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I would like to do question 4.

Italian / Screen 3502 FINAL ASSIGNMENT

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Fall 2020


Please write a 5-7 page essay on one of the topics below related to Italian cinema and the films we studied in the course. Please document all sources.

I would suggest you begin by posing a question and then setting out to answer it.

EXPECTATIONS: A well-written analytical essay that has an introduction, a thesis statement followed by a few sentences that explain the points you are going to make in the essay and the method (how) you are going to make those points. Each paragraph should have topic sentence that sets up what is going to be contained in that paragraph. A conclusion summing up what you have said and how you have proven your thesis.

1-A 5-7 page analysis of a frame/shot/sequence from one of the films we have seen in class. At least 3-5 of these pages should be close analysis.

2-The first section of the course focused on Italian Neo-realism. Drawing on our study of Italian Neo-realism and using examples from specific films, how could Michael Haneke’s 2012 films Amour or Darren Aranofsky’s 2008 film The Wrestler be considered “Neorealist” films in the light of Italian neo-realism? NOTE: You may not use my article on the subject in your research.

3-One thing we have seen throughout the course, is the importance of children in the films we have watched. Drawing on the films we have seen starting with Rossellini’s Open City and ending with Wertmuller’s Ciao Professore frame an analysis of the significance of children in these films and contextualize your analysis around the historical periods (Open City, 1946 : Ciao Professore, 1993—50 years later) in which these films were made. What are the filmmakers saying/suggesting? What do the final scenes/sequences/shots of these films suggest?

4-We have studied the Western genre from the “Classic” Western (High Noon,1952) to the Italian variation in the “Spaghetti” Western (Fistful of Dollars, 1963). It has been suggested that at the time that Sergio Leone made Fistful of Dollars the Western genre had died. But with his variation of the “Classic” Western formula, Leone had breathed new life into the genre. Drawing on the formula as seen in High Noon describe how this formula is adapted and changed to create the new genre of the “Spaghetti” Western in the hands of Sergio Leone? Give specific examples from the films.

5-When Sergio Leone made Fistful of Dollars, it was said that the “Classic Western” was dead. Yet, out of that, Leone was able to create a new genre, the “Spaghetti”Western that would, in its own right, meets its demise. Yet, later, Quentin Tarantino would find great inspiration from the “Spaghetti” Western and, himself, breathe new life into that genre. It is said that the single most important influence in all of Tarantino’s work is the “Spaghetti” Western. This claim, of course, is most evident in his 2012 film, Django Unchained, but may be found in other films as well, most recently in Once Upon A Time in Hollywood (2019). In detail discuss this influence on Tarantino’s work (in a single film or across his opus). How does Tarantino breathe new life into the “Spaghetti” Western making it his own?

6-Fellini’s La dolce vita (1960) is considered among many as one of the best/most important films in the history of cinema. We can find its influence in many films including Germi’s Divorce Italian Style (1961). But it is also found in Sofia Coppola’s 2003 film Lost in Translation and Paolo Sorrentino’s 2013 film The Great Beauty. Discuss La dolce vita (aspects of it) in light of one of these films. Of particular interest: What is Fellini portraying in La dolce vita, what is his conclusion? And 40-50 years later, how do Coppola’s and Sorrentino’s portrayals (of the same thing?) comment on Fellini’s film and his conclusions? Are they the same? Or different?

7-Develop an essay from one of the assessments assigned throughout the course.

8-Propose your own topic. This requires instructor permission. Please present a question, thesis and description of what you are going to “prove” and how you are going to prove it. Also, please do some research before meeting with the instructor to discuss your topic.

Classic Western Formula:

The Parts: Characters and elements-

1-Sheriff/Marshall/Law man-protagonist=moral good-law and order=NAME=MOST SKILLS


2-outlaw-antagonist=moral bad-chaos/disorder=NAME=MOST SKILLS

3-women-vulnerable/mothers/prostitutes/ school marms

4-townspeople=scared/weak/ vulnerable/ rely on the sheriff maintenance of order


A.J. Greimas’ “Narrative Path”

All stories are a series of either CONJUNCTIONS (coming together) or DISJUNTIONS (coming apart/separating).

All stories are either trying to free oneself from an initial conjunction or bringing back together something that has separated.

4 basic parts to every story

Manipulation Competence Performance Sanction

Initial action obstacles do or not do judgement

To “want to” “can(‘t) work v outcome worth it?

To “have to” “know how”

Classic Western:

Interaction between the parts and the narrative path:






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