Italian films to include in your movie library: wonderful artistic creations from a cinema marked by charm and beauty

Italian films to include in your movie library: wonderful artistic creations from a cinema marked by charm and beauty

Italian cinema is undoubtedly the destination for those looking for the magic and beauty of films. Throughout its history, it has been famous for artistic creations away from commercial films and prevailing stereotypes. Italian filmmakers have mastered their aesthetic methods, turning their simple stories into wonderful and impressive masterpieces. This also made it a very important school for anyone who wants to learn cinema, its art and its history.

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Throughout the history of Italian cinema, many pioneering cinematic movements emerged that inspired a huge number of artists who came after them, and influenced several other international artistic movements. The Italian neo-realist movement is the most famous and most important of them, which was called the golden age and was active from 1943 to 1952, which made it affected by the Second World War and how it changed human life. What distinguished her were real stories about poverty and the working class, a focus on how they feel, street photography away from the studios, and a reliance on new actors from the common people.

This period was preceded by a comprehensive revolutionary artistic movement known as the “future school”, which was active in the early twentieth century and called for a total renewal in culture and a move away from the past. Then it was followed by neo-realism and the launch of its most famous directors, Vittorio De Sica, Roberto Rossellini, and others. Then came the period of light films characterized by a comedic character and witnessed the exit of important artists to the world, such as Federico Fellini and Sophia Loren.

The sixties bore the films of the American West, which American critics and all their counterparts from all European countries called “Spaghetti Western” because most of them were made in Italy, the category that made the glory of the great director Sergio Leone. Since the beginning of the seventies until this time, Italian cinema has developed greatly, especially in the topics presented, which have become diverse and out of the ordinary and told in an exciting and different way.

The oldest film festival in history is held annually in Venice, one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and this festival is among the three most important international film festivals, along with Cannes and Berlin. Italian films often topped these grand celebrations by winning many of their most important awards, and it is also considered the country that has won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film 14 times. Here are five Italian films that are highly recommended to watch and add to your cinematic output, which will most likely fascinate you and whet your appetite for Italian cinema.

Italian films to include in your movie library: wonderful artistic creations from a cinema marked by charm and beauty

Bicycle Thieves

Bicycle Thieves
  • Production year: 1948.
  • Directed by: Vittorio De Sica.
  • Screenplay: Oricant Biancoli, Suso Chichi D’Amico, Vittorio De Sica.
  • Starring: Lamberto Maggioreni, Enzo Staiola, Lianella Carrell.
  • Film rating on IMDB: 8.3.
  • Film rating on Rotten Tomatoes: 98%.
  • Produced by: Produzione di Sica.
  • Budget: $133,000.

Affected by the Second World War and the economic depression, Antonio Ricci, like many people, sits in front of the employment office looking for a job that provides them with food. Antonio becomes one of the lucky few who gets a job, and his job requires him to have a bike to take him through the streets of Rome and put posters on the walls. Unfortunately, Antonio’s bike was mortgaged to get some money to feed his young family.

Returning home, he carries this news to his wife, who is flying with happiness and collecting some of the household necessities to sell and return the bike. But Antonio’s luck ends there when his bike is stolen on the first day of his new job. To begin a journey to search for her in the entire city of Rome with his son Bruno, hoping to find the bike that represents their way of life, and during this quest, Antonio is subjected to severe psychological pressure that puts him in very difficult tests.

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One of the main icons of the Italian neorealist movement, this film is one of the best films in history for critics, directors and viewers, and one of the most influential classics. The film was awarded an honorary Oscar by the Academy with a nomination for Best Screenplay, in addition to receiving many awards at other festivals, most notably the BAFTA and Golden Globe.

The film’s director, Vittorio De Sica, collected his own budget and the help of his friends, after failing to get any funding from major studios. When asked about the reason for making the film, he said: “To reveal the drama in daily life that we see in another way in the news.” Indeed, the film is characterized by extreme realism, in which several factors contributed, such as the filming of the entire film in real streets, and the use of amateur actors as the hero who originally works in a factory – like many of the film actors whose roles are similar to their real lives – as the child Enzo Staula got his role when he was noticed by De Sica He watches them work on him while helping his father sell flowers on the street.

The Italians did not receive the film with open arms because they believed that it portrayed them badly, and the Italian Guido Aristarco criticized the intense emotion in the film that overshadowed his artistry, despite his admiration for it in general. Nevertheless, it was praised by others such as Rotten Tomatoes critics who said it was a fine example of Italian neorealism, displaying human values ​​and poignant sentiments with a compelling performance.

