Movie Spotlight | Spotlight | Indy Week
Pin It

Movie Spotlight 

The Bicycle Thief at the N.C. Museum of Art

There aren't many positive outcomes of war and repression, but Benito Mussolini can be thanked for creating the conditions that nurtured Italian neo-realism. As exemplified by Vittorio De Sica, Luchino Visconti and Roberto Rossellini, these films were made on the cheap, with grainy newsreel stock, non-professional actors and with a sense of political urgency.

Rossellini kicked off the movement with Rome: Open City, which was literally filmed out on the streets during the waning days of Il Duce. This film was a celebration of the Italian resistance, in particular the ways in which Catholics and Communists made common cause against the Fascists.

Open City also heralded an aesthetic breakthrough, in which the carefully controlled conditions of studio soundstages were cast aside out of necessity. Audiences saw and accepted the rough editing, haphazard lighting and non-professional actors.

After the appearance of Open City, other important films like Shoeshine and Paisan followed. However, the era's most enduring legacy is De Sica's The Bicycle Thief, perhaps because the story's heart-breaking simplicity transcends its political context.

The film's premise is simple: In the devastated economy of post-war Italy, jobs are scarce. The film's protagonist finds a job, but it requires a bicycle. One day, his bicycle is stolen. In order to save his job, he and his adoring young son set out to find the missing bike.

With this humble setup, De Sica explores the tensions between an individual's struggle to survive and a society's need for order and security. It's also one of the most wrenching father-son tales in movie history.

A new print of The Bicycle Thief will be shown this Friday, Jan. 31 at 8 p.m., as part of the Winter Film Series at N.C. Museum of Art. Tickets are $5 for non-members, $3.50 for members. Go online to www.ncartmuseum.org for more information.

  • The Bicycle Thief at the N.C. Museum of Art

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Spotlight

  • Paul Newman, 1925-2008

    Paul Newman, 1925-2008

    A hero we could believe in
    • Oct 3, 2008
  • Remembering director Sydney Pollack, and his visit to Durham

    Remembering director Sydney Pollack, and his visit to Durham

    Pollack's death Monday, May 26, at age 73 represents the passing of a true film raconteur and accomplished director.
    • May 27, 2008
  • <i>Om Shanti Om</i>

    Om Shanti Om

    Om Shanti Om delivers the glitter and glamour, the comedy and thrills, religion and the supernatural, mother love, high fashion and eye-popping  production numbers in proper masala fashion.
    • Nov 14, 2007
  • More »


Twitter Activity

Comments

I find this rather interesting ..My name is Gary E.Queen .I am a grand son of Thomas H. Queen,Descendant ,Of …

by Gary E. Queen on The Queen Family (Spotlight)

"He was the picture of a man comfortable in his own skin and celebrity." I never met Pollack, but I …

by rwcass on Remembering director Sydney Pollack, and his visit to Durham (Spotlight)

Most Read

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

© 2016 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation