By Indiewire | Indiewire November 8, 2007 at 4:46AM
Italy arguably had a larger hand than any other single country in the creation of a post-World War II U.S. audience for foreign "art" films. Nothing drove that growth at first more than Italian "neorealist" films by Roberto Rossellini ("Open City," "Paisan"), Vittorio de Sica ("Shoeshine," "The Bicycle Thief") and others. when arthouse cinema was really catching fire, Italy offered Fellini, Antonioni, Visconti, Pasolini, Bertolucci, and so forth. Their movies were arthouse "events," must-sees to be endlessly discussed by everyone from liberal-arts students to urban boho types to, eventually, the more culturally savvy suburbanites. Dennis Harvey reports.