Shiel, Mark. . Italian neorealism : rebuilding the cinematic city / Mark Shiel. [1904764487 ] London ; New York : Wallflower Press, 2006.
Call#: Van Pelt Library PN1993.5.I88 S55 2006
< With Italian Neorealism: Rebuilding the cinematic city, Mark Shiel creates a compact, yet thorough introduction to the rich history of mid-20th century Italian cinema, also known as the age of neorealism. Like many works that focuse on Italian neorealism, Shiel chooses to highlight the dichotomous relationship between two films: Roberto Rossellini's Rome, Open City (1945) and Vittorio de Sica's Bicycle Thieves. Shiel argues that the most groundbreaking legacy of de Sica's masterwork is his and his frequent collaborator Cesare Zavattini, "merger of metaphysical and political concerns." This merger stood in sharp contrast to Rome, Open City, which contained an explicit depiction of Catholicism. According to Shiel, an indictment of Italian society that focused on religiosity was deemed to limiting for de Sica and Zavattini. Indeed, Zavattini was known for looking for ways to promote social justice from a humanist perspective to combat "ignorance, alienation, injustice, and poverty" (54).
< In his discussion of Bicycle Thieves, Shiel details how de Sica and Zavattini create an authentic milieu of Italian society in the 1940's by focusing the lens on a protagonist that is, in a word "typical" (55). In Antonio Ricci, a man who is simply attempting to maintain a decent quality of life for him and his son Bruno in the midst of the devastating poverty and unemploymnet that occurred post-war. The film's depiction of the search for the bike follows, according to Shiel, the "classical narrative structure, active characterisation, and narrative closure" that was found in more mainstream motion pictures, but there was also a commitment to showing so called "life as it is," not the prevalent idealism, and in some cases, censorship that occured in Fascist Italy and throughout Europe in other places known for cinema like Franco's Spain and Nazi Germany.
Tomasulo,FP . "" Bicycle Thieves": A Re-Reading" Cinema journal [0009-7101] 21.2 (1982). 2-.
What reality is Vittorio de Sica's Bicycle Thieves conveying? That is the question that Tomasulo's polemical essay "Bicycle Thieves: A Re-Reading" (1982) attempts to answer. Tomasulo argues that although there are unquestionable links between neorealism and its social/historical moment, Bicycle Thieves does not accurately portray the social forces that create the situation for Antonio and Bruno. In his Marxist influenced critque of de Sica's film, Tomasulo charges that "at best, the film is reformist; at worst, it legitimizes the ideology of bourgeois liberalism." Also disputed by Tomasulo is Bazin's assertion that the Bicycle Thieves is a break from the classical narrative by pointing out that the film does indeed follow an organized plot structure.
Unlike Shiel, who asserts that Bicycle Thieves is a humanist work, Tomasulo makes the claim that the film convey's "a quasi-mystical aura of Christian brotherhood," by pointing to the scene in the film which takes place at a charity ward because traditionally these institutions were associated with the Vatican. Ultimately, it is a sense of religiosity that makes the film's perceived solidarity with the poor, ring inauthentic to Tomasulo.
Call#: Van Pelt Library PN1993.5.I88 R45 2002