Be Inspired: Watch Old Classics

Cabiria dancing the Mambo

Cabiria dancing the Mambo

During all this crappy old revision and essay writing, something wonderful has happened. I have been forced to watch Italian films and learn about the history of Italian cinema and I have actually started to enjoy it. Can you believe it? No, I can’t either but it is actually happening.

Being 21, I seem to have fallen into the mindset of an 89 year old who thinks I ‘know what I know’ and ‘like what I like’. If there is a realm of something I am not familiar with – e.g. Italian cinema or the Star Wars trilogy or video games that involve a lot of shooting – then I avoid them, thinking my life won’t be changed for the better if I partake a little. How wrong can I be?! Ok, so the Star Wars trilogy hasn’t yet been watched (much to my boyfriend’s horror) and I have dabbled in a little violent video gaming (which is quite fun I must say!) but what I’ve really immersed myself in lately has been foreign films of the Italian genre. This is one thing I love about university: you get thrown into learning about things you would never have dreamed of embarking upon yourself and you actually come to love it.

Italian films post-WW2 are rich in history and I didn’t realise how highly they are rated on ‘Top Movies of All Time’ lists. Federico Fellini is considered one of the most influential filmmakers of the 20th Century and won five Academy Awards in his lifetime. His film Nights of Caribia is one of my favourites, about a waifish prostitute who wanders the streets of Rome looking for true love but finds only heartbreak. It is comedy mixed with moments of sadness for the character, but is done in a way like no other films I’ve really seen. The American musical Sweet Charity is based on Fellini’s screenplay – I didn’t realise Fellini had so much influence. If you love learning about Hollywood movie icons give this article a read, it’s very insightful.

If you haven’t seen any Italian films, give it a go. Don’t be put off by subtitles, or that fact that you don’t hear all that much day to day about Italian cinema because it really is something so culturally significant. I do feel more enriched for having taken this Italian cinema module – as I think we all are when we learn about things that we don’t think mean much to us now, but certainly helped shaped the world/society/culture we live in today.


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