Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Sight & Sound Challenge: Bicycle Thieves (1948)

Film: Bicycle Thieves (168/250)
First Time/Rewatch: Rewatch

It's a rare treat to find a child actor whose performance feels authentic. I've always admired young Enzo Staiola's performance as Bruno, the son of our protagonist Antonio (Lamberto Maggiorani). Through his eyes we see the effects of this post-war economy, the men and women desperate for work, for hope, for any chance of happiness or prosperity. He looks to his father with admiration, with frustration, and with genuine love. There's a scene where the two of them eat in a restaurant and for a moment they can forget their troubles and stuff their faces, until the reality of their situation settles on them like a black cloud. It's a simple and moving film with great performances all around, and one that every cinephile worth their salt should see. 

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