closing the week with great Italian film

April 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

One great way of learning language is to watch movies and listen to music in that language. I think it helps you understand not just what to say but how to say it.

I was surprised after only getting to the first level of four with RosettaStone that I could understand some of what I learned in the movies I watched.

Not only was it helpful to reinforce a bit of what I learned, but Italian film is just beautiful. It’s probably why Martin Scorcese  has gone to so much trouble to preserve some of the great films and get them out so people can see them. I was pretty impressed with how many you can find through Netflix. Another reason why I love Apple TV over cable.

The first film I saw was La Strada, a neorealist film by Federico Fellini which was also the first film to ever win an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. It was one of the films to put Fellini on the map. He has since influenced just about every major director out there. When asked what his top 10 favorite films were, Stanley Kubrick cited Il Vitelloni as number 1. La Strada is like entering into another world or a dream that is still filled with relatable human emotion. It draws you in with the characters despite their difficult interactions.

The next film I checked out was Ladri di bicicleta (The Bicycle Thieves), a film by esteemed Italian director Vittorio de Sica. This film received the Academy Honorary Award, given to achievements that did not fit a category (foreign film category had not been added yet). This award has also been given to Walt Disney for the creation of Mickey Mouse, Gene Kelly for his versatility as an actor & director & choreography, and Robert Redford for his creation of Sundance.

The film gives great insight into post-WWII in Rome, showing the frustration with finding work and getting by. It is again another beautiful film that draws you in with the characters and their plight.

I spent a lot of time talking about bicycles with RosettaStone, so I was definitely picking up on a lot of the vocabulary in this film. It was also fun to notice the gestures I had learned about earlier in the week.

There are other films I want to check out before heading over to Italy on vacation, Cinema Paradiso being one. I plan to continue practicing a bit each day between now and when we leave in May.

I wish I could have written this whole post in Italian, but I’ll have to work up to that. I’m definitely hooked on the language and excited to learn more!

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