This course provides an introduction to Italian cinema. It offers a general exploration of the context of cinema, the role of the state in the film industry and of the main trends and movements in film production. The first part of the course consists of a closer examination of the most important movement in Italian film-making: Neorealism. This current roughly lasted from 1945 to 1952, and it gave rise to some of the most distinctive and influential Italian films which shocked for their unusual and raw examination of war and reconstruction. The second part of the course explores the evolution and decline of Neorealism, and the emergence of a new cinematic realism and of a new modernist cinema. Here attention will be paid to the potentialities of modernist films with particular reference to technical device and practicalities on the one hand, and to the juxtaposition of fantasy and reality on the other.