Italian neorealism  

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"It has been said that after Umberto D. nothing more could be added to Italian neorealism. Whether because of this, or for other reasons, neorealism effectively ended with this film. Following works turned toward lighter atmospheres, perhaps more coherent with the improving conditions of the country, and this genre has been called pink neorealism. It was this filone that allowed better "equipped" actresses to become real celebrities: the encouraging figures of Sophia Loren, Gina Lollobrigida, Silvana Pampanini, Lucia Bosé, together with other beauties like Eleonora Rossi Drago, Silvana Mangano, Claudia Cardinale, and Stefania Sandrelli populated the imaginations of Italians just before the so-called "boom" of the 1960s. Soon pink neorealism was replaced by the Commedia all'italiana (Italian Comedy Style), a unique genre that, born on an ideally humouristic line, talked instead very seriously about important social themes."--Sholem Stein

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Italian neorealism is an Italian film movement often considered to have started in 1943 with Ossessione and ended in 1952 with Umberto D.

The movement is characterized by stories set amongst the poor and working class, filmed in long takes on location, frequently using nonprofessional actors for secondary and sometimes primary roles. Italian neorealist films mostly contend with the difficult economical and moral conditions of postwar Italy, reflecting the changes in the Italian psyche and the conditions of everyday life: defeat, poverty, and desperation. Because Cinecittà (a complex of studios in Rome--the center of commercial filmmaking in Italy since 1936) was occupied by refugees, films were shot outdoors, amidst devastation.

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Main works

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