The New Return of an Old Movement

Last year as a sophomore, my view of cinema was greatly transformed. The film theory classes I took introduced me to radical new ideas that changed the way I looked at and felt about every movie I had ever seen. For me as a common film viewer, before I had even decided to go into the major, this was pretty revolutionary as you can imagine.

The new idea that stuck with me the most was a movement known as neorealism, a style of filmmaking that strived to be as real as possible, a narrative documentary of sorts. The movement died down during the early fifties but I could’t help but wonder how the movement influenced films of today, if there are any shared characteristics or even a possible resurgence brewing. I want to explore this question further and will be using this backdrop for my repurposing project.

Turns out, I am not the only one who has been more than a little curious about the legacy of neorealism, and some major news publications such as The Washington Post and The New York Times have discussed how recent indie flicks are strikingly similar to the mid-century movement. These articles explain how young directors and their low budget films are shaping the market, utilizing on-set shooting, untrained actors, and realistic non fantastical scenarios to make their films hyper realistic and relatable. Reminiscent of what defined classic neorealism, perhaps the movement isn’t completely extinct after all…

Rachel Hutchings

Los Angeles born, Ann Arbor raised. I'm a film student at the University of Michigan and an ardent music junkie on the side. I'm sure you'll catch me at local gigs around town.

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