Bicycle Thieves (1948)

aka Ladri di biciclette

2013 #63
Vittorio De Sica | 89 mins | Blu-ray | 1.33:1 | Italy / Italian | U

In the interests of completing my ever-growing backlog, I decided to post ‘drabble reviews’ of some films. For those unfamiliar with the concept, a drabble is a complete piece of writing exactly 100 words long.

Bicycle ThievesThe victor of Sight & Sound’s inaugural “greatest film” poll (though it’s slipped down the rankings ever since), this is the simple story of a man hunting for his stolen bicycle, which is vital for his job, hard-won in a time of unemployment and poverty.

Bicycle Thieves is deemed “one of the masterpieces of Italian neorealism”, which apparently means it’s without symbolism or allegory. But if it’s nothing other than a “slice of life”… if we’re to garner nothing more than “here is something that happened”… well, is it even more simplistic than it already appears? And is that enough?

4 out of 5

Bicycle Thieves was viewed as part of my What Do You Mean You Haven’t Seen…? 12 for 2013 project, which you can read more about here.

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