CINEMATIC STYLE (ITALIAN NEO REALISM AND CINEMA NOVO)
A typical question which comes up in the exam is something like:
Discuss how far the ‘look’ created by cinematography and editing contributes to the impact of the films you have studied for this topic.
‘To find an international audience, films about local and particular problems need to use mainstream techniques such as those associated with Hollywood cinema.’ How far do you agree with this statement in relation to the films you have studied for this topic?
In fact this type of question did not come up last year and so is a good one to revise as it may be on the paper this year.
In a question like this you need to discuss your understanding of the cinematic features of Italian Neo Realism and Cinema Novo.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF CONTEXT
Another question type (that also wasn’t in last year’s paper) is something like this:
How far have your contextual studies been important in understanding the specific urban locations and life experiences represented in the films you have studied for this topic?
How far should the films you have studied for this topic be seen in relation to their particular time and place?
Here you will have to be able to talk about 3-4 political, historical, social or artist contexts which you have researched and which have helped you understand the films. Here are the revision slideshows we worked on in class:
Additionally here are some mind maps that develop ideas about some of the key contexts in The Bicycle Thieves and City of God.
REPRESENTATION OF THE URBAN ENVIRONMENT:
Another question, which crops up regularly is something like this:
Explore how stylistic choices contribute to the representation of the urban experience in the films you have studied for this topic.
What is the importance of cinematography and/or editing in communicating issues of power, poverty and conflict in the films you have studied for this topic?
These essays require you to have a really good knowledge of the specific micro techniques that the directors use to communicate their themes (messages and values).
Here are the micro analysis we did for key scenes – here is a link to the textual analysis form we used.
Bicycle Thieves Analysis
- Opening Sequence
- The theft of the bike & aftermath
- In Search of the Stolen Bike
- Following the Old Man to Church
- Antonio the Bicycle Thief
City of God Analysis
- The Flight of the Chicken
- Introduction to the Tender Trio
- Growing up in the City of God
- Bene’s Farewell Party
- Rocket’s Escape
Here is a worksheet on narrative which explains it more precisely.