Calligrafismo (En: caligraphism) is an Italian style of filmmaking in the first half of the 1940s.

Characteristics of the style

A scene from La bella addormentata (1942)
A scene from La bella addormentata (1942)

In the 1940s the two most significant styles of the Italian movie scene were the telefoni bianchi (En: white telephones) and calligrafismo.

Calligrafismo is in a sharp contrast to telefoni bianchi-American style comedies and is rather artistic, highly formalistic, expressive in complexity and deals mainly with contemporary literary material,[1] above all the pieces of Italian realism from authors like Corrado Alvaro, Ennio Flaiano, Emilio Cecchi, Francesco Pasinetti, Vitaliano Brancati, Mario Bonfantini and Umberto Barbaro.[2]

The most important directors and scriptwriters

Scene from Tragica notte (1942)
Scene from Tragica notte (1942)




  1. ^ Gian Piero Brunetta, "Cinema italiano dal sonoro a Salò", in Storia del cinema mondiale, Einaudi, Torino, 2000, volume III, pp. 357-359. ISBN 88-06-14528-2
  2. ^ Andrea Martini, La bella forma. Poggioli, i calligrafici e dintorni, Marsilio, Venezia, 1992. ISBN 88-317-5774-1