All 3 entries tagged Vittorio De Sica

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December 21, 2008

Shoeshine: Vittorio de Sica (1946)


shoshine 1 the Prison


The main hall in the Boy's Reform Institution



Shoeshine: Vittorio de Sica (1946)

Review of the Eureka Masters of Cinema DVD


Below is a YouTube extract from the Eureka film trailer



Released shortly after Rome Open City and Paisà, Shoeshine was the third release which is described as neorealist.In the preface to her important book on neorealism Italian Film in the Light of Norealism Millicent Marcus cites Vittorio de Sica who is reflecting upon Shoeshine and the ethics and moral compass of neorealism:

The experience of the war was decisive for us all. Each felt the mad desire to throw away all the old stories of the Italian cinema, to plant the camera in the midst of real life, tin th midst of all that struck our astonished eyes. We sought to librate ourselves from the weight of our sins, we wanted to look ourslves in the face and tell ourselves the truth, to discover what we really were, and to seek salvation...Shoeshine was a small stone, a very small stone, contributed to the moral reconstruction of our country. (Marcus 1986 pp XIII-XVI)

As it stands Shoeshine is one of the major neorealist films. De Sica follows these later with Bicycle Thieves and Umberto D

Shoshine Giusppe

Giuseppe



The Eureka Masters of Cinema DVD


This recent release is up to the usual high standards of this series and reflects a labour of love. The transfer is of good quality and there is a useful booklet which has an extract from a book by Bert Cardullo on de Sica. Cardullo is one of the few academics to have written on de Sica who is quite underwritten in English. The booklet also has a couple of pages from de sica himself on Shoeshine and two reviews. The first review is a contemporary one from James Agee and the other is a later one from Pauline Kael.

Of the extras on the DVD there is a full length audio commentary from Bert Cardullo. This provids both useful social commentary as well as dicussing the underlying meaning behind various typs of shot.  There is also a documentary called Through Children's Eyes including a contribution from Franco Interlenghi who was to play Moraldo in Fellini's I Vitelloni.With the high quality transfer and a wealth of extras the DVD is very good value.


Commentary

The film itself functions as a powerful critique of Italian society who are clearly letting down their children. The children are left to fend for themslves and if possible contribute to the family budget. Education is clearly a very low priority in the broken post-war Italian society yet children can be harshly treated by the legal and penal system which clearly has many features common to the Fascism which came before it. There is little of Enlightenmnt values displayed within the institutional system it is merely a mechanism for getting children off the streets.

The film is a moving one which starts out hopful and gradually gets darker. It is certainly not going to promote any feelgood factor but it did afford audiences the opportunity to reflect upon how badly children were being treated in the immediate post-war period. It is a classic core film of Italian Neorealist cinema and is very important viewing as well as being very interesting to watch.

Shoeshine 4

The Overcrowded Cells


Synopsis

Shoeshine is set in Rome in 1945. The  war against Japan is still carrying on but Italy has been liberated and the European war is over. The story is centered upon two young teenage boys Giueseppe and Pasquale. In an Italy economically broken by the war along with other boys of a similar age they struggle to survive by shining the boots and shoes of the American troopswho are occupying Rome. The G.I.s are the only people with enough money to afford this.The film opens on a high note of joy an exuberance with long tracking shots of the two boys galloping around a track somewhere on the outskirts of Rome. It transpires that they spend much of their earnings going riding and they are hoping to buy their favourite horse Bergsagliere.

The boys have nearly enough saved and the opportunity to help conduct a little blackmarket trading on the side promises to make  enough money to get the horse. They are unwittingly exposed to a burglary by Giuseppe's elder brother who is something of a spiv. Initially they are given some extra money to keep quiet. As a result they buy the horse and show it off in the streets of Rome to the other ragazzi.

The police quickly catch up with them the following day. They refuse to give away any information and are therefore remanded to an approved school type of institution pending further police investigations.

