Post Italian Neorealism

Sep 30, 2020 | Newsletter

“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”

Mike Nichols


A few weeks ago I recommended several outstanding films from the Italian Neorealism period. These were films made shortly after the end of World War II. Filmmakers like Rossellini, De Sica, Visconti, and Fellini had to work on tight budgets filming mostly on location,  in  working-class neighborhoods, and using many non-professional actors. But as Italy rebuilt and became more prosperous, these same filmmakers now had the money to make more expensive films and hire well-known actors. Happily, prosperity did not diminish their achievements.  In fact, many film critics gave huge praise to their films made after the Italian Neorealism period ended.

Here are six recommendations:

A Special Day 

On May 6, 1938, Hitler visits Mussolini in Rome. The event is huge as the Italians overwhelmingly cheer their two “heroes.” While Antonietta…


Rocco and his Brothers​

The Parondi family consists of the matriarch Rosaria and her five sons. They move from the poor rural village of Lucani…


Two Women

In war-torn Rome, 1943, Cesira, a widowed shopkeeper and her daughter Rosetta, flee Rome after an Allied bombing. They head…


Garden of the Finzi-Continis

In the late 1930s, in Ferrara, Italy, young Italian Jews are barred by the Fascist government from local tennis clubs. They gravitate…


La Strada

Gelsomina, a young Italian woman, is forced to join Zampano, a street performer, as his assistant. Zampano’s payment to the mother is a meager 10,000 lire…



It’s 1907 in Rome and Ida Dalser is captivated by a dynamic young socialist named Benito Mussolini. They fall in love and begin a torrid love affair…


Coming Soon, Can’t Wait

Dec 2021: Platform TBD. West Side Story. Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of the Broadway classic. 
Opening TBD, 2021: Netflix. Diana: A Musical
Opening TBD, 2021: Netflix. The Crown. Season 4, late 2020; Season 5, 2021. 


News Briefs & Commentary

Streaming is no longer a young person’s game. Findings from Nielsen’s latest audience report show that streaming minutes are up among all age groups—but the biggest growth has come among viewers 55 and older. Whether the jump in streaming among older viewers is a pandemic-related anomaly or spurred by Netflix and other high-profile streaming launches—Disney +, AppleTV+, Peacock, HBO Max—may be the big question.


My best,


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