Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Sarah Nilsen

Second Advisor

Antonello Borra


Commedia all'italiana, a genre of Italian film satires that emerged in the late 1950s and sustained through the late 1970s, is primarily understood through its close relationship to Italian culture. The evolution of the genre appears to be less tied to the revision of iconography and narrative codes of previous films than it is to the trajectory of Italian society during its years of prominence. The following thesis will attempt to find a definition of commedia all'italiana that is discrete from the genre's strong link to Italian culture by isolating the films' common narrative strategies. The aim in constructing this definition, which will be called the "commedia all'italiana narrative methodology," is to negotiate the possibility of formal elaboration upon the genre by a modern filmmaker, even outside of the strictly Italian context of the films in question. The viability of this endeavor will be put to the test in the final chapter, a plot outline for a feature film, entitled Commedia Vasca, that emulates the narrative approaches assembled in the commedia all'italiana narrative methodology.

This thesis begins by presenting the common understanding of commedia all'italiana, with a particular focus on the genre's close connection to Italian society. The second chapter tracks the formation of the commedia all'italiana narrative methodology by isolating and analyzing distinct and adaptable narrative strategies at play among the films of commedia all'italiana. Then the thesis changes course to set up the creative experiment in narrative adaptation, Commedia Vasca, which will engage with Basque culture, rather than Italian. The plot outline for the film is preceded by a short summary of relevant Basque history and the ways the cultural specificities of the Basque Country influenced the process of utilizing and adapting the commedia all'italiana narrative methodology.



Number of Pages

86 p.