- All Best Essays, Term Papers and Book Report

The Wealth of a Poor Cinema

Essay by   •  May 19, 2011  •  Essay  •  1,511 Words (7 Pages)  •  1,104 Views

Essay Preview: The Wealth of a Poor Cinema

Report this essay
Page 1 of 7

The Wealth of a Poor Cinema

The concept of Neorealistic filming is one of which that implies a tone of a postwar society. Through various films, directors attempt and succeed at conveying the theme of Neorealism. The Neorealistic filming era exposed the world to films such as DeSica's The Bicycle Thieves and Rossellini's Rome, Open City. These two groundbreaking films explore and demonstrate different qualities to Neorealism and the post war era with regards to politics and society. Unlike most cinemas of this time period directors of neorealism do not glorify wealth and blissful fortune. The directors highlight the struggle of the working class by basing the films in the ghettos of Italy. For that exact reason neorealist Italian cinema is known to be one of the most quintessential cinemas in history.

In DeSica's The Bicycle Thieves, there are many aspects that qualify this film as being Neorealistic. Some factors that contribute to these films Neorealistic tendencies are the actors, the time period of the film, the ending of the film and the theme of struggle throughout. The actors in the film are everyday people. This is a huge aspect of Neorealistic films. Using the common, everyday person as opposed to using a movie star; these "actors" are working for money and just living their everyday lives, which gives the film more depth and makes the story seem more personal for viewers. The time span in which this film takes place is another factor that contributes to the films sense of Neorealism. The time period of the actual film is all within one day. You go through a day in the life of Antonio, the films protagonist. This point is critical because a common theme within this postwar era is obviously poverty and little income. Not only is this demonstrated in the short duration of the time span throughout the film, it was an every day real life factor during this time period. DeSica uses many visual motifs to demonstrate foreshadowing throughout the film. Every scene in the film in which Antonio or another character passes through a tunnel or underpass it foreshadows there is a change in events and usually for the worse. One scene in which it is clearly evident is when the bike is stolen from Antonio, he runs through an underpass trying to stop the thief and fails.

The film is sought to depict a day in the life of a working class man. DeSica is successful in carrying out this idea by also tying in the theme of struggle. Struggle is apparent throughout the entire film. In the postwar era struggle was a very real problem that many people dealt with during this time period. So to incorporate this factor into the film, gives the film a more real life sense of what was occurring at the time. To see Antonio struggle throughout the whole film, while searching for his bicycle and searching to find employment, the viewer gets an accurate sense of what went on during this time. The bicycle has a metaphorical meaning behind it, it represents new beginnings and new life. With his new bicycle Antonio is able to be the person who he wants to be and support his family. When he loses the bike he loses all hope and falls to the same level as the thief by the end of the movie. The relationship between Antonio and his son Bruno is very different then a modern father, son relationship. In post-war films and neorealist films, the children almost always take on roles like adults. The scene in which Bruno asks his father about the damage on his bicycle when he buys it back, shows the fact that Bruno was acting more like a father then Antonio. Also in many other scenes in the film role reversal is clearly evident.

A factor the helps defines this film being Neorealistic is the fact that at the end of the day nothing has changed and nothing is solved. Antonio is still the same man as he was in the beginning and his bicycle is still lost. In the beginning of the film Antonio is surrounded by a crowd of people suffering like himself and by the end of the film at the very last scene he is still surrounded by a crowd of people who are living the same misfortune as him. Neorealist films do not have happy endings like films in the Holly Wood cinema. To see Antonio struggle with his identity throughout film



Download as:   txt (8.3 Kb)   pdf (105 Kb)   docx (11.6 Kb)  
Continue for 6 more pages »
Only available on
Citation Generator

(2011, 05). The Wealth of a Poor Cinema. Retrieved 05, 2011, from

"The Wealth of a Poor Cinema" 05 2011. 2011. 05 2011 <>.

"The Wealth of a Poor Cinema.", 05 2011. Web. 05 2011. <>.

"The Wealth of a Poor Cinema." 05, 2011. Accessed 05, 2011.