Italian neorealism (Italian: Neorealismo), also known as the Golden Age of Italian Cinema, is a national film movement characterized by stories set amongst the poor and the working class, filmed on location, frequently using non-professional actors. Stands in contrast to two different traditions 1. The escapist, romantic fascist films of National Film Production under Mussolini (The White Telephone films) 2. Hollywood Studio tradition, the tradition of glamour, stardom and fame. Italian Neo Realist Films are movement is criticized by conservative elements in Italian society as a negative portrayal of Italians and Italian society. The criticism came from many leftist, socialist and communists authors, critics and filmmakers (especially at De Sica) as not containing as real answer or response to the devastation and poverty of Italy.
1875 - early 1900s - Verismo (meaning "realism", from Italian vero, meaning "true") was an Italian literary movement, Giovanni Verga and Luigi Capuana were its main exponents and the authors of a verismo manifesto. For them, literature should objectively portray society and humanity like a photograph, strictly representing even the humblest social class in even its most unpleasant aspects, with the authors analysing real modern life like scientists.
1937 - Cinecittà Studios founded in 1937. Late 1930s-Early 1940s - The neorealist style was developed by a circle of film critics that revolved around the magazine Cinema, including Luchino Visconti, Gianni Puccini, Cesare Zavattini, Giuseppe De Santis and Pietro Ingrao. (the editor-in-chief of the magazine was Vittorio Mussolini, son of Benito Mussolini) 1943 - The first neorealist film is generally thought to be Ossessione by Luchino Visconti 1943 – Itally surrenders - Sept 3rd, The Armistice of Cassibile signed on 3 September 1943 by Walter Bedell Smith and Giuseppe Castellano, and made public on 8 September, between the Kingdom of Italy and the Allies ("United Nations") of World War II. 1945 – May – Germany surrenders in Italy. 1946 – Neo Realism get its birth with Roberto Rossellini's Rome, Open City, when it won the Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival as the first major film produced in Italy after the war. 1946 - Shoeshine d. Vittorio De Sica. 1948 - Bicycle Thieves (Italian: Ladri di biciclette; often known in the United States as The Bicycle Thief) is a 1948 Italian film directed by Vittorio De Sica. 1949/50 – Bicycle Thieves Voted by the Academy Board of Governors as the most outstanding foreign language film released in the United States during 1949; 1950. 1950s - Italian neorealism rapidly declined in the early 1950s. 1951 - Miracle in Milan (Italian: Miracolo a Milano) d. Vittorio de Sica. 1952 -Umberto D. d. Vittorio De Sica – The Last of the true “Neo Realist” films. 1954 - La Strada and
1955 - Il bidone - Transitional films by Federico Fellini's Italy's move from individual concern with neorealism to the tragic frailty of the human condition can be seen through Federico Fellini's films 1964-66 - Antonioni's Red Desert (1964) and Blow-up (1966) take the neorealist trappings and internalise them in the suffering and search for knowledge brought out by Italy's post-war economic and political climate.
The period between 1943 and 1950 in the history of Italian cinema is dominated by the impact of neorealism, which is properly defined as a moment or a trend in Italian film rather than an actual school or group of theoretically motivated and like-minded directors and scriptwriters. Its impact nevertheless has been enormous not only on Italian film but also on French New Wave cinema, the Polish Film School and ultimately on films all over the world. It also influenced film directors of India's Parallel Cinema movement, including Satyajit Ray (who directed the award-winning Apu Trilogy) and Bimal Roy (who made Do Bigha Zameen (1953)), both heavily influenced by Vittorio De Sica's Bicycle Thieves (1948). Furthermore, as some critics have argued, the abandoning of the classical way of doing cinema and so the starting point of the Nouvelle Vague and the Modern Cinema can be found in the post-war Italian cinema and in the neorealism experiences.   In particular, this cinema seems to be constituted as a new subject of knowledge, which it-self builds and develops. It produces a new world in which the main elements have not so many narrative functions as they have their own aesthetic value, related with the eye that is watching them and not with the action they are coming from. The Neorealist period is often simply referred to as "The Golden Age" of Italian cinema by critics, filmmakers and scholars.