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The Films that Inspired Master of None

Sofia Sheehan, '17, Editor

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For Master of None fans, season two looks to be Aziz’s most daring attempt with many more risks, much more romance, and a limitless amount of drama compared to the already amazing first sea-
son. This is in large part due to the influence of Italian cinema on Aziz as his character *SPOILER ALERT* spontaneously left or Italy last season in order to make pasta. This new season breezes along like a stylish black and white Italian movie and really shows off Aziz’s film knowledge. For the non-film nerds, here are a few of the many films from the type of genre and cinematographic style that inspired the new- est season of the Netflix smash hit show we all are waiting for, Master of None.


Bicycle Thieves

The entire first episode of the sea- son titled “Thief” owes everything to this timeless classic as its title would imply. “Thief” follows Aziz in a fully black and white and Italian language film where he meets a woman and hits it off. He is sup- posed to call her back but unfortunately someone steals his phone so he has to go
around the city with a little boy looking for it. Bicycle Thieves by Italian master, Vittorio De Sica follows a man in post-war Italy who finally makes enough money to buy a bike. This bike could get him any job he wants but it is unfortunately stolen so he has to go around the city with his son looking for it. This movie will break your heart in more ways than one and does not lose its energy that it had upon its release in the late 40s in Italy.


If one thing was made clear byseason 2, it’s that Aziz Ansari LOVES Michelangelo Antonioni. 3 films of his are referenced throughout the show, but none more clear than L’Avventura as he
watches it in the episode “Amarsi Un Po.” A sprawling and romantic mystery, it follows Monica Vitti struggling to cope with the sudden disappearance of her friend and her even more surpris- ing romance with her friend’s boyfriend during the search. Monica Vitti has never been more serious and more beautiful and though it was previously laughed out of Cannes, many directors like Rossellini, Truffaut, and Godard stood behind it to make sure  L’Avventura would become the classic it deserves to be.


La Notte

Another Antonioni classic, La Notte follows a couple struggling to deal with the fact that their relationship is over. Played by legendary actors Marcello Mastroianni and Jeanne Moreau (with Monica Vitti in a supporting role), this movie takes the dark turns that Hollywood was afraid of while still keeping the breezy Rome lifestyle intact. In Aziz’s second episode, “La Nozze,” Ar- nie struggles to let go of a past relationship just like Marcello albeit with less of a cool factor. Master of None even takes from the iconic scene in La Notte in which every- one jumps in a pool with their clothes on at a fancy event. With all his help, Antonioni deserves a writing credit on the show.


This last Antonioni film dazzled audiences in the 60s with its stellar performances and its modern love story. It stars Monica Vitti (again) as a woman who has recently left her lover wanting to start over and Alain Delon as a stockbroker driven by greed in this story of isolation. This isolation follows Aziz around all season and he even steals another scene from this film when he and this season’s love interest kiss through the glass door in his room. This Antonioni movie is one for the ages with its timeless themes and another unforgettable appearance by the infatuating Monica Vitti.


Fellini Films
While there are not as many overt Fellini references through this season, his influence lies beneath every single scene. The film, 8 1⁄2, follows Marcello Mastroianni in a semi-autobiographical tale of a director who is unable to come up with an idea for his next film as his personal life falls by the wayside. La Dolce Vita, follows Marcello again as a tabloid reporter wondering how he can find meaning in his life as he jumps from woman to woman. Finally, the funniest film of Fellini’s is Amar- cord. This follows the life of a town (based on his own) in the era of Mussolini and
all of the crazy characters that live there.


While it may be entertaining to watch and enjoy the television masterpiece Master of None without the film background, it never hurts to dive a little deeper no matter the genre. All creative work takes inspiration and has influences, so take the time this summer to discover just what those influences may be.


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The Films that Inspired Master of None