Rome, Open City – 70 years on

220px-Open_City_DVDThe Department of Film and Television Studies at the University of Warwick is holding an international conference on 12-13 November 2015 to examine the legacy of Roberto Rossellini’s Rome, Open City (1945). The film’s tale of popular resistance in Nazi-occupied Rome announced a new aesthetics of cinema – neorealism – that would attract attention and controversy for its assertion of the necessary relationship between art and politics. The film is a central reference point for cinematic realism and aesthetic radicalism, influencing movements from the French New Wave to Brazilian Cinema Novo, British social realism and Dogme 95. It remains a key influence for contemporary filmmakers and for scholars from areas as diverse as cultural geography, gender studies, performance, historiography, aesthetic philosophy, and the study of war, fascism and torture.

Registration is here. The draft programme, which includes a screening of the newly restored version of the film, is:


12.30-1.30pm: Registration

1.30-1.45pm: Welcome and Introductory remarks from conference organisers Louis Bayman, Stephen Gundle and Karl Schoonover

1.45-3.15pm: 1st Session: The Afterlives of Rome Open City (chair tbc)

Stefano Baschiera (Queen’s University Belfast): Rome Open City: a question of privacy and intimacy

Jacqueline Reich (Fordham University): The Digital Afterlife of Rome Open City

Giacomo Manzoli (University of Bologna): Carlo Lizzani’s Celluiode and the Origin Myth of Cinematographic Neorealism

Sarah Culhane (University of Bristol) & Danielle Hipkins (University of Exeter): Italian Cinema Audiences project: ‘Once I believed in the nation, not any more’: Using audience memories to approach Rome Open City

3.15-3.45pm: Break

3.45-5.30pm: 2nd Session: New Perspectives on Anna Magnani, chaired by Jacqueline Reich (Fordham University)

Chiara Tognolotti (University of Florence): Anna Magnani personaggia and the modes of representation of femininity

Catherine O’Rawe (University of Bristol): Anna Magnani: the Emblematic Cry of Naturalism

Sergio Rigoletto (University of Oregon): The making of authenticity: Anna Magnani and Neorealist stardom

Francesco Pitassio (University of Udine): Popular Culture, Performance, Persona: Anna Magnani between Open City and The Rose Tatoo

5.30-6pm: Break

6-8pm: Screening of 2015 restoration of Rome Open City, presented by Emiliano Morreale, Conservatore of the Cineteca Nazionale and University of Turin

8.15pm: Conference dinner at Scarman House, University of Warwick


9-10am: Keynote Speaker David Forgacs (New York University): Rome Open City before and after neorealism

10.15-12.15pm: 3rd Session: Reframing Rome Open City, chaired by Karl Schoonover (University of Warwick)

Pasquale Iannone (University of Edinburgh): From Don Pietro to Patriarch: An audiovisual study of Aldo Fabrizi’s performances in Mio figlio professore (Renato Castellani, 1946) and Vivere in pace (Luigi Zampa, 1947)

Maurizio Viano (Wellesley College): title tbc

Stuart Mitchell (University of Warwick): Erased artifice and embodied immersion: How Rome Open City makes us feel, 70 years on.
An investigation of Rossellini’s influence on contemporary ‘realist’ practice and our embodiment of film style and performance

Oliver Brett (University of Leicester): Roma, a faccia aperta? – representation of the ‘face’ in Roberto Rossellini’s Roma città aperta (1945)

12.15-1.15pm: Lunch

1.15-2.45pm: 4th Session:

Panel a: Receptions of Rome Open City, chaired by Stella Bruzzi (University of Warwick)

John Wranovics: Ballyhoo: U.S. Psychological Warfare and Roberto Rossellini’s Rome, Open City and Paisan

Vanessa Roghi (La Sapienza University of Rome): The Legacy of Rome, Open City in Italian Television (includes video presentation in Italian)

Paolo Noto (Università di Bologna): A television masterpiece? Rome, Open City and Italian broadcasting

Panel b: Sex & the Open City, chaired by Sergio Rigoletto (University of Oregon)

Eleanor Andrews (University of Wolverhampton): The Face of Evil?: An Examination of the Character of Ingrid in Roma città aperta

Dominic Holdaway & Dalila Missero (University of Bologna): Re-Reading Marina: Sexuality, Materialism and the Construction of Italy

Damiano Garofalo (La Sapienza University of Rome): Rome Open City in the Shadow of ‘Nazisexploitation’ Films

2.45-3.15pm: Break

3.15-5pm: 5th Session: The critical politics of Rome Open City, chaired by Louis Bayman (University of Southampton)

Valerio Coladonato (La Sapienza University of Rome): The reception of Rome Open City in France (1946-68). Realism for the elites, revolution for the people

Gianluca Fantoni (Nottingham Trent University): Roma città aperta, Communist Intellectuals, and the Politicisation of Neorealism

Charles Leavitt (University of Reading): “Che cosa è l’Italia per noi?”: Questioning the Conclusion of Rome Open City.

5-6.15pm: Final Session, chaired by Stephen Gundle (University of Warwick)

Richard Dyer (University of St Andrews): Whose Rome? From Open City to La dolce vita

Sidney Gottlieb (Sacred Heart University): Remarks on teaching Rome Open City

Round Table and closing remark

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