Italian cinema and why we love it so much

There is no other film more closely associated with the greatness of Italian cinema than Rossellini’s timeless classic Rome, Open City, written, directed, and produced in 1945 in Rome not long after German forces had abandoned the Eternal City (image via Wikipedia).

Shot entirely on location in Rome using mostly ordinary citizens who had never acted before, this film — considered by many to be one of the greatest cinematic masterpieces of all time — launched the Italian Neorealist movement, one of the earliest “waves” of Italian filmmaking (and literature) that would captivate audiences and critics in Europe and the United States.

Not only did this film introduce moviegoers across the world to some of Italy’s leading actors — like Aldo Fabrizi and Anna Magnani — it also changed the way the world viewed film as an artistic medium. Rossellini’s novel approach to filmmaking created and forever redefined film’s power for social commentary and artistic greatness. And while the film is screened every year in film studies programs across the world, it has never lost its power to move viewers.

If you’re new to Italian film but want to verse yourself in the great cinematic works that reshaped the twentieth century with their artistry and humanity, Rome, Open City is the best place to start…

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