ITAL20230 Italian cinema and society

Academic Year 2023/2024

This module explores Italian cinema and the evolution of Italy’s film industry through the critical analysis of key genre categories and filmmaking modes (neorealism, auteur cinema, comedy, spaghetti western, the thriller, migration cinema). These genre categories will be represented by a series of films that span from the post-war period to today. Students will be introduced to the critical concepts that underpin film analysis, while also developing a strong understanding of genre theory. Through close readings of individual films we will explore how genre categories and conventions can be used to discuss issues of social change and progress throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. In particular, we will examine questions of national identity, gender representation and the reception of popular genres.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

1. Apply key theories and concepts of film studies to their analysis of individual films.
2. Conduct close textual analysis of the key films.
3. Critically analyse the conventions and cultural significance of key genre categories.
4. Demonstrate an understanding of social issues that inform the production and reception context of the key films.
5. Demonstrate an understanding of some of the key moments and debates in Italian cinema history.
6. Apply a comparative approach to the analysis of two or more films in the final essay
7. Use a range of theoretical and critical sources to ground their argument in the final essay.

Indicative Module Content:

Topics covered in this module include:
- Introduction to Italian film studies and genre theory
- Genre as an analytic tool for exploring social change
- Neorealism
- Auteur cinema
- Commedia all’italiana
- Spaghetti western
- Thriller and film noir
- Migration cinema

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning








Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
This module consists of one lecture hour and one seminar hour per week. In preparation for lectures and seminars, students will be asked to view the key films and engage with select secondary readings in order to participate in task-based activities (group discussions, textual analysis of key texts and secondary sources). 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Requirements:

An interest in Italian cinema, culture and society.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Essay: 2000-2300 word final essay. Students can choose from a range of titles. Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No


Multiple Choice Questionnaire: 2 short quizzes on the course content Throughout the Trimester n/a Alternative linear conversion grade scale 40% No



Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Summer No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Peer review activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

For the quizzes: feedback is automatically generated by the system. An informal feedback will also be provided to the group in class. For the final essay: written feedback will be provided to each Individual student. The weekly seminars will consist of discussion based activities during which there will be regular opportunities for peer feedback

Name Role
Assoc Professor Paolo Acquaviva Lecturer / Co-Lecturer