The Bicycle Thief: Film Analysis: Realism And Italian Neorealism

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Register to read the introduction… It was, however, not without its own controversy. The film offered no slick solutions and so fell between the firing lines of the country's ideological debate--to conservatives it was impermissible to show society's flaws so brazenly, to the left, it lacked analysis and a clear agenda for social change. De Sica says to us though, "My films are a struggle against the absence of human solidarity. . .against the indifference of society towards suffering. They are a word in favor of the poor and unhappy."
Italian Neorealism ended in 1948. Liberal and left wing parties wee defeated in the polls. Levels of income were surpassing prewar levels, most Italians liked American cinema and the vision of a desolate, poverty-stricken country outraged politicians anxious for democracy and prosperity.
Despite its lack of organization and relatively short lifespan, the Italian neorealist movement deeply influenced directors and film traditions around the world. This collection examines the impact of Italian neorealism beyond the period of 1945–1952, the years conventionally connected to the movement, and beyond the postwar Italian film industry where the movement
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On the one hand its commitment to an "aesthetics of reality"was self-defeating since Italy's millenarian regionalism worked against the construction of anything but the most fictionalised national unity. On the other hand the radical political openness that had existed briefly after the war which had allowed Neorealism to project an Italy fashioned along the lines of Partisan dreams, was greatly reduced by the 1948 elections and reduced further as the Christian Democrat party consolidated its power in the early 1950s. Neorealism thus disappeared and left the representation of the fragmented "real"Italy, in particular the pronounced uneven socio-economic development between North and South (the so-called Southern Question), to "pink neorealism"and to commedia all'italiana. Meanwhile, as the economic miracle gained momentum, Italy, both in terms of imagined representation and in terms of physical space, was being radically refashioned by processes connected with the globalisation of consumer capitalism and the postmodernism that accompanied it. Fellini's 8 and 1/2 (Italy/France 1963) marking perhaps the end of what Restivo calls "Fellini's voyage to the end of Neorealism", dramatised above all the rise and triumph of the "information industry"in Italian culture. By this time, too, the physical map of Italy was itself being redrawn by the autostrada network which was literally

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