An Introduction to Italian Neorealism

Leeds plays host to a night of vintage Italian cinema

Ever mindful to introduce people to aspects of Italian culture people may not immediately leap to, we invited Leeds’ local bloggers and film fanatics to a fantastic night of Italian neorealism.

Bike Thieves Screen

Neorealism was one of the most influential genres of European cinema. Born out of the destruction brought by World War II, neorealism strove to blend art-house and popular cinema by presenting life as realistically as possible. Stripped of the happy-go-lucky feel of Hollywood entertainment, neorealism films used few professional actors, filmed much of their action on actual locations rather than constructed sets and took an uncompromising look at the struggle and poverty that was rife in Italy as it recovered from wartime.

Bryn Talk

For a great, intimate atmosphere we took to the Library Pub in Leeds, and leading the night was film lecturer, author and editor of Deep Focus Film Studies, Bryn Young-Roberts. A massive fan of the genre, he delivered an excellent talk introducing neorealism, explaining its place in history, its key characteristics and looking into some of its most prominent films.

Cinema Crowd

“It was great to see so many people eager to learn about a fascinating piece of European cinema history. Bicycle Thieves is an all-time great, and I encourage everyone to hunt out and watch more of these classics.” – Bryn Young-Roberts

‘Tuscany Now gave us a delightful evening, showcasing the best of Italian Neorealist cinema and educating the people of Leeds about the relevance of the movement in relation to the history of European cinema as a whole’ – Hope Vanda Churm from The State of the Arts

For those who couldn’t make the event, you’ll find a full recording of Bryn’s introductory talk below!