They are separated in the institution into separate but overcrowded cells. Eventually the authorities get Pasquale to talk by tricking him into believing that they are flogging Giuseppe with a belt. When Giuseppe eventually finds out the close friendship collapes.Giuseppe dosn't realise why Pasquale talked. With the aid of his cell-mates Giuseppe colludes in setting up Pasquale by planting a file in his bed. As a result Pasquale is severely beaten. Pasquale in his turn is determined to find out who was behind the file incident and he ends up having a fight in the shower with Arcangeli who is the vicious force behind the teenagers in Giuseppe's cell. Despite being smaller Pasquale determination and sense of rage help him beat the bully however he is sent into solitary confinement and marked down as being violent by the authorities. Relations have entirely deteriorated between the former friends and Giuseppe's family hire a lawyer who is determined to set up Pasquale in order to gain mitigating circumstances and a reduced sentence for Giuseppe. This comes to pass in their day in court.

Giuseppe becomes involved in an escape plan with Arcangeli and others from his cell. Eventually they escape during the gneral screening of some films for the inmates. Only Giuseppe and Arcangli fully manage the escape as the others are recaptured.  Pasquale guesses where they hav gone and promises to show the authorities if they will take him along. The place is where the horse is stabled Pasquale stops Arcangeli and Giuseppe from crossing the bridge to get away. Arcangeli is a coward and runs away. Pasquale starts to beat Giuseppe who in trying to get away falls to his death from the bridge.


February 02, 2008

Vittorio de Sica

Vittorio de Sica


Return to Italian directors hub page 


Under Construction  


Filmography (Director). [Current listing is from IMDB but links are not] 

  1. Viaggio, Il (1974)
    ... aka The Journey (UK)
    ... aka The Voyage (USA)
    ... aka Voyage, Le (France)
  2. Breve vacanza, Una (1973)
    ... aka A Brief Vacation (USA)
    ... aka Amargo despertar (Spain)
    ... aka Vacaciones, Las
  3. Lo chiameremo Andrea (1972)
    ... aka We'll Call Him Andrew
  4. Cavalieri di Malta, I (1971) (TV)
    ... aka The Knights of Malta
  5. Dal referendum alla costituzione: Il 2 giugno (1971) (TV)
    ... aka From Referendum to the Constitution: June 2
  6. Coppie, Le (1970) (segment "Leone, Il")
    ... aka The Couples
  7. Giardino dei Finzi-Contini, Il (1970)
    ... aka The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (Canada: English title) (USA)
    ... aka Garten der Finzi Contini, Der (West Germany)
  8. Girasoli, I (1970)
    ... aka Fleurs du soleil, Les (France)
    ... aka Sunflower (USA)

  9. Amanti (1968)
    ... aka A Place for Lovers (USA)
    ... aka Temps des amants, Le (France)
  10. Woman Times Seven (1967)
    ... aka Sept fois femme (France)
    ... aka Sette volte donna (Italy)
  11. Streghe, Le (1967) (segment "Sera come le altre, Una")
    ... aka Sorcières, Les (France)
    ... aka The Witches (USA)
  12. Caccia alla volpe (1966)
    ... aka After the Fox (UK) (USA)
  13. Un monde nouveau (1966)
    ... aka A New World
    ... aka A Young World
    ... aka Mondo nuovo, Un (Italy)
    ... aka Un monde jeune
  14. Matrimonio all'italiana (1964)
    ... aka Mariage à l'italienne (France)
    ... aka Marriage Italian-Style (USA)
  15. Ieri, oggi, domani (1963)
    ... aka Hier, aujourd'hui et demain (France)
    ... aka Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (USA)
  16. Boom, Il (1963)
  17. Sequestrati di Altona, I (1962)
    ... aka Séquestrés d'Altona, Les (France)
    ... aka The Condemned of Altona (USA)
  18. Boccaccio '70 (1962) (segment "La riffa")
    ... aka Boccaccio '70 (USA)
    ... aka Boccace 70 (France)
  19. Giudizio universale, Il (1961)
    ... aka Jugement dernier, Le (France)
    ... aka The Last Judgement (USA)
  20. Ciociara, La (1960)
    ... aka Two Women (UK) (USA)
    ... aka Paysanne aux pieds nus (France)

