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Vittorio De Sica's The Bicycle Thieves, and Italian Neo-Realism in general

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The Fabulous Sausage Man
Had never seen the Bicycle Thieves before until one dull, sluggish night I popped in the rented disc in the DVD player, having no idea what to expect. I had seen little of the Italian Neo-Realist film movement, but the concept didn't sound too appealing to me since I prefer the opposite to realism when it comes to film-watching (yes, I'm one of those "post-La Dolce Vita Fellini" lovers ). But, I consider myself a serious film fan, and I always force myself to try out new things.

I was hooked from the start - I couldn't believe that it featured non-actors because the emotions seemed so genuine. This is also quite possibly the first film that featured a little kid that didn't irritate me (shock, horror). I wouldn't know how to define a masterpiece ("masterpiece" is subjective, in my opinion), but I know one when I see one, and this film was it. It truly is remarkable how a film so simple could be so powerful. I could watch it without subtitles and understand everything that was going on. But by far, the greatest thing about it was the inevitable, tragic ending...

So, between this and another new favourite, La Strada, I'm now really interested in Italian neo-realism. I've all ready seen plenty of Fellini, so what other De Sica films are worth getting? Do they all have tragic endings? I like tragic endings.



Interesting thread, we had a lecture devoted to Italian Neo Realism unfortunately the films only came without subs or dubs so yet to see any.
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there's a frog in my snake oil
Eh? You have to speak italian to complete your course? Harsh gas!

Originally Posted by Nexus
So, between this and another new favourite, La Strada, I'm now really interested in Italian neo-realism. I've all ready seen plenty of Fellini, so what other De Sica films are worth getting? Do they all have tragic endings? I like tragic endings.
Umberto D is definitely worth a look. I don't want to give away the ending, but let's just say it's got that real feel going on . I reckon i prefer La Strada overall, but my Neo-education kinda starts and ends with those two, so i ain't exacly got a broad perspective on these things
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Virtual Reality chatter on a movie site? Got endless amounts of it here. Reviews over here



Originally Posted by Golgot
Eh? You have to speak italian to complete your course? Harsh gas!

We didn't need to watch the films per se, just study the general aesthetic and context of their production.



there's a frog in my snake oil
Originally Posted by Pyro Tramp
per se
Ah, i see. (There was no need to explain in Latin tho )

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Incidently, i feel i should warn Nexus that Umberto D actually wanders into sentimental territory at times. There's a cute little dog and everything. (Just so you know )



The Fabulous Sausage Man
Originally Posted by Golgot
Incidently, i feel i should warn Nexus that Umberto D actually wanders into sentimental territory at times. There's a cute little dog and everything. (Just so you know )
Sentimental? Cute? Waaaah!

Well, I'll try it out anyway. Perhaps I'll find that the sentimental stuff actually works, like that restaurant scene in Bicycle Thieves, which surprisingly quite lovely. Not that I use the word "lovely" often, you understand...





Some of the other Italian Neorealist pics to seek out include Rome, Open City (1945 - Roberto Rossellini), Shoeshine (1946 - Vittorio De Sica), Paisą (1946 - Roberto Rossellini), Ossessione (1943 - Luchino Visconti), The Earth Trembles (1948 - Luchino Visconti), Germany Year Zero (1948 - Roberto Rossellini), Bitter Rice (1949 - Giuseppe De Santis) and I Vitelloni (1953 - Federico Fellini)....though none of them may have the effect on you that the The Bicycle Thieves did.

For a couple earlier films that gave rise to the style before that period check out Toni (1935 - Jean Renoir) and 1860 (1934 - Alessandro Blasetti). Also, Martin Scorsese's documentary My Voyage to Italy (1999) has his great perspective and passion for this period of filmmaking, if you want even more suggestions.
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"Film is a disease. When it infects your bloodstream it takes over as the number one hormone. It bosses the enzymes, directs the pineal gland, plays Iago to your psyche. As with heroin, the antidote to Film is more Film." - Frank Capra



The Fabulous Sausage Man
Aaaawesome. Now to see if they're all available on Region 2...



Please Quote/Tag Or I'll Miss Your Responses
There are so many great Italian movies.. Here are some that might be overlooked..

-Sunflower (De Sica)
-The Roof (De Sica)
-A Special Day (Scola)