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Post-War Italian Cinema - ENG00163I

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  • Department: English and Related Literature
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Nicoletta Asciuto
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2023-24

Module summary

Italian cinema after the Second World War entered a golden age. Directors such as Fellini, Pasolini, Visconti, and Antonioni pioneered radically new forms of cinema that swept the world with their innovative power. This module introduces and surveys this extraordinary moment in film history, situating it in the appropriate Italian and international contexts. Key themes discussed will include: post-war politics, aesthetics, formal experimentation, gender, and the erotic.

We will also take Post-War Italian Cinema as a springboard for broader discussions on Italian culture, language, and literature, as well as to see where current Italian cinema has gone since then. As part of the module you will learn relevant reading skills to access short secondary criticism in Italian and key phrases and expression in Italian which will enable you to understand some basic dialogues in the original. You will also have the opportunity to read Italian literary works in translation and you will be introduced to Italian Reading Skills for Film Scholars.

This module provides students with the opportunity to explore one of the great moments of modern cinema: Italian post-war film. It enables them to experience and understand the great cinematic works directed by Fellini, Pasolini, Visconti, Antonioni, as well as Scola, Germi, Wertmüller, and a glimpse into more contemporary Italian cinema.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 2 2023-24

Module aims

The aims of the module are to introduce students to the key works, techniques, and artists of post-war Italian cinema; to enable students to develop linguistic skills sufficient to read short texts in Italian; to enable students to understand and explore the connections between Italian cinema and Italian literature and culture.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an informed understanding of and engagement with a range of post-war Italian films and the cultural and socio-historical contexts in which these films were produced.

  2. Demonstrate an informed understanding of and engagement with relevant secondary criticism in Italian.

  3. Examine key debates and relevant critical, technical, and theoretical approaches.

  4. Develop arguments and ideas which demonstrate a proficiency in critical thinking, research, and writing skills.

  5. Demonstrate an understanding of some of the key issues at stake in the act of translation and in the study of literature in translation.


Task Length % of module mark
2000-word essay
N/A 70
Essay : Post-War Italian Cinema Open Exam
N/A 30

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
2000-word essay
N/A 70
Essay : Post-War Italian Cinema Open Exam
N/A 30

Module feedback

You will receive feedback on all assessed work within the University deadline, and will often receive it more quickly. The purpose of feedback is to inform your future work; it is designed to help you to improve your work, and the Department also offers you help in learning from your feedback. If you do not understand your feedback or want to talk about your ideas further you can discuss it with your tutor or your supervisor, during their Open Office Hours

For more information about the feedback you will receive for your work, see the department's Guide to Assessment

Indicative reading

Texts and Films to be studied on this module will be released nearer the beginning of teaching but may include films directed by: Fellini, Pasolini, Visconti, Antonioni, Wertmüller, Scola, and Monicelli. We will also read literary texts in translation, by Italo Calvino, Giovanni Verga, and Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.