Postcards from Rome

Length: 500-700 words per “postcard”
Research requirement: minimum of 2 academic sources (i.e. books or peer-reviewed articles; NOT Wikipedia, magazine articles, blog entries, class notes, etc.) per “postcard”. The 2 mandatory sources .
1) Choose three (3) Roman locations featured in three different films, made by different directors. The films may be ones screened in class, or any other Rome-set film you may have seen, old or new. All 3 locations must be drawn from films OTHER THAN the one you presented on.

2) Find the location, spend some time observing it and thinking about it, and take a photo. Needless to say, this isn’t a photography course, so you won’t be judged either on your technical ability or your talent for lighting and composition. You can take it with a camera or with your phone. Just make sure the photo clearly shows what location it is and, if you can, try to take it in a way that bears some relation to what you write about in your text.

3) Write a “postcard” — or more accurately, letter — to the director of the film whose location you picked. In your letter, reflect on whether the location chosen by the director for his film could still serve a similar function today. In other words, decide whether the scene shot on this location could be replicated today — in a way that would retain the scene’s original meaning and purpose — and elaborate on your decision. This entails considering and demonstrating an understanding of a number of points:

a) What was the director’s aim in choosing that location? What function does the location serve in this particular scene, and how does it relate to the film overall? In the logic of the film, is this location representative of the city of Rome, and if so, what is it that the director is trying to say about the city? In short, what does the director’s use of this location communicate about his idea of Rome, and what particular aspects of the location make it suited to communicate that idea?

b) Has the location changed substantially over the years, and if so, how? Is the architecture different? Has its function shifted? Its socioeconomic makeup? What kind of people do you see? Do they have anything in common with the people shown in the film? What kind of activities are the people involved in? How is the space divided and what is it used for? If you reshot the scene today, what kind of an image of the city would you get? What would it tell you about Rome in general? Is this location still representative of the city, or at least of some aspects of it? If so, how do the changes (or lack thereof) at the location reflect the changes (or lack thereof) in Rome more broadly?

c) If the film you are writing about is very recent, and the location hasn’t changed at all, then was anything done by the director to change the aspect and meaning of the location for the film? Is the scene a mis-representation; if so, in what way, and for what purpose?

4) Be sure to demonstrate evidence of research: that is, engage with previous scholarship on the film/director in question, rather than relying exclusively on your own first-hand observations and class discussion.

selection of scenes for each postcard are from the movies

La Dolce Vita (Trevi Fountain)
Acattone (Jumping scene at the bridge)
Umberto D (Pantheon)

Each scene needs to discuss difference of Italy during the period the movie was recorded and present time, why it would be either possible to shot that scene again in the same location or wether it cant be shoot anymore, reasons why. Italy politic and economic reflection on each and impact in the character and again present time Italy. Meaning of location and monument selected. Find 2 sources for each movie and scene.