bicyclethief-9849Vittorio De Sica’ s 1948 film Ladri di Biciclette (The Bicycle Thieves) has generated enough acclaim in its life that it’s hard to justify writing another review of it. Nonetheless, for aspiring screenwriters, Ladri di Biciclette is worth examining for the purposes of learning about simple filmmaking, and especially for the purpose of making a great film based on a simple story with very few characters. Arthur Miller calls this one-track conflict of a film “to be very close to a lyrical masterpiece.”

The plot is simple: Jobs are scarce in Rome yet the protagonist Man fortuitously procures one. This job requires a bicycle which the Man also fortuitously procures. During the Man’s first day on the job his bicycle is stolen. The rest of the film focuses on his crusade to find the stolen bicycle and thereby remain employed.

There is a real aesthetic beauty as the Man and his Son tramp the streets, the camera follows, and the city dominates. Rome is so influential that characters lives, their interactions, and their relationships are molded and shaped by her. As the man follows clues to track down his bicycle he transverses what seems like the whole city. Moving from one Roman neighborhood to another, new scenes mean new characters, and new characters mean new conflicts.

There are many touching scenes between the Man and his Son, but one especially where we think the Son has been hurt. This scene reaffirms that the Man’s true priorities are first and foremost with his family, but within seconds the Man is pulled right back into the chaos of the hunt for the bicycle. Throughout the entire film injustice reigns, paired with the utter simplicity of the film’s production, Ladri di Biciclette is a truly remarkable achievement, and an example of unadorned, simple cinema.

Verdict 9.5/10

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Students Rally and Win At Board of Trustees Meeting

Students Rally and Win At Board of Trustees Meeting

By: Radhamely De Leon and Brahmjot Kaur On Wednesday, May 9, 2018 the CUNY Board of Trustees met in the […]

Students Spread Cheer Before Finals

Students Spread Cheer Before Finals

The Committee Behind Lavender Fever Week by Anthony Viola Plenty of work happens all year long leading up to May’s […]

Join Peer Health Exchange at City College!

Join Peer Health Exchange at City College!

Submission by Meena Natarajan “There’s two holes down there?” This type of question is not uncommon during a Peer Health […]

A Public College with Personal Trainers

A Public College with Personal Trainers

By Roberto Hart Many colleges in the CUNY system offer certificate courses to become a personal trainer. But how often […]

On-Campus Child Center Anticipated for Fall 2018

Schiff House remains under construction. Photo by: Anthony Viola

Renovation for Project Already Underway by Anthony Viola Plans to develop a child care center on campus are well underway. […]

Students React to Facebook Data Breach

Students React to Facebook Data Breach

By Ibtasam Elmaliki City College student Andy Lopez can hardly contain the rage he feels at Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and […]