[Image courtesy of mondo-digital.com]
Tuscany Now, in association with Deep Focus Film Studies, showcased an evening of supreme Italian cinema at The Library pub on Woodhouse Lane on the 26th March.
Tuscany Now is an organisation which seeks to educate the masses about all things Italian, and on this occasion it was the key mid-20th century cinematic movement of Neorealism which took centre stage. The Library pub was host to an informative and engaging talk given by film writer and academic Bryn Young-Roberts, who explained how a desire to depict the grim realities of daily, post-Second World War life led directors such as Zavatini, Rossellini and De Sica to establish an exciting new movement in Italian cinema in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Neorealism, with its non-professional actors and newsreel-like camera techniques, would go on to greatly influence filmmakers on both sides of the Atlantic, from Godard and other French Nouvelle Vague directors of the 1960s, to later American auteurs.
[Images courtesy of Tuscany Now]
The film screened after Young-Roberts’ talk, De Sica’s Bicycle Thieves (1948), follows the story of a down on his luck father, struggling, like many others in Rome, to hold down a job and provide for his family in the wake of the war. When his bicycle – the only thing he possesses which might secure him steady work – is stolen, he is determined to resort to any means to get it back. Compelling and gripping right up to its sobering conclusion, the film is a masterpiece; a powerful meditation on post-war strife, conflicting masculinities and exploitation of the masses.
Hope V. Churm
Read the blog post about the event