The course is about the city of Rome and its cinematographic representations.

Therefore, this central theme has to be the core of your paper.

* Please type and double space (12pt, Times New Roman font).

* Limit each essay to 3 pages. ESSAYS HAVE TO BE COMPLETE OF EVERYTHING: title, citations, bibliography, filmography, and they must be 3 pages long. Shorter essays will be penalized.

* Assume you are writing for a “cinemate” viewing public, familiar with the film you are considering and conversant with the criticism on it, as well as any technical terms you may want to bring to bear.

* Do NOT give a plot summary. If you rewrite the movie, the paper will be penalized.

* Begin by stating your specific approach to the films, or the specific argument you wish to advance, spell out the ramifications of your argument.

* Be sure to substantiate everything you say with a reference to concrete examples from the films themselves.

* Do not make vague generalizations that could apply to any number of films in the same genre. BE SPECIFIC.

* Show that you have seen the films and thought deeply about some aspects of them.

Your grade will be based on:

a) SPELLING AND GRAMMAR (absence of glaring errors of spelling and grammar)

b) ORGANIZATION AND CLARITY OF THOUGHT (tightness, logic, structure, and coherence of argument)

c) TONE / USE OF LANGUAGE (avoidance of a “conversational” tone, avoidance of repetitive word choice and redundant statements, no abbreviations, etc.)


  • To start, a paper must have an introduction, in which you will in fact introduce the topic you will be analyzing.  You can expand the title and give a general idea of what you will be writing about. I do not encourage starting with the movies right away.
  • After the introduction, you will enter the core of the analysis, in which you will start to criticize the movies, by following the provided prompts. Be analytical. Do not state the obvious, but also do not make observations that you cannot explain. Make points, criticize, explore, dare to state. Avoid being superficial and leaving concepts unexpressed.
  • Maintain the logic of the paragraphs. Do not jump all over the topics, but stay focuses and on tracks. The flow as to be smooth and easy to read. To this end, reading your paper out loud can help you to find errors (repetitions, for example. Use synonyms!).   
  • DO NOT REWRITE THE PLOT. Mention scenes and/or sequences just if it is important for the point you are demonstrating.
  • The first time you mention a movie, you also have to cite, in parenthesis, the director and the year of production. The title of the movie needs to be either in Italic, or in quotes.
  • You MUST use at least two sources, and quote them, not because you need to have them in the body of the paper, but because they will intertwine them with your discourse. They need to help you demonstrate a thesis, so use them as a support. Or you can use them to disagree with who wrote them, and give your explanation of the reasons why you do not agree with the author.
  • After the core of the analysis, you will need a conclusion of the paper. A conclusion is not a repetition or a summary of what you just wrote. It’s a short paragraph in which you wrap up your criticism. You can reuse some of the concepts analyzed, but be careful to avoid reusing the same expressions or words. You can close with a quote, or with something that could be explored in another paper (open ending).
  • You must have a FILMOGRAPHY (a list of films you have cited) and a BIBLIOGRAPHY (a list of works you have quoted) at the end of the paper.

Please read the following prompts and write a 3-page paper trying to incorporate them all.

  • Think of all the films we have watched this semester and explain how the city of Rome changed from how it was represented in the post war Neorealism masterpieces, to the new millennium feature films. Mention at least 3 movies that explain clearly how Rome has changed. Mention scenes and be specific.
  • Also think of the movies of the semester, and their relevance to current-day life (in Italy / Europe but also beyond, anywhere in the world). Which film screened for the class strikes you as being most relevant and important even today, with respect to our lives in 21st century America? Why? In this context, you might analyze women treatment and cinematic space, whether (and how) that has changed through the decades. Be specific and offer concrete examples.
  • Finally, how does the use of comedy in Italian cinema denounce social ills, address historical injustices, and educate film audiences on the need for change in society? You can choose to discuss films that are obviously/overwhelmingly comedic, but you are also allowed to refer to moments/instances of comedy in films that are dramatic in nature.

This course follows the University’s policy about plagiarism.

The misuse of sources is the failure to acknowledge properly the source of an idea and/or specific language that is presented in any work submitted for evaluation, including (but not limited to) journal entries, drafts of papers,
and final submissions of papers.

The misuse of sources is a violation of academic codes of conduct and could result in serious penalty. The severity of the penalty depends on an individual instructor’s assessment.


Plagiarism is the theft of another’s ideas, specific language, or other media, and the presentation—for the purposes of evaluation—of that material as one’s own, at any stage of the writing process, including (but not limited to) journal entries, drafts of papers, and final submissions of papers. Any student who commits plagiarism on the final paper, s/he will receive and F and fail the course. The Dean of the School or College may also refer the case to the Academic Misconduct Hearing Board to consider whether or not further penalties, including expulsion from the University, are warranted.

To avoid misusing sources or committing plagiarism, a student must include all of his sources with full and proper acknowledgment.

Full and Proper Acknowledgement: The unambiguous identification of the sources of all ideas, language, and other materials that are not one’s own. There are many different methods of identifying a source [MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.], depending on the discipline’s academic conventions.

This course follows the MLA format.

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