HBC at this time has little information on Italian films or the Italian film industry. This is of course is a major failing as Italy has a very important film industry and has made many beautiful films. It was Itlalian neo-realism after World War II that dramatically changed how Hollywood films were made. We have collected some information on a few Italian films, but are sure that there are many more interesting films. Italian clothes styles are nicely shown during the 1940s in The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (Italy/Germany, 1970?). Other important films are Padre Perdone and Life is Beautiful (Italy, 1998). I also liked an American film about Italy, It Started in Naples (US, 1960).
HBC at this time has little information on Italian films or the Italian film industry. This is of course is a major failing as Italy has a very important film industry and has made many beautiful films. Almost all of what we know, however, is from the post-World War II period.
We know nothing at this time about the early Italian film industry. Nor so we lmow much about films made made during Musolini's Fascist regime. s. Although often lumped to gether with totalitarian NAZI Germany and Soviet Rusia, Italy was not as absolute a dictatorship. The Fascists in Italy never used the film industry like the NAZIs. There was no epic films like Triumph of the Will or films to instill race hatred like Jew Seuss. Luigi Freddi was placed in charge of controlling Italian cultural. The film indusry was never a focus of his efforts. There were Fascist propaganda films, but they were normally short newsreels shown in movie theaters before the main film, rather than the full length feature films made by the NAZIs and Soviets. Italian producers made up of melodramatic romances and light-hearted comedies. After Italy entered World War II (1940) most films had war settings and there was a good dose of propaganda, but nothing like the totally controlled NAZI and Soviet films. Italian films made during the Fascist era, which means all sound movies made before 1944 are today little seen. We do not know of one important film. We are not sure, however, if ths is a reflection of their artistic merit or arejection of anything tainted by Muscolini and the Fscists. It was Itlalian neo-realism after World War II that dramatically changed how Hollywood films were made. Italy was devestated by World War II. Film studios were damaged. No one had money to build sets or hire name actors. Films were simply shot on city streets. As a result, many of these films have a freshness and realism lacking in Hollyood films made in Hollywood studios. These films are now knon as Italian neo-realism. This was not the brilliant inspiration of inovative film makers, however, it was simply the result of post-War Italian economic circumstances. One of the first such film was Roberto Rosalini's Paison (1946). Famed film maker Agostino De Laurentiis explains, "Neorealism was an invention of the journalists. They wrote that certain directors and screenwriters were interested in Neorealism. Bu it's not true. The Italian Movie Industry was so poor that there was no money to shoot in the studios, to build sets, to travel. That's why everything was shot on the street". The low-budget films were so powerful in their realism that Hollywood films began to look stale and stagey and American producer began to adopt some of the same techniques, with exception of using non-professional actors. American movie goers still wanted to see stars. One Hollywod actress, Swedish-born Ingred Bergman, was so impressed that she came to Italy to make films there.
We have collected some information on a few Italian films, but are sure that there are many more interesting films. Italian clothes styles are nicely shown during the 1940s in The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (Italy/Germany, 1970?). Other important films are Padre Perdone and Life is Beautiful (Italy, 1998). I also liked an American film about Italy, It Started in Naples (US, 1960).
A poor man has a job pasting signs, for which he needs a bicycle. After his much needed bicycle is stolen, he searches through Rome for it with his small son. The boy is about 8 or 9 and wears shorts. Classic of Italian neo-realism. In Italian with English subtitles.
A teacher finds himself in a rural school. The children have no interest in their studies and are planning careers as gangsters.
Another sweetly nostalgic European (Sicily) coming of age drama. A young boy named Toto (Salvatore Cascio), who is also an altar boy, learns about life while
threading the projector from an endearing old projectionist. The film portrays the importance of movies in postwar, provincial Italy. It includes the well-established
staples for coming of age movies, including masturbating boys. The real charm of the movie is little Toto who has an absolutely disarming smile which alone makes
this film worth seeing. Toto appears for about half the film and an endearing little chap, about 8 or so. He always wears shorts, except for his first communion suit. At
the beginning of the film he appears in a school smock, but does not wear it in a later school scene. Some older boys, however, are wearing smocks--although you
have to look carefully. In one scene he starts a fire with movie film and mummy smacks him about. Toto's acting was really realistic during this scene. Lots of boys in the movie scenes are wearing shorts. In the later half of the movie Toto as an older teen wears longs, although once during the summer he appears to wear knickers.
