I started watching Italian movies to improve my Italian and now I do it because I love them. They don’t get enough credit, that’s for sure, and I have many more favorite Italian movies than I do American ones – I own hundreds of them, and the first thing I want to do when I arrive in Italy is go to the movies.
And I’m not quite sure that I get the reason for this, but I love Italian movies more than most of the Italians that I’ve met do – they seem to prefer American ones. When I debate this with them they point to numbers. They say that there are more good movies made in the United States than in Italy.
But there are just so many more made here that I guess there’s more of a mathematical probability that, by chance, there will be a greater number of successful movies that come out of the US. I also think that many Italians are just buying the Julia Roberts/Brad Pitt hype and are not giving their own actors and filmmakers enough of a chance.
There are, of course, the Italian movies that are pretty stinky. Some of the comedies are just not my cup of tea, but for the most part, the dramas, love stories, and even many of the comedies have more life, more heart, more emotion, and better acting than 95% of the American movies that I’ve seen.
This is a bold statement, I agree, but I’m going to try to prove it with this blog. Many of my favorite Italian movies will not be available unless you own a PAL/zone 2 DVD player (worth investing in if you love European movies) or a zone free DVD player. (Are these legal? Some see them as a possible violation of World Trade Organizationfree trade agreements but it hasn’t stopped me from buying them.)
There are some excellent Italian movies that are available through Netflix and Amazon, and I’ll start with those. Also, I will be focusing on the modern Italian movies and not the older classics. For whatever reason, I am not a huge “La Dolce Vita” fan and do not see the Fellini years as the “golden age” – there’s plenty of good stuff being made right now.