Open City, Rossellini and neorealism : sixty years on

Ferrero-Regis, Tiziana (2006) Open City, Rossellini and neorealism : sixty years on. Screening the Past.

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For Bakhtin, it is always important to know from where one speaks. The place from which I speak is that of a person who grew up in Italy during the economic miracle (pre-1968) in a working class family, watching film matinees on television during school holidays. All sort of films and genres were shown: from film noir to westerns, to Jean Renoir's films, German expressionism, Italian neorealism and Italian comedy. Cinema has come to represent over time a sort of memory extension that supplements lived memory of events, and one which, especially, mediates the intersection of many cultural discourses. When later in life I moved to Australia and started teaching in film studies, my choice of a film that was emblematic of neorealism went naturally to Roma città aperta (Open city hereafter) by Roberto Rossellini (1945), and not to Paisan or Sciuscà or Bicycle Thieves. My choice was certainly grounded in my personal memory - especially those aspects transmitted to me by my parents, who lived through the war and maintained that Open City had truly made them cry. With a mother who voted for the Christian Democratic Party and a father who was a unionist, I thought that this was normal in Italian families and society. In the early 1960s, the Resistance still offered a narrative of suffering and redemption, shared by Catholics or Communists. This construction of psychological realism is what I believe Open City continues to offer in time.

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ID Code: 26514
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: neorealism, Rossellini
ISSN: 1328-9756
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2006 Tiziana Ferrero-Regis
Deposited On: 27 Jul 2009 05:06
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:42

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