Posts Tagged ‘vittorio de sica’

Umberto D. – Neorealism Is Alive And Well

Posted 13 Nov 2009 — by Jason A. Hill
Category Essay, Film Reviews, Movies I Got

By Jason A. Hill

Umberto D., Italy, 1952

Directed by Vittorio De Sica

umberto d

Umberto D., Vittorio De Sica’s tribute to his father, could be viewed as a farewell to Italian neorealism. The year was 1952. Reconstruction in Italy after WWII had been well on its way. The conditions from which directors and writers had given birth to this style of filmmaking had all but changed. However, as things “improved” in Italy, there were many other places in the world that were experiencing what Italy had in 1945. Umberto D. was not only a clinic on neorealist films, it was also a film that transitions itself to end with a cinematic claim to the end of neorealism and this period in Italy. However, writers and directors in other countries were so inspired by Italy’s neorealist legacy that it can be viewed as the beginning of neorealism for the rest of the world.

During the war under Mussolini, national fascist interests controlled the film industry, much like the country as a whole. Filmmakers either had to cooperate with the controlling government or make films that pleased the fascist regime, which usually violated their own creative sensibilities. During this time many filmmakers vowed to reach an “Italian Spring,” where they would be free to express the truth of Italy on screen. Soon after Italy was liberated, these filmmakers got their chance and Italian neorealism was born.

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