• The Blessed Lens

  • A History of Italian Cinema
  • By: Joseph Luzzi
  • Narrated by: Joseph Luzzi
  • Length: 7 hrs and 49 mins
  • 4.0 out of 5 stars (12 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Professor Joseph Luzzi, the director of Italian studies at Bard College and an award-winning author, offers a comprehensive look at Italian cinema from its inception in 1895 through its major periods and influences. Having altered the landscape of Italian art and society, as well as inspiring filmmakers the world over, Italian cinema proves a fascinating study. Major focuses of the course include neorealism, the Spaghetti Western, the Italian giallo, and Italian-style comedy.

©2011 Joseph Luzzi (P)2011 Recorded Books, LLC

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Exceptional lectures, but missing the PDF guide.

Professor Luzzi of Bard College presents a stimulating series of lectures on the Italian cinema. He goes far beyond presenting just a series of noted films, but really a review of the basics of art cinema with a focus on the Italian classics. Some of the more obscure films can also be found on Youtube. My only gripe is that there is no accompanying PDF guide as there are on all the other Modern Scholar series. The guides are essential to understanding and also provide a suggested viewing with each lecture.

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An extreme disappointment

The book purports to be a history of Italian cinema, but really isn't. The author had some pet theories and movies that he really want to talk about, and disguised this under the title. He spent most of a lesson discussing basic vocabulary that anyone who picked up a book on national cinema would already know. He spent multiple lessons on a couple of films alone. Large developed genres of Italian films, each of which I was was expecting to get at least one lesson a piece devoted to them were dismissed all together in less than 10 minutes. I now know a lot about 2-3 directors and what random ideas excite the author, but very little about the history of Italian cinema. Also, I have a very good idea about what he covers in his other lectures and publications as he refers to them CONSTANTLY. A complete disappointment of a book. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone, unless they are already aware of the author's interests and want to hear more.