This course will introduce students to major figures in Italian cinema from neorealist film-makers of the 1940s and 50s such as De Sica and Rosselini to 1960s and 70s auteurs like Pasolini, Fellini, Antonioni and Bertolucci. We will explore the formal techniques, technological inventions, and historical shifts that allowed for the emergence of Italian “Art Cinema,” tracing the rise to fame of Italian directors and actors in the international film scene. Through iconic films such as De Sica’s Bicycle Thieves, Fellini’s La Dolce Vita and 8 ½, Antonioni’s The Eclipse and Blow Up, Bertolucci’s The Conformist, students will learn how to read and write about film, including how to perform shot analysis and cultural critique. Some of the topics that will guide our discussions are: the relation between form and space, stardom and fashion, the construction of gender, time and narrative. We will also consider the transnational influence of Italian cinema for movements such as the French New Wave, the Brazilian Cine Novo, and contemporary Iranian cinema. No prior knowledge of the subject is required or presumed.