Zeynep Cansu @Zeynep_Cansu__324

Neorealism On Vittoria De Sica's Films

One of the most important directors of the Italian Neorealist movement is Vittorio De Sica. He was born in Rome to a poor family. He worked as an officer at a young age for helping his poor family. When he was a teenager, he began to work as an actor at theaters. For a long time, he worked at theaters; in 1933 he and his wife established their own theater group. This group showed funny plays. He continued his career as an actor in films. He generally played in comedy and musical films but his career shifted when he met Cesare Zavatttini, he was a director who was shooting films in a neorealist way. Even though he played in Telefoni Bianchi’s films, he shot films in neorealist view after that time. He shot three important films appropriately neorealist view; Sciussia (1946), Ladri di Biciclette (1948), and Umberto D. (1952).

  Ladri di Biciclette is called one of the best examples of Italian neorealist films because it reflects whole neorealist films aims’. De Sica shot Ladri di Biciclette in 1948 in Rome. The script is about a father who looks for his stolen bicycle. The film began with the screen in which people waiting for a job listens to the man working in the employment agency. The man called Antonio (Lamberto Maggioran) for sticking the poster on walls but there is a stipulation that having a bicycle. Antonio doesn’t have a bicycle but he says that there is a bicycle. Maria (Lianella Carell) who is Antonio’s wife sells a bed sheet because of buying a bicycle. After that Antonio goes to work on his bicycle but when he works, his bicycle stole. He goes the police but the police says that: “It is not important event, you can find your bicycle by yourself.“ Antonio is hopeless but he must find his bicycle because if he doesn’t find it, he cannot go to work. Finding a new job is impossible because unemployment is a problem at that time in Rome. The Sunday Antonio and his son, Bruno (Enzo Staiola) look for his bicycle in the streets. The whole day passes with looking for it but they don’t find it. When they look for bicycle, the audience easily can see the bad condition of Rome. Mostly screenshot in close-up because the director wants to show the bad condition of the city. The audience sees poor people in street and the weather also is rainy. There is a pessimistic situation approximately with the event. At the end of the film, the father, Antonio doesn’t find his bicycle and he tries to steal a bicycle but he cannot steal. He gets caught and people in street beat him. When he is blamed, his son sees everything. The film is ending with the father lose face for his son.

The scenario is diabolically clever in its construction; beginning with the alibi of a current event it makes good use of a number of systems of dramatic coordinates radiating in all directions. Ladri di Biciclette is certainly the only valid communist film of the whole past decade precisely because it still has meaning even when you have abstracted its social significance. Its social message is not detached, it remains immanent in the event, but it is so clear that nobody can overlook it, still less take exception to it, since it is never made explicitly a message. The thesis implied is wondrously and outrageously simple: in the world where is this workman lives, the poor must steal from each other in order to survive. But this thesis is never stated as such, it is just that events are so linked together that they have the appearance of a formal truth while retaining an anecdotal quality. Basically, the workman might have found his bicycle in the middle of the film; only then there would have been no film. In other words, a propaganda film would try to prove that the workman could not find his bicycle and that he is inevitably trapped in the vicious circle of poverty. De Sica limits himself to show that the workman cannot find his bicycle and that as a result he doubtless will be unemployed again.

   As Bazin says, De Sica tries to give the audience a realistic view but he never shows that on one screen; it covers the whole story. Antonio’s hopefulness is criticism about unemployment and the bad condition of the city at that time. De Sica gives the best example of neorealist films with Antonio’s hopefulness.