Italian cinema: from Neorealism to the genre film

Course Dates: 02/05/25 - 06/06/25
Time: 18:00 - 19:30
Location: Keeley Street
This cinema course focuses on Italian cinema in the years between 1945 and 1980. It will provide you with an overview of the main historical, cultural and social aspects of Italian filmmaking in Italy by looking at the work of some of its most influential author/directors.
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Full fee £119.00 Senior fee £119.00 Concession £77.00

Italian cinema: from Neorealism to the genre film
  • Course Code: HF322
  • Dates: 02/05/25 - 06/06/25
  • Time: 18:00 - 19:30
  • Taught: Fri, Evening
  • Duration: 6 sessions (over 6 weeks)
  • Location: Keeley Street
  • Tutor: Cristina Massaccesi

Course Code: HF322

Fri, eve, 02 May - 06 Jun '25

Duration: 6 sessions (over 6 weeks)

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Centre for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

This face-to-face course will focus on the so-called ‘Golden Years’ of Italian cinema, from 1945 to 1980. During the course, we’ll take a look at important cinematographic movements, such as Neorealism and commedia all’italiana, and at the work of influential directors, from Luchino Visconti to Pietro Germi. The classes will take us on a journey from 1945 to 1980 when Italian cinema was characterised by a widespread interest for genre cinema (e.g. crime and horror films).

What will we cover?

The course will cover a wide range of subjects, starting with Neorealism, the cinematographic movement that revolutionised Italian cinema after the years of the Fascist regime. We’ll then move on to the work of directors such as Luchino Visconti and to the lesser-known movement of commedia all’italiana that tackled social and political issues through the lens of irony and satire. Towards the end of the course, we’ll take a look at the relationship between Italian cinema and genre, by pausing specifically on the so-called poliziotteschi, a subgenre of crime cinema that combined political and action films.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Recognise major trends and directors in Italian cinema
- Demonstrate an awareness of the significance of social and political changes on the way the Italian film industry worked between 1945 and 1980.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This is an introductory course and no previous knowledge is necessary. Some concepts necessary to analyse films (e.g. editing, mise-en-scène etc.) will be introduced in class by the tutor.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

Articles and extracts from the films will be provided to you. The class will be structured around a combination of PowerPoint presentations, film clips and class discussions.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

You will require a pen and paper (or laptop/device) but the tutor will provide all other materials such as handouts. The tutor will show extracts from films and you do not have to obtain them.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Look for other Film Studies courses under History Culture and Writing/Film Studies at

Cristina Massaccesi

Dr Cristina Massaccesi is an Associate Professor (Teaching) in the School of European Languages, Culture and Society of UCL. She has published articles on cinema and contemporary culture and her main fields of teaching and research are animation cinema, horror cinema and sequential art. Her book on FW Murnau’s Nosferatu A Symphony of Horror (1922) for the Devil’s Advocates series, was published by Liverpool University Press in October 2015. A new book, also for Liverpool University Press, focusing on James Cameron's Aliens (1986) will be published by the end of 2024.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.