  21. Anna di Brooklyn (1958)
    ... aka Anna of Brooklyn (UK)
    ... aka Fast and Sexy (USA)
  22. Tetto, Il (1956)
    ... aka The Roof
    ... aka Toit, Le (France)
  23. Oro di Napoli, L' (1954)
    ... aka Every Day's a Holiday
    ... aka The Gold of Naples (USA)
  24. Villa Borghese (1953)
    ... aka Amants de Villa Borghese, Les (France)
    ... aka It Happened in the Par
  25. Umberto D. (1952)
  26. Miracolo a Milano (1951)
    ... aka Miracle in Milan (USA)

  27. Ladri di biciclette (1948)
    ... aka Bicycle Thieves (UK)
  28. Cuore (1948) (children's scenes)
    ... aka Heart (International: English title)
  29. Sciuscià (1946)
    ... aka Shoe-Shine (USA)
  30. Porta del cielo, La (1945)
    ... aka The Gate of Heaven
  31. Bambini ci guardano, I (1944)
    ... aka The Children Are Watching Us (USA)
  32. Garibaldino al convento, Un (1942)
  33. Teresa Venerdì (1941)
  34. Maddalena, zero in condotta (1940)
  35. Rose scarlatte (1940)

Neorealism and Pure Cinema: Bicycle Thieves. Andre Bazin from the Trondheim University Theory Kit  site

RAI site De Sica Entry  

Bright Lights on The Garden of the Finzi-Continis  

UNESCO Tribute to De Sica  

Celli, Carlo 1963-. The Legacy of Mario Camerini in Vittorio De Sica's The Bicycle Thief (1948).  You will need Athens access to access this)

De Sica's "Bicycle Thieves" and Italian Humanism Herbert L. Jacobson Hollywood Quarterly, Vol. 4, No. 1 (Autumn, 1949), pp. 28-33. (Again you will need institutional access to this JSTOR article)

Bibliography 

Vittorio De Sica: Contemporary Perspectives Toronto Italian Studies Edited by Howard Curle and Stephen Snyder
University of Toronto Press © 2000


January 30, 2008

Italian Directors Hub Page

Italian Directors Hub Page

Under Construction


I have decided to open this page however currently most of the entries below will not be available for visitors.  As part of the development plan director pages will be made available as soon as a Google search down to page 20 has been conducted and sites deemed useful entered. Filmographies will also need to be put in place.  It has been decided to proceed like this as links embedded in the chronology of European Films page are being redirected to National director pages as they are developed. Apologies for any disappointments and inconveniences in the meantime. Provided it manages to service some needs then it seems to be worth keeping it 'as a work in progress'


Amelio, Gianni

Antonioni, Michelangelo (Now Open)

Bellocchio, Marco

Benigni, Roberto

Bertollucci, Bernardo

Cavani, Liliana

De Santis, Guiseppe (This page is open for a filmography / webliography / bibliography with film links to kinoeye reviews when possible)

Fellini, Frederico

Germi, Pietro

Lattuada, Alberto 

Leone, Sergio

Moretti Nanni (Currently weblinks available) 

Nichetti, Maurizio

Olmi, Ermanno

Pasolini, Pier Paolo

Pontecorvo, Gillo

Risi, Dino (Now open)

Rosi, Francesco,

Rossellini, Roberto (Now open for bibliography and weblinks. Main overview still under construction)

Salvatore, Gabriele

Scola, Ettore

Taviani, Paolo & Vittorio

Tognazzi, Ricky 

Tornatore, Guiseppe 

Visconti, Luchino (Currently  available) 

Wertmuller, Lina 

Zeffirelli, Franco 


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