Monday, May 12, 2008

Neorealism In Italian Cinema

Q: What is neorealism (neorealism in Italian cinema)?

1. Italian neorealism is a style of film characterized by stories set amongst the poor and working class, filmed on location, frequently using nonprofessional actors. Italian neorealist films mostly contend with the difficult economical and moral conditions of post-World War II Italy, reflecting the changes in the Italian psyche and the conditions of everyday life: defeat, poverty, and desperation. (Source: Wikipedia)

2. Neorealist style means a simple story about the lives of ordinary people, outdoor shooting and lighting, non-actors mixed together with actors, and a focus on social problems in the aftermath of World War II. (Source: NYTimes)

One of the major figures of this genre of films is director Vittorio De Sica. I recently watched his Ladri di biciclette (The Bicycle Thief; also translated as Bicycle Thieves). As far as visual quality of the film is concerned, it easily surpasses expectations that one might have from a film made in the year 1949. The story is simple in execution and rather haunting in the message. To me, the film is a commentary on human life - we as conscientious beings try our best to be good at most times during our lives. Sometimes, however, circumstances force us to do bad things. The film's end is symbolic of the one quality that we so dearly cherish (and so easily lose), our innocence.

For story and expert opinion you may read the NYT Critics' pick article about the film here (requires login).


Push. said...

gud to knw tht u watched this movies try to go for Umberto D as well frm the same dir...

if u want to explore emotional Q ..go for iraninian movies ..dir by Majid majidi n abbas k

dwnlod some movies frm here

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Thanks Push. Will try to watch them soon..

Anonymous said...

Vittorio De Sica's 'Umberto D'

Follow-up message (spoiler alert):

An old man desperately needs rent money to avoid being thrown out of his rented room in Rome. His landlady is an image of ruthless business while the housemaid is an image of youthful naivety. The only love the old man gets is from his pet dog.