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This research project will present an analysis of the influence of Italian Neo-realist films on many modern Hollywood films and independent films. For many years, moviegoers have come to expect a number of conventions, namely a traditional plot structure of conflict, climax, and resolution with a positive outcome or “happy-ending” for the protagonist and unrealistic scenarios created for entertainment. The independent film sector has been drawing from Neo-realist approaches for years, mainly due to limited budget and resources, countercultural intentions, and experimentation with conventions, though many Hollywood filmmakers have begun drawing various elements from Neo-realism as well. The main question this proposal will attempt to answer is why realism has fallen back into favor, and what factors may have led to this breaking of the conventional approach to filmmaking.

Some of the neo-realist films that will be examined in this paper are Bicycle Thieves, Germany Year Zero, and Terminal Station, the latter being one of the first mainstream Hollywood films to borrow from Italian Neo-realism. Modern films that shall be examined include, Man Push Cart, Nebraska, Blue Valentine, Gummo, Friday, The Pursuit of Happyness, as well as several emerging genres such as neo-noir, “found-footage” films, and most significantly, “mumblecore” films such as The Puffy Chair, and Tiny Furniture.

This paper will draw from a number of sources, such as academic articles, interviews and documentaries, and critical analyses on the aforementioned films and genres.


This is a metadata-only record.



  • Subject
    • Visual Arts

  • Institution
    • Gainesville

  • Event location
    • Library Technology Center 380

  • Event date
    • 24 March 2017

  • Date submitted

    19 July 2022

  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      Candice Wilson