One quite old heavy-set friend wears rather short shorts.
This movie was about the carusi in Sicily. Caruso was the slang name for boys in Sicily. Carusi is the plural. These were boys that poor parents rented out to wotk in the sulphur mines. They were essentially slaves during the rental period. The fi, was made in 1992. It was titled "La Discesa di Aclà a Floristella" (Aclas descending into Floristella). Floristella was one of the sulphur mines. I have little information about the film at this time.
This film is about a proud locomotove engineer blamed for an accident and demoted to a yardman. We do not know the fill story, but a group of children are involved. It was an important Italian Neo-realist film. The film was shown in America as "The Railroad Man" and "Man of Iron".
Beautifully made, but sad movie about the dream world of the Italian Jews before World War II. Boys in the movie wear short pants and knee socks and are always smartly dressed. It's been a while since I've seen it so I don't remember the age of the boys, but I remember it is a very effective movie. [Historical note: Italy's Fascist Government took discrimnatory actions in part the result of NAZI pressure, but did not kill Jews. Deportations to death camps only began after Germany occupied the country (September 1943). Fortunately, unlike many other countries, many of the Italian Jews were saved by their Italian countrymen abd the Allied servicemen fifgting up the Italian peninsula.]
"I ragazzi della via Paal" (1935) was an Italian version of the Hungaeian book The Boys of Paul Street. This is seen as an anti-war book. It was made by Italian film directors Alberto Mondadori and Mario Monicelli. We do not know much about this version, but we doubt an anti-war film was made in Fascist Italy as they were invading Ethiopia. A reader writes, "I'd like to see this version, but I only know of it. Makes me think the Fascists must have skipped the last chapter of the book when they decided to make this film!" The Fascist regime did not vcontrol film making like the NAZIs did, but we doubt if it was made as a stridently anti-war film. Hopefully Italian readers can tell us something about the film. Another version of the book was made into a film in Ameriuca at about the same time--"No greater Glory (1934).
An American (Clark Cable) falls in love with an Italian (Sofia Loren) who is caring for Clark's surprise nephew, Nano. The boy is 10, but looks a bit younger, and has an adorable personality. He wears short shorts and plays a street-wise kid with his non-discript clothes. There is one humerous scene where he is sent off to school against his will. His aunt hasn't insisted that he go to school, but she pretends she has to show what a good job she is doing in raising him. She sends him for show all smartly decked out in a nice blue smock, wide white collar, and red bow. He looked very smart indeed, although he is dedidely unhappy about it. The only other time he is nicely dressed is at the end of the movie when he appears in a long pants suit.
The aclaimed Italian filmbegins as a light, fluffy comedy. Sudently it becomes the wrencing, deeply moving tale of a irrevent father's love for his wife and son, inprissoned in a NAZI concentration camp. The plot centers around the father's attempt to disguise the horrors of the Holocaust from his son. When the boy asks why a store posts a sign forbidding entrance by Jews and dogs, Guido laughs it off, suggesting they post a sign on their own shop, restricting entrance to "Visigoths." Some reviewrs write, "Laughing in the face of adversity is the best way to triumph over it." Personally I think the film rather trivializes the Holocaust. It ceratinly was a beautifully made movie. The costuming appears very accurate. My problem with the film is the premise, that the evil could be hid from the children. First children are not that stupid. Second, it reduces the enormity of the crimes involved. Small children in the camps were in fact kept with the mothers and along with the elderly were the first to be murdered. The boy wears a romper suit and matching peaked cap with strap shoes and white ankle socks. I'm not sure how common such outfits were in 1940s Italy. We know they were popular in France at the time, but we have less information on Italy. Directed by Roberto Benigni. The cast included: Roberto Benigni, Nicoletta Braschi, and Giustino Durano. The boy, Giosué Orefice is played by Giorgio Cantarini.
Story of a big-hearted Italian prostitute. She has three sons. In a still I saw two, about 7 and 3 years old. They are wearing a suit and sailor suit respectively.
Somewhat slow-paced deams about a shepherd's son must make peace with himself and his father after spending his childhood in a harsh environment. The film is an autobiography of famed Italian poet Gavino Ledda. Like the boy in the film, he worked as a shepherd for his tyrannical father for 14 years. He finally joins the army, attends university, and goes pn to become one of Italy's most renowned modern poet.
Classic film about the life of Rome street children.
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