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The Operatic and the Everyday in Postwar Italian Film Melodrama

Louis Bayman

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Melodrama - the key cinematic form of post-war Italy, central to popular life and the dramatic arts

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Introduction: Why Melodrama?
1. I: Genre
II: Emotion
III: Worldview
2. I: Melodrama, Realism, Modernism
II: Popular neorealism
3. I: Opera and cinema
II: Cultural hybridity
III: Matarazzo and Visconti: Vantage points on a domestic heritage

About the Author

Louis Bayman is a lecturer in Film Studies at the University of Southampton. He holds a PhD from King’s College, London and has published various articles on popular genres especially in relation to Italian cinema, serial killer cinema, film aesthetics and retro and nostalgia. He is author of the monograph The Operatic and the Everyday in Postwar Italian Film Melodrama (2014) and co-editor of the collection Popular Italian Cinema.


Finally, an excellent example of a cultural history of film! Louis Bayman very convincingly connects the tears of cinematographic melodrama and its body and lifeblood to the neorealist corpus. He reveals roots, bonds and kinships that have never before been so well illuminated between the great 19th century tradition of opera, popular literature and theatre and with the contemporary popular cultural forms of the foto- and cineromanzo.

- Gian Piero Brunetta, University of Padova

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