Sicily Through Cinema

Analysing films by film directors such as Luchino Visconti (THE LEOPARD), the Sicilian Giuseppe Tornatore (CINEMA PARADISO), Emanuele Crialese (THE GOLDEN DOOR), and more, this course will look at Sicily’s historical, social and economic situation. Adalgisa Serio will begin the course with the decay of the aristocracy and “the Reign of the two Sicilies” following the unification of Italy, and will use a variety of clips and screenings to bring us to the present day.

Led by Adalgisa Serio, Italian Lecturer at MANCAT

Beginners’ level – no prior knowledge required.
Course Price: £50 full / £35.00 concs. Bookings through Box Office (0161 200 1500).

  • 3 October: Introduction – including discussion about the choice of films

Discussion of Il Gattopardo (The leopard), Visconti’s masterpiece based on the novel by Tomasi di Lampedusa.
Cinema 1 Education Space

  • 10 October: Discussion of “La terra trema” (The Earth Will Tremble).

Another fine example of Visconti’s production and Italian Neorealism which depicts the harsh lives of Sicilian fishermen. Loosely based on Verga’s novel I Malavoglia (The House by the Medlar Tree)
Cinema 1 Education Space

  • 17 October: Discussion of Salvatore Giuliano.

Francesco Rosi’s documentary-style film on the life of the legendary bandit.
Cinema 1 Education Space

  • 24 October: Screening: Stromboli (Rossellini, 1949)

Rossellini’s neo-realist Stromboli saw the beginning of Ingrid Bergman and Rossellini’s private and professional relationships. Life on the island of Stromboli, dominated by a volcano, is difficult for newly married WWII refugee Karin (Bergman) who struggles to find her place in such a hostile culture.
Cinema 3

  • 31 October: Discussion of L’uomo delle stelle (The Starmaker).

Giuseppe Tornatore’s dramatic rendering of the eternal story of disillusioned and betrayed hopes of Sicilians through the portrayal of an itinerant filmmaker who travels from village to village in Sicily, selling the locals screen tests. Only the camera is as empty as his promises of movie star futures.
Cinema 1 Education Space

  • 7 November: Discussion of L’isola (The Island).

Revelation at Cannes 2003, first feature film by Sicilian director Costanza Quatriglio, shot on the island of Favignana about the difficulty of growing up and maturing in such a small, restricted island. Comparisons will be made with the film Stromboli, with the sequence of “la mattanza” – tuna slaughtering.
Cinema 1 Education Space

  • 14 November: Screening: Nuovomondo (The Golden Door) (Crialese, 2006)

RESPIRO director Crialese offers a tale of a family of Sicilian farmers who leave behind their superstitious, hardscrabble lives in search of the American Dream. In cram-packed steerage holds they make their way to New York, Lady Liberty – and the immigration officials of Ellis Island.
Cinema 3

  • 21 November: Discussion of Respiro.

Another success by Crialese, portraying Grazia, chastised by her ultra-conservative, close-minded community on the island of Lampedusa for being “different”.
Cinema 1 Education Space

The following texts are not compulsory but only as guidance for finding out more on the subject

  • The Leopard, Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa
  • The House by the Medlar Tree, Giovanni Verga
  • Italian Cinema, Mary P. Wood, Berg Publishers
  • Italian Film in the Light of Neorealism, Millicent Marcus, Princeton University Press (only for the few neorealist films shown during the course )
  • Italian Cinema from Neorealism to the Present, third edition, Peter Bondanella

  • Luchino Visconti:
    La terra trema (The Earth will Tremble,1948)
    Il Gattopardo (The leopard, 1963)
  • Francesco Rosi:
    Salvatore Giuliano, (1962)
    Cadaveri Eccellenti, (Excellent Corpses, 1975)
  • Roberto Rossellini
    Stromboli (1949)
    Pietro Germi In nome della legge (In the name of the Law,1949)
    Divorzio all’italiana (Divorce Italian style, 1961)
    Sedotta e Abbandonata (Seduced and abandoned, 1964)
  • Michelangelo Antonioni:
    L’avventura, (1960)
  • Mauro Bolognini:
    Il bell’Antonio (NB not available with English subtitles, 1960)
  • Damiano Damiani:
    Il giorno della civetta (The Day of the Owl, 1968)
  • Paolo and Vittorio Taviani:
    Kaos ( wonderful but rare to find!, 1984)
    Kaos II, Tu ridi ( You laugh, 1998 )
  • Gianni Amelio :
    Porte Aperte ( Open Doors, 1990 )
    Il Ladro di Bambini ( Stolen children, 1991 )
    Cosi` Ridevano (The way they laughed, 1998)
  • Roberto Benigni:
    Johnny Stecchino (1991)
  • Giuseppe Tornatore:
    Nuovo Cinema Paradiso (1988)
    Stanno Tutti bene (Everybody’s fine, 1990)
    L’uomo delle Stelle ( The Star maker, 1995)
    Malena, (2000)
  • Ricky Tognazzi:
    La scorta (1993)
  • Giuseppe Ferrara:
    Giovanni Falcone (1993)
  • Roberto Faenza:
    Marianna Ucria, (1996), based on the novel by Sicilian writer Dacia Maraini
  • Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub:
    Sicilia! (1998),
  • Franco Battiato:
    Perdutoamor (Lostlove, 2002 )
  • Paolo Virzi`:
    My name is Tanino (2002)
  • Costanza Quatriglio
    L’Isola (2003)
  • Emanuele Crialese:
    Respiro (2003)
    Nuovomondo (Golden Door, 2006)

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