What makes a film a classic? In this video series, film scholar Bruce Isaacs looks at a classic film and analyses its brilliance. (Warning: this scene contains violence and may be upsetting for some viewers.)
In what way does a film reflect the politics of the time and place in which it was made? We started answering this question in the episode on Back to the Future (1985). Today, we explore this question further with Rome, Open City (Roma città aperta), directed by Roberto Rossellini and released to Italian audiences in 1945.
Rossellini made the film just after the German withdrawal, a couple of years after Mussolini’s death and the end of Fascism in Italy. The historical context is important because it provides an insight into what Rossellini was trying to achieve. If you are an Italian filmmaker, committed to the art form, but also to the country and its history, how do you respond to this turbulent moment in history? Rossellini used the medium of cinema to not only reconstruct Italy’s recent past under Fascism, but also its potential future.
Vertigo The Passenger Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Jaws Psycho The Godfather Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey Marie Antoinette Requiem for a Dream The Matrix and bullet-time Back to the Future