an 3-4 pages essay about “Neo-neorealism” in Contemporary American Cinema, thank you~~
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American “Neo-neorealism”
Ramin Bahrani
Kelly Reichardt
Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck
So Yong Kim
Lance Hammer
Directed Essay I: ART 3110 World Cinemas Winter 2018-19
Film Analysis: “Neo-neorealism” in Contemporary American Cinema
In 2009, New York Times film critic, A.O. Scott, wrote a much-discussed article in which he
argued that the work of a number of contemporary indie filmmakers constituted a new film
movement in American Cinema – what he dubbed, “Neo-neorealism.”
For this 3-4 page essay, read Scott’s article, and then choose a film listed below.* Watch the
film closely, then write an essay that answers the following prompt:
How has Italian Neorealism influenced the work of contemporary American filmmakers? Why
do you think some filmmakers have returned to the neorealist impulse now?
To respond to the prompt, your essay will need to attend to the following questions:




How does Scott define “neo-neorealism”?
How does his definition compare to the definition of Italian Neorealism as it was
espoused by filmmakers like Cesare Zavattini?
How well does your chosen film fit into Scott’s definition?
How does it compare to classic neorealist films, like Bicycle Thieves?
Essays will be graded on:






The presence of a clearly defined, debatable thesis that addresses the essay prompt
Understanding of the Scott article
Understanding of neorealism as a cinematic movement
Attention to detail (in terms of providing specific, illustrative examples from the film and
class readings to support your claims)
The overall quality of the analysis
Command of the standard rules of writing.
[OVER]
List of “Neo-Neorealist” Films
Ramin Bahrani
• Man Push Cart (2005)
• Chop Shop (2007)
• Goodbye Solo (2008)
Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck
• Half Nelson (2006)
• Sugar (2008)
Lance Hammer
• Ballast (2008)
Kelly Reichardt
• Old Joy (2006)
• Wendy & Lucy (2008)
So Yong Kim
• In Between Days (2006)
• Treeless Mountain (2008)
*If you know of another contemporary American film that you feel represents the neorealist
impulse, you may write about this film with the instructor’s approval. All other requirements
for the assignment will remain the same.

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