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Impact of Neorealism on depiction of realism in films (1 reply)

Bruno Grandino
1 week ago
Bruno Grandino 1 week ago

Hello Mr. Deakins,

You recently mentioned films you appreciate from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s and a fair amount of them were made in Italy during the so called Neorealism movement.

I’m writing a master thesis on how neorealism influenced the way films are lit after the post-war cinema mainly due to the constraints the filmmakers had to go through in a devastated Europe.

Would you mind sharing your opinion on how much you think the notion of realism in lighting, in cinematography and ultimately on films was changed by these movies by Roberto Rossellini, Vittorio De Sica, Lucchino Visconti etc such as ‘Rome, Open City’, ’Bicycle Thieves’ and many others in opposition to the classic Hollywood lighting style at the time?

*needless to say that any input from any of the members would be highly appreciated, I find this sharing place phenomenal for us to improve our work and inform ourselves better on cinematography history and praxis.



Roger Deakins
1 week ago
Roger Deakins 1 week ago

I think that Italian Neorealism had a great influence on the way films began to be shot in Hollywood. The so called 'Kitchen Sink' films of the UK also had a great influence but I think it was the French New wave that really changed things and the lighting of Raoul Coutard in particular. Breathless, Jules et Jim, Shoot the Piano Player, Pierrot le Fou and especially Alphaville were quite revelatory in their day. Of course, Raoul Coutard and the French New Wave must have been influenced by Italian cinema and, I suspect, by Russian cinema as well.

It is all a circle! Tarkovsky altered his approach to 'Solaris' based on what he was hearing about the way Kubrick was making '2001'. The world of film making has been interconnected for a long time.

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