The History of Italian Cinema: A Guide to Italian Film from Its Origins to the Twenty-First Century

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Overview

The History of Italian Cinema is the most comprehensive guide to Italian film ever published. Written by the foremost scholar of Italian cinema and presented here for the first time in English, this landmark book traces the complete history of filmmaking in Italy, from its origins in the silent era through its golden age in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, and its subsequent decline to its resurgence today.

Gian Piero Brunetta covers more than 1,500 films, discussing renowned masters including Roberto Rossellini and Federico Fellini, as well as directors lesser known outside Italy like Dino Risi and Ettore Scola. He examines overlooked Italian genre films such as horror movies, comedies, and Westerns, and he also devotes attention to neglected periods like the Fascist era. Brunetta illuminates the epic scope of Italian filmmaking, showing it to be a powerful cultural force in Italy and leaving no doubt about its enduring influence abroad. Encompassing the social, political, and technical aspects of the craft, he recreates the world of Italian cinema, giving readers rare insights into the actors, cinematographers, film critics, and producers that have made Italian cinema unique. Brunetta's passion as a true fan of Italian movies comes across on every page of this panoramic guide.

A delight for film lovers everywhere, The History of Italian Cinema reveals the full artistry of Italian film.

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Editorial Reviews

Times Higher Education - Paul Sutton
[Brunetta is] widely recognised as the foremost historian of Italian cinema. . . . Covering the past 100 years or so of Italian cinema history, [The History of Italian Cinema] is a social, political, cultural, economic and literally geographic mapping of Italy's cinematic terrain. . . . [I]nvaluable.
Choice - M. Yacowar
Brunetta transcends film-studies fads to restore the heft of traditional historiography. In a clear, sinuous narrative he details the development of Italian cinema as art and as industry, within its own cultural and political context and in the world.
European Legacy - Marcia Landy
Those approaching his work for the first time will gain confidence in the depth and scope of his knowledge of Italian cinema and culture.
From the Publisher

"[Brunetta is] widely recognised as the foremost historian of Italian cinema. . . . Covering the past 100 years or so of Italian cinema history, [The History of Italian Cinema] is a social, political, cultural, economic and literally geographic mapping of Italy's cinematic terrain. . . . [I]nvaluable."--Paul Sutton, Times Higher Education

"Brunetta transcends film-studies fads to restore the heft of traditional historiography. In a clear, sinuous narrative he details the development of Italian cinema as art and as industry, within its own cultural and political context and in the world."--M. Yacowar, Choice

"If you are a serious film buff, then this book is a godsend, covering all you need to know in great detail. It packs in such a great amount of information that it's pretty much a one-stop shop for getting to grips with Italy's cinematic past, present and future."--Italia

"Gian Piero Burnetta believes that Italian cinema is not simply one of the great movie industries but 'the Art Form of the 20th Century'--and he certainly makes a good fist of proving this bold proposition in his comprehensive new history."--West Australian

"Those approaching his work for the first time will gain confidence in the depth and scope of his knowledge of Italian cinema and culture."--Marcia Landy, European Legacy

Italia
If you are a serious film buff, then this book is a godsend, covering all you need to know in great detail. It packs in such a great amount of information that it's pretty much a one-stop shop for getting to grips with Italy's cinematic past, present and future.
West Australian
Gian Piero Burnetta believes that Italian cinema is not simply one of the great movie industries but 'the Art Form of the 20th Century'—and he certainly makes a good fist of proving this bold proposition in his comprehensive new history.
Library Journal

As Brunetta (history & criticism of cinema, Univ. of Padua; The Cinema of Italy) guides readers through the halls of Italian cinema-overlooked by busts of Bernardo Bertolucci, Vittorio De Sica, Roberto Rossellini, and Federico Fellini and through displays of neorealism, Morricone-twanged spaghetti Westerns, giallo("thriller") splatter scenes, Nuovo cinema Paradiso, and Roberto Benigni antics-one might be upended by where the tour leads. In contrast to the epic grandeur of its tradition, the current state seems directionless and frail, but this is less a national crisis than an international reality. While some find concern with a lack of collective focus or see an undefined or unfamiliar cinematic landscape, Brunetta retains faith in film as a communicative method. This thoroughly detailed and seemingly experiential guide through the annals of Italian cinema conveys a lot of information but never seems less than easily gaited and conversational. Rare for a title of its scope, this is an absorbing, passionately told narrative. Recommended for all libraries for its reference value.
—Ben Malczewski

Choice
Brunetta transcends film-studies fads to restore the heft of traditional historiography. In a clear, sinuous narrative he details the development of Italian cinema as art and as industry, within its own cultural and political context and in the world.
— M. Yacowar
Times Higher Education
[Brunetta is] widely recognised as the foremost historian of Italian cinema. . . . Covering the past 100 years or so of Italian cinema history, [The History of Italian Cinema] is a social, political, cultural, economic and literally geographic mapping of Italy's cinematic terrain. . . . [I]nvaluable.
— Paul Sutton
European Legacy
Those approaching his work for the first time will gain confidence in the depth and scope of his knowledge of Italian cinema and culture.
— Marcia Landy
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691119892
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 7/25/2011
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 1,345,062
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Gian Piero Brunetta is professor of the history and criticism of cinema at the University of Padua in Italy. His many books include the acclaimed five-volume "History of World Cinema".

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Table of Contents


PREFACE vii
INTRODUCTION The Epic History of Italian Cinema 1
CHAPTER 1 The Silent Era 15
CHAPTER 2 From Sound to Salò 67
CHAPTER 3 From Neorealism to La dolce vita 108
CHAPTER 4 From the Boom Years to the Years of Terror 167
CHAPTER 5 From the 1970s to the Present 245
EPILOGUE 2007 315
NOTES 323
INDEX OF NAMES 345
INDEX OF FILMS 363
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