ladri di biciclette.

In something that is becoming an annual tradition of mine, I just finished watching The Bicycle Thief. The movie has several different names depending on the translator. In Italian it is “Ladri di Biciclette,” which translates literally to, as far as I know,  “bicycle thieves.”

TCM ran the movie last year around this time and once again this year. I remember last year’s showing being in the middle of the night. True to form, tonight’s showing ran from 2AM until 3:30AM. It’s such a powerful and raw movie that I didn’t want to miss it.

I won’t really delve into the movie per se, but I would like to discuss the impact it has on me. To begin with, the movie was well acted, directed, and shot. The lighting in particular is very powerful. The incorporation of and seemingly dependence on natural light really enhanced the quality of the film. In addition to the lighting, the display of humanity throughout the film is striking. The borderline hysteria of Ricci at the loss of his bicycle plays itself out as the film unfolds. The hysteria builds and builds and I always find myself anticipating Ricci to break down and become completely overwhelmed at the realization of his loss. Not just the loss of his bicycle, but all that the bicycle comes to represent throughout the film. My third major impression after watching this film again is its ability to completely immerse the viewer in the desperate emotion of the protagonist. Not many movies successfully achieve this and The Bicycle Thief does it not only well, but rather as something of a novelty. Filmed in 1948, this was a film unlike any other in the U.S. at the time. The display of humanity and embrace of desperation was not a familiar feature in many films at the time. I can only recall a few films that have such an emotional impact on me as this film. This is a testament to the director’s vision and clear execution of emotion.

Hopefully TCM will choose to show this film again next December. If not, I might just have to buy it and keep the tradition alive.

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One Response to “ladri di biciclette.”

  1. Bicycle Thief (Bicycle Thieves)/Ladri di biciclette Part 4 Says:

    […] ladri di biciclette. « no alarms and no surprises […]

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