February 24, 2008

The Cinematographers of Neorealism and Beyond

The Cinematographers of Neorealism and Beyond

Under construction


For an introduction to neorealism please follow the link. More specific films are linked from the text where appropriate.  


In his most recent edition to Visconti (200 3rd Ed ) Geoffrey Nowell-Smith makes a point of noting that his cinematic understanding has changed considerably since the first edition was written. He points out that the role of the cinematographer used not to have much importance with critics and reviewers. Often with critics the notion of the 'auteur' was commensurate with the idea of the great artist who turned up with a singular vision and told everybody else what to do to get it. This was always a romanticised notion of the great artist at best and certainly doesn't reflect the workings of early cultural and creative industries such as the workshops of the great Renaissance painters for example. The notion of auteur as somebody who is more of a team-leader with a creative vision which is formed out of an ongoing dialogical process usually with a team of chosen people opens up the issue of why were certain people chosen by the director and allows a viewer to assess more effectively how that person may have influenced the final outcome. The 'look' of a film or the 'feel' of a film often has a lot to do with the cinematographer and the relationship built up between her/ him and the director. This has probably recognised more in terms of the well known cinematographers for the key films of the French New Wave and in the UK- the name of Walter Lassally is a recognised part of the British New Wave - than it has been in Italian neorealism. Shiel makes brief reference to this in his recent work Rebuliding the Cinematic City (2006), and critics such as Bacon (1998) note the that there were three cinematographers working on Senso because G. R. Aldo died in a car crash. This leads to a very brief discussion about the look of the film. There is no reference in the index of Bondanella (2003) to any of the leading cinematographers nor is there in Marcus 1986. This absence at the heart of many of the leading works of neorealism and Italian cinema is important. This brief  entry is small attempt to redress the balance and also point the way to an area of film studies which needs more consistent attention. 

Cinematographers of Neorealism and Beyond 

The listings are designed to emphasise where particular cinematographers worked with canonical Italian directors who were originally associated with neorealism or in the case of Lina Wertmuller became a member of the newer generation of directors who have been classified as 'arthouse'. Full listings can be accessed at the websites in the webliography.

G. R. Aldo  

Key Italian films are in bold 

  • 1947 La terra trema (Visconti)
  • 1950 Miracolo a Milano (Miracle in Milan) (De Sica)
  • 1952  Umberto D (De Sica)
  • 1953 Stazione Termini (Indiscretion of an American Wife) (De Sica)
  • 1954 Senso (Visconti)

As a stills photographer Aldo also worked with directors such as Cocteau on Beauty and the Beast (See IMDB)

Publications on Aldo

Cinema Nuovo (Turin), 1 December 1953

Bianco e Nero (Rome), December 1953

Otello Martelli

1944    Ultimo amore (Luigi Chiarini)

1945      Paisà/Paisan (Roberto Rossellini) 6 seg; 125m & 134m

1946       Il duomo di Milano (Alessandro Blasetti)

1946       Caccia tragica/The Tragic Hunt/The Tragic Pursuit (Giuseppe De Santis)

1948      Riso amaro/Bitter Rice (Giuseppe De Santis)

1949      Stromboli [, terra di Dio] (Roberto Rossellini)

1950      Luci del varietà/Lights of Variety/Variety Lights (Alberto Lattuada & Federico Fellini)

1950      Francesco, giullare di Dio/The Flowers of St. Francis/Francis, God's Jester (Roberto Rossellini)

1951      Anna (Alberto Lattuada)

1952       Roma ore 11/Rome 11:00 (Giuseppe De Santis)

1952      Siamo donne/We, the Women/Of Life and Love (seg 'Emma Danieli e Anna Amendola' dir by Alfredo Guarini & 'Il pollo/Ingrid Bergman' dir by Roberto Rossellini)

1952      I vitelloni/The Young and the Passionate (Federico Fellini)

1953      Un marito per Anna Zaccheo/A Husband for Anna (Giuseppe De Santis)

1953      La strada (Federico Fellini)

1954      Giorni d'amore/Days of Love (Giuseppe De Santis)

1954    L'oro di Napoli/The Gold of Naples (Vittorio De Sica)


1955      Il bidone/The Swindle/The Swindlers (Federico Fellini)

1955      La fortuna di essere donna/Lucky to Be a Woman/What a Woman! (Alessandro Blasetti)

1956       Guendalina (Alberto Lattuada)

Giuseppe Rotunno 

  • 1942 L'uomo dalla croce/The Man with the Cross (Roberto Rossellini)
  • 1957 Le notti bianche/White Nights (Luchino Visconti)
  • 1958 Anna di Brooklyn/Anna of Brooklyn/Fast and Sexy (Vittorio De Sica & Carlo Lastricati)
  • 1960 Rocco e i suoi fratelli/Rocco and His Brothers (Luchino Visconti) b&w
  • 1961  Boccaccio '70 [seg 'Il lavoro/The Job' dir by Luchino Visconti] c; 4 seg; other ph: Otello Martelli & Armando Nannuzzi
  • 1962  Il gattopardo/The Leopard (Luchino Visconti)
  • 1963 Ieri, oggi, domani/Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (Vittorio De Sica)
  • 1966 Le streghe/The Witches (seg 'Le strega bruciata viva' dir by Luchino Visconti, 'Una sera come le altre' dir by Vittorio De Sica & 'La terra vista dalla luna' dir by Pier Paolo Pasolini)
  • 1967 Lo straniero/The Stranger (Luchino Visconti)
  • 1967  Histoires extraordinaires/Spirits of the Dead/Tales of Mystery and Imagination (seg 'Toby Dammit' dir by Federico Fellini)
  • 1968    Fellini Satyricon (Federico Fellini)
  • 1969    I girasoli/Sunflower (Vittorio De Sica)
  • 1971    Fellini's Roma (Federico Fellini)
  • 1972    Film d'amore e d'anarchia, ovvero 'stamattina alle 10 in Via dei Fiori, nella nota casa di tolleranza...'/ and Anarchy (Lina Wertmüller)
  • 1973    Amarcord [Federico Fellini]
  • 1973    Tutto a posto e niente in ordine/All Screwed Up/Everything Ready, Nothing Works (Lina Wertmüller)

Aldo Tonti

  • (1959) India Bhumi 
  • 1959)"India vista da Rossellini, L'" (mini) TV mini-series
  • (1958)Tempesta, La
  • (1957) Notti di Cabiria, Le (Cabiria)
  • 1954) Dov'è la libertà...?  (Where Is Freedom?)
  • (1953)Anni facili  (Easy Years )
  • (1953) Lupa, La
  • (1952)Europa '51
  • (1949)Mulino del Po, Il  (The Mill on the Po
  • (1948) Senza pietà  (Without Pity)
  • (1948)Amore, L'  (segment "Miracolo, Il")
  • (1943)Ossessione


G. R. Aldo

Otello Martelli

Giuseppe Rotunno

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