Movies and Film: Italian Film History

Italian Film History

Italy's first fiction film wasn't released until 1905. Filoteo Alberini's La presa di Roma, 20 settembre 1870 (The Capture of Rome, September 20, 1870) represented the nation's relatively late appearance on the European cinematic scene. One of the problems was Italy's economic standing on the continent, which had never rivaled that of France or Germany. A bigger issue, though, was the dominance of French filmmakers and production companies over virtually every aspect of Italian cinema.

By 1910, however, the fledgling Italian film industry was establishing an identity of its own after the long French choke hold. Studios like Alberini & Santoni (eventually Cines), Milano Films, Ambrosio, Aquila, and Pasquali and Tempo gave strong impetus to the writers, directors, and other personnel who would go on to create a booming silent film industry in cities across the peninsula.

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Movies and Film © 2001 by Mark Winokur and Bruce Holsinger. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

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