Italian films to include in your movie library: wonderful artistic creations from a cinema marked by charm and beauty

Italian films to include in your movie library: wonderful artistic creations from a cinema marked by charm and beauty

  • Production year: 1963.
  • Directed by: Federico Fellini.
  • Screenplay: Federico Fellini, Tullio Benelli, Ennio Fellaano, Brunello Rondi.
  • Casting: Marcello Mastroianni, Claudia Cardinale, Anouk Emmy, Sandra Mello.
  • Film rating on IMDB: 8.
  • Film rating on Rotten Tomatoes: 98%.
  • Produced by: Senerez, Francinix.

Film director Federico Fellini uses his hero as a projection on his personal life, director Guido Anselmi, mired in professional and psychological pressures. After the great success of his last movie, the producers are looking forward to more work with him, and this pressure puts him in great confusion, hesitation, and questions about what to do in his life, and specifically he suffers from the inability to think about the science fiction movie he is working on. He takes refuge in a resort where he can relax away from his fear of the failure of his new movie and the collapse of his career.

But pressure continues to haunt him from the producer who is trying to get him to finish the movie by any means, and his wife and some acquaintances who go after him. To become Guido’s only escape from this hell, he lives his fantasies about the life he wants, the women he knows, his memories from his childhood and the most important events he went through, in dreams like hallucinations that helped him hide from his reality and inspired him to finish his film.

Whoever watches the movie can never get enough of it, with each viewing you discover new details that amaze you because of its extreme creativity. With its surreal and dreamy character, and its wonderful artistry in terms of image in particular, it became one of the most important films in history, with the approval of many art institutions. He also has a great influence on and inspired many artists in their work, such as director David Lynch, who considers him his favorite film.

Fellini experienced the same situation as the movie while working on it, where he had an initial screenplay idea of ​​someone with a creative freeze who didn’t know what their job was, how the story would go, or any of the details. He finds himself suffering from this creative freeze, and decides that the hero is a film director who no longer knows anything about the film he is working on.

The film won two Academy Awards for Best Foreign Film and Best Costume Design, in addition to being nominated for Best Director, Original Screenplay and Production Design. It was a natural result of the film and its maker being acclaimed as a genius with a touch of magic and great style. Critic Giovanni Grasini defined that the film’s beauty lies in the mixture it presents between life and art, reality and dream, human and professional values, and Fellini’s fusion with his hero in perfect harmony.

Once Upon a Time in the West

Once Upon a Time in the West
  • Production year: 1968.
  • Directed by: Sergio Leone.
  • Screenplay: Sergio Leone, Sergio Donati.
  • Casting: Claudia Cardinale, Henry Fonda, Jason Robards, Charles Bronson.
  • Film rating on IMDB: 8.5.
  • Film rating on Rotten Tomatoes: 95%.
  • Produced by: Euro International Films, Paramount Pictures, Ravran Cinematography.
  • Budget: $5 million.

The conflict in the film revolves around a land in the middle of nothing in the desert of the West, the land that a simple man bought and built his house on seems of little value now, but in the future it will be worth a fortune after the railways are built to pass through it. On her way to land, the beautiful young “Gil” becomes a widow instead of the second wife of her owner after she reaches her to find him murdered and he is his children.

And behind this heinous crime is someone named Frank, to please his boss, a rich businessman who wanted to own this land and failed in negotiations with its owner. So Jill’s life is in danger as the sole heir and the new owner of the land. Leading to her protection is a dangerous fugitive from the law, and an unknown person named Harmonica, who is originally looking for Frank to solve a personal matter. They all take on a thrilling journey filled with greed, fear, revenge and plenty of gunfire.

Italian films to include in your movie library: wonderful artistic creations from a cinema marked by charm and beauty

Sergio Leone directed this movie despite his determination to stop making spaghetti westerns, and it was a huge hit in European cinemas in its original version before it was adapted by Paramount. The highlight of the film is the use of different sounds from the surrounding environment to create an appropriate general atmosphere, and its epic music from Ino Morricone who composed the legendary music for The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

Leon developed his style in this film by calming the rhythm and adding a tragic touch, and moving away from the fast and changing rhythm he used in his previous Western films. Which we clearly notice in the film’s long scenes, little talk, and limited events, as Lyon’s interest in the original was the general state that the film creates and the atmosphere that precedes the events and clashes.

