Boomtime Italy (MLI1120)

15 credits

The late 1950s and early 1960s saw a period in Italian history known as the "economic miracle", when, in the space of a few years Italy moved from being an agricultural, Catholic nation to an urban, industrialized one, dramatically affecting its sense of national identity and laying the foundations of contemporary Italy. Italian cinema dramatized the changes of this period in a series of important films, some of which raised the profile of Italian directors on the international scene, and some of which defined new and important popular genres. From the drama generated by Rome’s status as a new “Hollywood on the Tiber” emerged one of Italy’s most iconic films: “La dolce vita”. Starting from this celebration and critique of an increasingly media-focussed society, we will move onto explore how other film auteurs (Antonioni) and genres (comedy) provided a wide range of responses in a period of rapid social change.