courses > 2008 spring

Elective Courses

CINE 140 - Italian Comic Films

ITAL 100
401 | MWF 1-2pm | WILL 204

In this course we will explore a popular genre in Italian cinema whose roots date back to the Commedia dell’Arte theatrical tradition. We will investigate the portrait of Italian society expressed through comic films, particularly in the golden age of Commedia all’Italiana, between the late Fifties and the early Seventies, with the tragicomic plots of Monicelli’s, Comencini’s, Risi’s and Germi’s films used as a powerful commentary on the social malaise of the Italian economic miracle. We will then approach the latest aspects of the genre, through the contributions of talented comic actors and/or directors such as Nichetti, Benigni, Troisi, Moretti, Salvatores, Virzì and Soldini. The course will also discuss theories of comedy with reference to Aristotle, Freud, Bergson and Bakhtin among others.