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2018/19 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ITAL1150 Italian Cinema: An Introduction

10 creditsClass Size: 40

Module manager: Dr Simone Lomartire

Taught: Semester 2 View Timetable

Year running 2018/19

Module replaces


This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

From fascist propaganda to the dolce vita… from vulgar comedies to art-house austerity… from silent divas to spaghetti westerns - Italian cinema has it all! This module will introduce students to the range of Italian cinema through the study of films drawn from its 100 years. It will cover 'auteur' (arthouse) as well as genre cinema and the relationship with other media like opera and painting. It will also touch on questions of 'national' cinema, politics, economics, audience and industry. The module will be taught in English and all films chosen will be subtitled (or dubbed!) in English. No previous study experience of Italian, film or media studies is required.


- To introduce students to the range of Italian cinema, from its internationally acknowledged masterpieces to the genres and modes that tend to be consumed within Italy itself
- To give students a sense of the place of Italian cinema in Italian culture more broadly
- To give students a sense of the different approaches to the study of a national cinema

Learning outcomes
- A critical familiarity with the history of Italian cinema and some of the issues related to its study
- The ability to analyse films critically and historically
- Familiarity with the close analysis of films
- Students will be helped to utilize their own previous film (and TV) viewing and tastes in the analysis of an unfamiliar context


The course will begin with a two-lecture outline of the development of Italian cinema, dealing with its modes and genres and its historical and industrial context. See here for a full indication of material covered in these lectures:
The following seven lectures will each deal with specific films or genres. The films chosen to view and study will change from year to year, but the following is an indicative list:
1. Assunta Spina (1914)
2. 1860 (1934)
3. Roma città aperta/Rome Open City (1945)
4. Un americano a Roma/An American in Rome (1954)
5. C'era una volta il West/Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
6. La polizia incrimina la legge assolve/High Crime (1973)
7. Caro diario/Dear Diary (1993)
8. Sole a catinelle/Buckets of Sunshine (2013)
A final lecture will be devoted to a review of the course and issues to do with the study of Italian cinema and national cinemas more broadly, as well as preparation for the exam.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours90.00
Total Contact hours10.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

Film viewing and preparation for lectures – 25 hours
Reading around topics and films – 40 hours
Revision and preparation for exam – 25 hours

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Informally in class and via questionnaire circulated midway through course.

Methods of assessment

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Unseen exam 2 hr 00 mins100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 13/11/2018 09:25:34


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