Tuesday, 25 August 2009

First Look: The Bicycle Thief

The Bicycle Thief
The Bicycle Thief
The undisputed masterpiece of Italian neorealist cinema, Vittorio De Sica's The Bicycle Thief (Ladri di biciclette), will screen at ACMI in a restored 35mm print from September 10 - 15, 2009.

Winner of the First Academy Award® for Best Foreign Language Film and Winner of the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film, De Sica's story is a simple and beautiful tale of a father and son traversing the streets of poverty-stricken Rome in search of their stolen bicycle.

The film is set during the depression era of post-war Italy. An unemployed father is desperate to find work and is delighted when he secures a job posting flyers; on the condition he has a bicycle. "No bicycle, no job." When a young thief steals his bicycle, he and his son are left to wander the streets of Rome looking for the thief themselves as it is not considered a serious enough crime for the police to investigate.

A classic of neo-realist cinema, De Sica used the streets of Rome as his sets, and used non actors with no training in performance. Lamberto Maggiorani, who plays the father, was a factory worker.

Four years after its release, The Bicycle Thief was deemed the greatest film of all time by Sight & Sound's poll of filmmakers and critics in 1952. To this day, it can be found on critics' and directors' lists of the best films ever made.

Based on the novel by Luigi Bartolini and adapted for the screen by Cesare Zavattini, the film stars Lamberto Maggiorani, Lianella Carell and Enzo Staiola.

With a specially extended season for the School Holidays, The Bicycle Thief offers a powerful and poignant vision of post-war Europe for viewers of any age.

"(The Bicycle Thief) is a brilliant, tactlessly real work of art." Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

"...as relevant and as satisfying as ever." The Independent

Read Godfrey Cheshire's 'A Passionate Commitment to the Real' from The Criterion Collection here

Further information

Lior Opat
Communications Coordinator 
[direct phone] 61 3 8663 2475 [fax] 61 3 8663 2498 [mobile] 0434 603 655
[email] lior.opat@acmi.net.au
[postal address] PO Box 14, Flinders Lane VIC 8009, Australia

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