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The Bicycle Thief 1948 - Essay Example

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Name Date Course Section/# Bicycle Thief: An Analysis of Central Themes and Motivating Factors in the Growth of Post-War Italian Neorealism While images and themes are pervasive in film, one of the more pervasive yet hidden themes within “Bicycle Thief” is the different levels of meaning that are exhibited by the article of the stolen bicycle…
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The Bicycle Thief 1948

Download file to see previous pages... In this way, a social commentary is housed within what one might otherwise see as a simple story of loss and redemption. It is necessary to note, prior to examining such constructs, that the subject matter was born out of two primary factors which will be discussed at some length within this essay: the destruction and hardships that the Second World War had affected on Italians and the recent freedom of expression that had been granted due to the demise of the fascist party in Italy. Upon the conclusion of the Second World War, Italy, like much of the rest of Europe, lay in ruins. The infrastructure was effectively paralyzed, severely damaged, and outdated. Similarly, the nation’s economy experienced a period of extreme high unemployment, rapid and prolonged inflation, and a series of unstable political unions that existed shortly after the war. In this way, the time in which the film was created has an extremely important bearing on the way in which the material is presented in the subject matter which his discussed as a function of the influences that have been mentioned. The effects of these factors of course cannot be underemphasized with relation to the way in which the subject matter is dealt with. ...
Artists during the post World War I years also sought to develop new mediums and new forms of expression to engage their audience with the new “realities” that faced the world as a result of the loss of innocence and industrial carnage that defined such a struggle. In this way, directors such as Vittorio De Sica sought to express the realities that greeted Italians in the post-war era in a way that directors of previous films had not engaged. Rather than focusing on a noble struggle that defines a hero through power of will and acknowledgement of a higher ideal, the viewer is greeted with a character that is merely trying to make ends meet for his family. Therefore, the action and drama is concentric around the daily struggle that the common man faces as a result of the surroundings in which he is placed. Although this model itself is not greatly different from the other models of analysis which previous and successive film directors have chosen to employ, it is noteworthy due to the fact that the action is concentric upon the humble worker who is struggling to survive the situation that has been placed upon him and his family. Although the effect of the devastation and near collapse of society cannot be underestimated or understated, it should also be noted that the Italian directors of the time experienced a different type of stimuli than many of the other European post-war directors (Ben-Ghiat 109). This was the result of the fact that during the Fascist regime that had ruled Italy for over 20 years, all art forms were brought under the dominance and supervision of the fascist regime. As such, writers, artists, and filmmakers, as well as a host of others, were ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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