vii CONTENTS Translator’s Introduction 1 An Aesthetic of Reality: Cinematic Realism and the Italian School of the Liberation 1 6 La Terra Trema 41 Bicycle Thief. 4/6 am. “Bicycle Thieves” and “Killer of Sheep” are both neorealist films that portray real life at a certain place in time. Neither film is. Bicycle Thieves is often considered one of the masterpieces of Italian neorealism, and Bazin refers to De Sica often when defining cinematic.

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The difficulties attendant on lighting and shooting make it almost impossible to use real interiors as settings. It is significant that the peasant in Espoir was a theater comedian, Anna Magnani tgief singer of popular songs, and Fabriz2i a music- hall clown.

Is there any ambiguity? What do you know about the star persona of Marilyn Monroe?

The Bicycle Thieves: Film with profound influence

Some of the protesters were tortured and killed, the bodies of many of the victims were bicycke in the Seine, and up to people died. He loved the cinema, but still more he loved life, people, animals, the sciences, the arts; just before he died he planned to make a short film about the litde known romanesque churches of France.

This will alert our moderators to take action. Soviet cinema and the fantasy of no limits. Little Rari of Tabu, they say, ended up as a prostitute in Poland, and we all know what happens to children raised to stardom by their first film.

Whereas the camera lens, classically, had focused successively on different parts of the scene, the camera of Orson Welles takes in with equal sharpness the whole field of vision contained simultaneously within the dramatic field. This perfect and natural adherence to actuality is explained and Justi- fied from within by a sphitual attachment to the period.

Although some paths have been opened by literature and the occupa- tion, the phenomenon cannot be explained on this level alone. But it involves him in a fairly risky bazim, which he may not necessarily be able to cover, at least in terms of film.

As we have thus far attempted to describe it, the style of Italian films would appear to belong with a greater or less degree of skill and mastery of technique or feeling to the same family as quasi-literary journalism, to an ingenious art, pleasing, lively, and even moving, but basically a minor art. ScreenVolume 14, Issue 4, 1 DecemberPages 61—68, https: Do the melodramatic elements of the film contradict the moments of realism?


Verily, masters die, but their works stay on A neorealist film generally has bicycl storyline set within the lower classes, perhaps showing an incident that occurs during the daily life of a worker. Does bzzin film ever draw on conventions of fiction filmmaking? What technological devices aid or impede vision in the course of the film?

Furthermore why do they msist on seeing in his concept of “reality” and of the cinema’s obligation to respect reality only an indication of the mental subservience of Bicylce the pious Catholic?

Andre Bazin’s Neorealism in Bicycle Thieves and La Promesse | Carrie Darden

Sorry to have bothered you, the director might say; we really did think he would never find it, but since he has, all is well, good for him, the performance is over, you can turn up the lights. Of retreat to safety?

Automatically everyone would start talking film. But worst of all was the emergence of a neorealist superspectacle in which the search for real settings, action taken from everyday life, por- trayals of lower-class mileux, “social” backgrounds, became an academic stereotype far more detestable than the elephants of Sdpio Africmus.

Potemkin turned the cinema world upside down not just because of its political message, not even because it replaced the studio plaster sets with real settings and the star with an anoynmous crowd, but because Eistenstein was the greatest montage theoretician of his day, because he worked with Tisse, the finest camerman of his day, and be- cause Rassia was the focal point of cinematographic thought — in short, What Is Cinema?

How does she see herself in the final sequence in front thife the mirror? Bazin then, the “pious Catholic,” is in splendid philosophical company, the company not only of Baxin but of the Stoics with their cosmic piety, of Boethius, of Sallus- tius, to cite but some of the ancients.

Is any of these gazes more sinister and dangerous than the others? Do these shots suggest that Ruan Lingyu reigns over the city? I had leisure enough as I watched the film to compare the narrative of Paisd with that of some modem novelists and short story writers. Hitherto most critics, being men of letters, bucycle treated cinema as if it were literature.

We would clearly be deluding ourselves if we pretended to reduce recent Italian production to certain common, easily definable characteris- tics applicable to all directors.

What is not speculation is the influence of the man who shared with Francois TrufEaut his dedication of the first volume of his collected essays — Roger Leenhardt, Jean Louis TeUaney says that “Bazin was conquered by Leenhardt who was passionately devoted to the cinema” and this is also the view of Georges Sadoul. To what extent are their performances the product of editing and other tricks made possible by cinema?


I am not saying that La Terra Trema is superior to Pcusa or to La Caccia bazon but only that it does, at least, have the merit of having left them behind from an historical stand- point. Which elements of the filmmaking style seemed to accentuate that realism?

The worker is just as deprived and isolated among his fellow trade unionists as he is walking along the street or even in that ineffable scene of the Catholic “Quakers” into whose company he will shortly stray, because the trade union does not exist to find lost bikes but to transform a world in which losing his bike condemns a man to poverty.

The quality of the interior shots will in fact increasingly depend on a complex, delicate and cumbersome apparatus. It permitted him in a special way to dwell on everything he prized. At the time of its release, some leftist critics expressed their disapproval of the ending of the film because it brings thirf personal relationship of the father and son to the foreground and allows their social and economic circumstances to recede into the background?

There is not much, if any, shot design. But, for The Bicycle Thieves alone he is assured of immortality. It is abzin a philosophy of existence before being a philosophy of essence, an idea which is echoed passim in Bazin, for example in the essay on neorealism: He was originally supposed to participate in the picture only as an actor, but at the suggestion of Charlton Heston and others, bicyclee was also allowed to direct the film.

But what is sincerity? Which elements seem to resist this attempt to think about film as a globalized medium? Sign in via your Institution Sign in. Purchase Subscription prices and ordering Short-term Access To purchase short term access, please sign in to your Oxford Academic account above. Does this historical background help explain the tension between Georges and Majid?