One of the most important Italian films ever made, several famous directors such as Tarantino, Scorsese, and Vince Gilligan have stated that they were influenced by this film in their work. The general direction was in line with the vision of the critic Roger Ebert, who said that the film is enjoyable and clearly displays the style of the famous Lyon and gives a sense of life in the American West in its rich detail, but is very long and complex at some points of the plot.


  • Production year: 1966.
  • Directed by: Michael Angelo Antonioni.
  • Screenplay: Michael Angelo Antonioni, Tonino Guerra.
  • Starring: David Hemmings, Vanessa Redgrave, Sarah Mills.
  • Film rating on IMDB: 7.6.
  • Rating of the film on Rotten Tomatoes: 88%.
  • Produced by: MGM, Premier Productions, Carlo Ponti Productions, Bridge Films.
  • Budget: $1.8 million.

Thomas finds his life as a successful photographer amidst fashion, models, music and sex boring, and is always looking for something exciting and different to get him out of the situation. During his absurd tours, he sees a couple in a public park and sees a strange thing in them that moves him to take pictures of them from afar, then the wife notices him and goes to him and asks him to give her those pictures because they may cause her more problems.

The eccentric photographer refuses to hand her the photos and intends to use them in the picture book he is working on. When he returns to the studio and develops the photos, he notices a strange detail in one of them, and by making several enlarged copies of the photo, he has the hypothesis of a murder at the place where he took the photos. But the woman follows him into the studio and drags him along until she manages to steal the footage, leaving Thomas at a loss as to what he saw and how true it was.

The visual details of the film were at the top of beauty, as many factors such as colors, lighting and movement within the scene collaborated to paint a wonderful painting. The most important messages of the film were how to perceive our reality? And how our mind can manipulate it and create things that may not exist in reality, and that everyone sees what he wants to see and believes in what he catches his eyes. The philosophy of the film influenced many of the later works of art, and was able to achieve the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Festival, in addition to being nominated for two Academy Awards for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay.

It is one of the most famous Italian films, and despite the film’s violation of the American film production law at the time with its sexual content in some shots, the film succeeded in the United States at the level of audiences and critics. And everyone who watched the film, including some famous personalities, admitted its quality, such as the great director Ingmar Bergman, who said that the film was a masterpiece despite his lack of conviction in Antonioni in general. Critic Roger Ebert described it as having a hypnotic effect, manipulating the viewer between excitement and boredom, telling him to create the appropriate meaning for him away from the norm.

Perfect Strangers

Perfect Strangers
  • Production year: 2016.
  • Directed by: Paulo Genovese.
  • Screenplay: Paolo Genovese, Filippo Bologna, Paulo Costella.
  • Starring: Giuseppe Battiston, Anna Foglita, Marco Giallini, Eduardo Leo.
  • Film rating on IMDB: 7.8.
  • Rating of the film on Rotten Tomatoes: 77%.
  • Produced by: Lotus Production.

Seven best friends discover they are complete strangers when they gather for an evening of dinner together. Guests flock to Rocco and Eva’s home, where everything is set up for a nice evening between friends with food, chat and lunar eclipse viewing. Eva brings up an idea for discussion that grabs their attention, which is that a couple would break up if they saw each other’s messages on the other’s phone.

After a short argument about it, the friends decide to put their phones on the dinner table and share all the messages and calls they get with everyone. With each new message or call, their night gradually turns into a disaster, with some illicit relationships, big secrets and their true secrets revealed. It turns out that each of them does not show their true personality and hides something inside of them, and that in fact they do not know anything about each other.

With its thought-provoking premise, escalating events that spread tension in the air, and the complex characters of its seven protagonists, the film won the admiration of most audiences and critics who watched it. Its resonance also extended until it was recorded in the Guinness Book of Records as the most reproduced film in different versions in the history of cinema, with a total of 18 other releases in different countries around the world.

The film does not stop at spoiling all their relationships with each other, but rather brings us to a more terrifying idea by making all of its events that did not actually happen, but were imagined and they are still continuing their lives as they live under their masks. The script of the film is as complex and intertwined as their lives, and it was wonderful and powerful, and its writer managed it even though it revolves around one place.

Isolated tribe

Italian films to include in your movie library: wonderful artistic creations from a cinema marked by charm and beauty

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