Module and Programme Catalogue

Search site

Find information on

2021/22 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ITAL2200 Italian Cinema: Genre and Social Change

20 creditsClass Size: 15

Module manager: Dr Laura Lucia Rossi

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

Pre-requisite qualifications

Italian level 1 or equivalent

This module is mutually exclusive with

ITAL2201Italian Cinema: Genre and Social Change

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Are your favourite movies westerns, action pictures or weepies? Has entertainment film anything to tell us about the society that produced it? How has the Italian cinema commented on Italian society and how has it influenced it? Italian cinema has been internationally influential since its birth. Typically it is discussed in terms of great directors from the period after the Second World War. This is not the approach we take in this module! Instead we aim to introduce students to Italian cinema through the study of its genres and modes (melodrama, thriller, horror, realist film etc.), and in turn genre will be used as a tool to discuss and understand processes of social change in twentieth-century Italy. Students will explore the ways genres appeal to filmmakers as well to the audiences which are the market for the films. We will also study and question the way in which the history of Italian cinema has traditionally been told. The module will be taught in English and all films chosen will be subtitled (or dubbed!) in English. Previous experience of film or media studies is not essential, though it would be wise to prepare for the course with some study of film analysis.


The module aims to introduce students to the study of Italian cinema through the study of the modes and genres which comprise it and through a critical appraisal of the approaches taken to the writing of its history.

On completion of this module, students should be able to:

- Demonstrate a detailed knowledge of the films studied and an understanding of their context in Italian cinematic history;
- Understand how the films studied may be related to one another, ideologically, historically, technically or thematically;
- Display an understanding of the relationship between films, genres and the processes of social change in Italy
- Use and display understanding of a range of film-critical terminology, applying it to independently researched material as well as to material introduced by the module tutor
- Demonstrate an awareness of the different forms of film history and the advantages and problems of each.
- Demonstrate an awareness of the variety of approaches to the history of Italian cinema, and the advantages and drawbacks of these.

Skills outcomes
On completion of this module, students should be able to:
- Achieve visual literacy skills, including the ability to present contextual readings of audio-visual texts.
- Understand and use, in written and oral contexts, a range of critical terms from film studies and critical theory appropriate to the topic at hand
- Adopt a critical approach to the selection and organisation of a large body of material in order to produce, to a deadline, a written argument of some complexity.


The first semester of the course will be devoted to the critical appraisal of approaches to writing the history of Italian cinema, as found in the classic histories by writers like Peter Bondanella and Millicent Marcus. It will focus on how the story of Italian cinema has typically been told as a story of individual film texts by male directors, with the great 'neorealist' films made in the postwar period at its centre.

The second semester will be devoted to one of more key themes or modes that derive from or challenge the approaches in the classic histories. These themes or modes will change from year to year, but might for example include:
- realist and documentary strands in Italian cinema
- audiences for Italian cinema in Italy and abroad
- popular genres and modes (eg melodrama, comedy)
- actors and performance in Italian cinema
- social commitment in Italian cinema
- film and society

Roughly fifteen films will be studied as part of the course (these will change from year to year).

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours170.00
Total Contact hours30.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Preparation for classes: 120 hours
Preparation and undertaking of assessment: 50 hours

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Progress will be monitored by group presentations during the module. In addition, students will receive feedback on the semester one essay.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x 2,000 word essay50.00
Essay1 x 2,000 word essay50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)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: 02/07/2021


Browse Other Catalogues

Errors, omissions, failed links etc should be notified to the Catalogue Team.PROD

© Copyright Leeds 2019