By Robert S. C. Gordon
Bicycle Thieves (Ladri di biciclette) Vittorio de Sica, 1948 is unarguably one of many primary movies within the heritage of cinema. it's also essentially the most beguiling, relocating and (apparently) easy items of narrative cinema ever made. The movie tells the tale of 1 guy and his son, as they seek fruitlessly in the course of the streets of Rome for his stolen bicycle; the bicycle which had eventually freed him from the poverty and humiliation of longterm unemployment.
One of a cluster of impressive movies to return out of post-war, post-Fascist Italy after 1945 – loosely labelled ‘neo-realist’ – Bicycle Thieves received an Oscar in 1949, crowned the 1st Sight and Sound ballot of the simplest movies of all time in 1952 and has been highly influential all through international cinema ever since. It continues to be an important aspect of reference for any cinematic engagement with the labyrinthine adventure of the trendy urban, the travails of poverty within the modern global, the advanced bond among fathers and sons, and the potential of the digicam to catch whatever just like the essence of all of these.
Robert S. C. Gordon’s BFI movie Classics quantity indicates how Bicycle Thieves is ripe for re-viewing, for rescuing from its priceless prestige as a neo-realist ‘classic’. It appears to be like on the film’s drawn-out making plans and construction heritage, the colourful and riven context within which it used to be made, and the dynamic geography, geometry and sociology of the movie that resulted.
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Extra info for Bicycle Thieves (Ladri di biciclette) (BFI Film Classics)
He is a moral device, a perspective whose presence, as Millicent Marcus has argued, opens up the possibility of our moral engagement with the film.
The restaurant scene shows an uncomfortable encounter between a rich, bourgeois family at Sunday lunch - aIl dressed up for the occasion and enjoying plentiful food, obsequious service and the buzz of restaurant music and conversation- and part of a poor, working-class family struggling upwards on the social scale, but failing. The decision to enter the restaurant and to keep up, for one comse at least, with the habits of the well-off, is a folly on Antonio's part, a gesture to win back Bruno's affection, a blowing of money he can no longer afford, a momentary fantasy about the life he might have led if he had his bicycle, Ir is a bourgeois dream of betterment, in other words, played out as a bitter comedy of the impossible.
The Riccis are not the only family in Bicycle Thieves, however, nor is theirs the only family home or domestic space we see Following a pattern we have come across again and again, a dominant, central feature is glossed and qualified, and inflected in mood also, by shards of comparable configurations encountered at the margins of the narrative and/or of the frame" There are at least BICYCLE three other family units worth thinking about: La Santona's, wealthy family in the restaurant, and the thief Alfredo's family.