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It's been VERY long time since I saw it. I think the first time was somewhere around 1954, when my father bought us our first TV, and the whole communal apartment (8 families) would cram into our small, 90 sq feet room, to watch it. Back then films by De Sica were very popular with the soviets - an indispensable political tool, made-to-order by those decadent Westerners, who would sell you the very rope, you would later use to hang them.
So they did... we sat there... packed tightly, and our hearts were bleeding watching all that capitalist society suffering.
The Bicycle Thief, Umberto D, Nights of Cabiria - we saw them all.
Long story short - my wife refused to watch it. She still remembers vividly her tears while following the sad events. So I waited for her to leave the room and turned it on.
The miracle of De Sica lives on. How did he manage to make it this timeless - we shall never know, but to simply call it a masterpiece would not do it any justice. A true work of human art, from any perspective. Smallest details speaking volumes, with both joy and suffering tightly intertwined.
I am glad I watched it again. I truly wish more people visited movies like that. It is, after all, readily available as a DVD from Netflix.
I must check out Umberto D and it is a mystery that it has slipped through the cracks. Bicycle Thief remains one of the most important films for me personally, and it is rightfully included in most lists of the top ten films of all time. The pacing is extraordinary and is such a neo-realist classic that it borders on the documentary. The acting and direction is such that the gesture is more important than the dialogue--a directing and acting skill that it rapidly fading into oblivion.
It seems that Netflix has recently expanded their DVD offerings in the foreign and classical department, which is a welcome development.
GENERAL DELLA ROVERE
(1959, Roberto Rossellini) In wartime Genoa, swindler De Sica keeps multiple fraudulent schemes and two girlfriends going, until German colonel Hannes Messemer (The Great Escape) throws him into prison posing as the legendary Della Rovere, in order to rat out a Resistance leader prisoner — but what if De Sica starts to live the General's role? Based on an actual story, a triumph for De Sica, and Rossellini's big comeback. "My best role... by a director I revere." - De Sica. Approx. 138 min. 35mm.
"De Sica's most enduring screen performance."
- The New York Times
Super Troopers 2. Far and above Porky's and Nerds if you like sewer humor. Get down in the mud and be a real Amurican!
I felt so good and peaceful after watching de Sica, that I let the other film in the pair - a REAL piece of French merde, sneak by and hit our plasma, and I received the full fury by the boss. I had to double check the credits - all foreign sounding names there, so me no so sure of meself no mo.
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