Many of us like to watch movies. Let's have a quick look at some of the terms that Italians use when they talk about the movies.
A movie is usually called un film. That's an easy one, because in English we can say "film," as well.
But when we talk about "the movies" in general, it's il cinema. That's another word we understand, but we have to think of using. Forget about the word "movie!"
And then, when we want to go to the movies, andiamo al cinema (we go to the movies/let's go to the movies).
Ciao. Sei annoiato o annoiata
Hi. Are you bored (m) or bored (f)
e ti vuoi divertire e rilassare?
and you want to have a good time and relax?
Bene, puoi andare al cinema.
Good. You can go to the movies.
Captions 3-5, Marika spiega - Il cinemaPlay Caption
Siamo andati al cinema e abbiamo visto un bel film.
We went to the movies and we saw a great movie.
Adoro il cinema!
I love the movies!
When we talk about the star of the movie, if it's a guy, it's il protagonista and if it is a female, it's la protagonista. It always ends in a and is basically a feminine noun! It's also used to mean "the main character."
Perché Marcello, il protagonista di questo film, è uno come noi.
Because Marcello, the main character of this film, is someone like us.
Caption 21, Fellini Racconta - Un Autoritratto RitrovatoPlay Caption
Just like in English, we have l'attore e l'attrice (the actor and the actress).
When they are acting, however, we use the verb recitare. They recite their lines.
È come recitare una parte in fondo, no?
It's like acting a part, deep down, right?
Caption 16, Sposami - EP 2Play Caption
E... come attore insisti,
And... and you have to keep at it as an actor.
hai recitato benissimo. -Grazie.
You acted very well. -Thank you.
Captions 5-6, Volare - La grande storia di Domenico Modugno - Ep. 1Play Caption
When we talk about movie stars, Italians often use the English word, la star (the star). Otherwise, it's la stella (the star).
Grazie. -Alla nuova stella del musical.
Thanks. -To the new star of musicals.
Caption 22, La Ladra - Ep. 4 - Una magica biondaPlay Caption
Nowadays, there are often various screening rooms in a multi-plex movie theater. Each of these is called una sala. We can also call a movie theater una sala cinematografica, when we are referring to a room within a building, or a building devoted to screening movies. So when you buy your ticket they will tell you sala 4 or sala 8. Sala is akin to "hall" or "large room." Il teatro (the theater) refers to theaters (for plays) and opera houses. It also refers to the activity or study of acting or drama. Un corso di teatro is a drama course. If you have studied acting, you can say:
Ho studiato teatro
Ho studiato recitazione teatrale
Yabla Italian has various movies you can watch in Italian with or without subtitles (try only Italian, only English, none, or both!). Taking advantage of moments when going to the movies might not be a great option. It might just be the right time to broaden your horizons with a nice movie in Italian. Here are some suggestions:
Il Tempesta This movie takes place in il Veneto, the region Venice is in. But the story takes place in the nearby city of Treviso. It involves a photographer, an adopted Belarus orphan, and a girl who works at the Tognana porcelain factory.
Sei mai stata sulla Luna? (Ever Been to the Moon?) The film is the story of Guia, a 30-year-old woman who works for a prestigious international fashion magazine, who travels around by private jet and lives between Milan and Paris. She has everything, or at least she thinks she does until she finds herself in a remote village in Puglia where she inherited a large family farm.
L'oro di Scampia (The Gold of Scampia) is based on a true story, adapted from Gianni Maddaloni's book, La mia vita sportiva (My Life in Sports). Scampia is a suburb made up of massive public housing blocks north of Naples. Camorra criminals rule the area and make life very difficult for Enzo Capuano, a hospital worker, who runs a Judo school in his spare time.
Keep in mind that each segment of a movie comes with a vocabulary review, multiple-choice and fill-in-the-blank exercises, and the patented dictation exercise, Scribe, so you can learn while enjoying the movie. But you can also just soak it in, and watch the entire movie, which is useful in itself. Getting used to hearing how real people (and good actors) speak — paying attention to the rhythm, flow, and lilt of the language gives you what learning individual words and constructed sentences cannot. Sometimes it's all about how Italians connect the words to each other fluidly.
Of course, there are also plenty of movies on the various streaming platforms available for the watching. They are often available in lingua originale con sottotitoli. Maybe you can watch a movie in Italian that you have already seen dubbed into English or some other language. Fun!