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Thus was the birth of the ‘new’ and ‘real’ cinema in Italy; what Felix A.Morlion called “a magic window that opens out onto the real” — coined later by critics as (Gallagher 88).
Due to these choices, the aesthetics of using on-site locations, cheap and affordable cameras, town-locals as actors, and natural lighting, was not just an artistic choice, but a practical one.
Neorealists were starting to not only break away from the standard conventions of the old-Italian Cinema and Hollywood standard, they were also granting pragmatic allocations for film productions to be accomplished without the need of financial aid from larger institutions (Bertolucci).
It has given rise to the development of third-world cinemas, has placed the camera in the hands of commoners, and is the umbrella, as will be argued, of all contemporary naturalist filmmaking.
Similar to the aesthetics of neorealism, naturalist filmmaking seeks to replicate the mundane qualities of everyday life, project social problems with extremely limited bias, and observes ordinary people in their environment.
He showed the blown out, war-torn landscapes of Italian life using natural lighting, actors with little or no make-up, and depicted social problems such as interrogation, torture, corrupt military violence, and rabid-poverty.
His was a cinema of “looking critically” at the problems that Italy had inflicted upon itself (Gallagher 91).Filmmakers of the neorealist movement carried a dark and gritty sensibility, one that was primed by the dregs of war and brought sober and sometimes challenging themes to the screen.The cultural significance and evolution of this movement has influenced the way stories can be visually expressed and communicated.Luchino Visconti’s (1942) was the first film to break the white-telephone mold.Film journalist Gianfranco Poggi describes Visconti’s courage to reflect the “true Italian reality” in the following way:“…the heat and the sounds and the dust of the flatland, the drabness, the disorder of the house interiors, the vulgar loudness of the local festivals and singing and contests, the tired pace of life in this setting, greed and the possessiveness of the people’s life in it: all these traits of the bare everyday reality [tore] apart the veil which had separated the camera’s eye from all those years of mystification and lies” (Poggi 14).It, too, carries a dark, gritty, even pessimistic awareness that tries to push cinema into an objective, non-theatrical light.A comparative study of Italian neorealism and its effect upon the filmic, narrative structure — naturalism — will provide what is, on balance, a similar type of cinematic storytelling experience that distinguishes itself by true-to-life plots, realistic social problems, visual authenticity, and unobtrusive camera and editing techniques.As Cesare Zavattini wrote:“This powerful desire of the [neorealist] cinema to see and to analyze, this hunger for reality, for truth, is a kind of concrete homage to other people, that is, to all who exist…whereas we are attracted by the truth, by the reality which touches us and which we want to know and understand directly and thoroughly, the Americans continue to satisfy themselves with a sweetened version of truth produced through transpositions.” (Bertolucci).When censorship bonds loosened after the war, Italian filmmakers felt compelled to create films that would finally reflect their destitute circumstances.In doing so they combined cinematic realism (a documentary-type aesthetic) with social, political and economic themes that would have never been tolerated by the regime.