poliziottesco which are films based in the police

The Good, the bad and the ugly, 1966, directed by Sergio Leone - A now classic, acclaimed for its use of sound, music, lack of dialogue, use of eye line and cutting, difference in scale, use of camera to tell the story, fragmentation of the body and its catholic references.

Giallo and type of Filone is italian for yellow, it stems from a set of cheap paperback crime and mystery novels which all had a trademark yellow cover

Giallo directors - Mario Bava, Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci created films that were stylistic and expressionistic, which challenged our senses and standards of good taste, they were similar to grindhouse/drive in movies of america, they used wonderful titles to sell the concept of the movie to the public

Themes common ins Giallo films - the city of Rome and Milan, the amateur detective as a tourist - the protagonist of the film is usual an american or british tourist visiting Italy, they usually work within the creative industries, they also evoke a cosmopolitan life style. Giallo Killers commonly wear black gloves, black hat, over coat and have a disguised gender.

Dario Argento - Often referred to as the italian Hitchcock, places himself within the film alike hitchcock, his films feature visually stunning set pieces, shot without sound so films could be dubbed, He was also a son and brother of other famous film directors and producers.

Giallo films also feature a subjective point of view, Killer cam, eye line shot, set pieces, art and cultural references, semiotics, the fall, ambivalence towards modernity, religion and superstition

These films also feature dubbing and heightened sound they are shot without sound, then dialogue and sound effects are added later, this allows the film to be used in many languages, these types of films were often sold to America and Britain as B Movies - drive in movies

Many Giallo films also feature Freudian Psychology, most Giallo films require the film to be read from a psychoanalytical point of view

The films feature childhood trauma, often based of false memory, fetishes and the solution of mystery lining within art, the works of art that feature within these films are often subverted with madness of psychopath antagonist of the film and also provide a glimpse into the past and into the mind of the killer.

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