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Neo-Realism by Italian Film Makers Essay

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In order to capture the hardships of everyday life in a shattered nation, Italian filmmakers in the instant post-war period created their own cinematic language.
However revolutionary in impact, the new realism was not a complete halt with the past. Its origins went deep, to the work of directors in Italy and afar which, over preceding decades, had foreshadowed the themes and formal revolution of a style that would be developed to become one of cinema’s most influential movements.
Neo-realist films established a new social consciousness along with the importance on working class hardship and the daily battle to get by in post-war Italy. Neo-realist films were exemplified by the location, which was often in poor neighbourhoods and the countryside, and by using primarily non-professional actors. A direct, unembellished style of filming was typical, particularly in long takes. True neo-realist films were scarce. Neo-realism may have been momentary but was profoundly instrumental.

Apart from the location shooting; stylistically Italian Neorealist films also enclose numerous supplementary elements that endure throughout the period. Yet, it is still vital to keep in mind that, these aesthetic features are not deprived of exception. For example, the prevailing idea of neorealist camera work is that of a documentary-like visual style, where hand-held cameras are employed and a consciously constituted mise-en-scéne is of unimportance. The juxtaposition of horrific events with comedy, of national issues and personal ones, is also a hallmark of neorealist film. It is unmanageable to exaggerate the international impact of the Italian neo-realist movement and The Bicycle Thieves in particular. Soviet, Spanish and even Indian directors assim...


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...d by someone who is himself an actor, is raw material that can be molded at will. It is sufficient to explain to him those few tricks of the trade which may be useful to him from time to time; to show him the technical and, in the best sense of the term, of course, the histrionic means of expression at his disposal. It is difficult--perhaps impossible--for a fully trained actor to forget his profession. It is far easier to teach it, to hand on just the little that is needed, just what will suffice for the purpose at hand." (Bondanella 2009:84)



To futher compare this film to neo-realism, the film was shot by Roman Vasyanov. In the “ghetto” of Los Angeles and some of the characters are played by former gang members, for example Sloan. Moreover, just as Neorealism endeavoured to capture the non-events of everyday life, End of Watch has a moderately loose narrative.



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