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Approach 1: GENRES
A genre can be described as the way of communication that can be in any mode such as written, visual, or spoken, etc. The genre can be categorized in sub-genre specifically in films where the themes change frequently, for instance, a film can be both mystery/horror and romantic comedy, etc (Altman, 1984).
Neorealism theme was an evident contrast from the film making styles that viewers were used to during the era when the film Bicycle Thieves (De Sica & Staiola, 1968) was made. The film depicts the social and political issues that the citizens in Italy were facing and conveyed emotional connections that the audience has never experienced before. Many genres and movements emerged in the films yet the most important was “Italian neorealism”. The emergence of the neorealism dates back to the late 1940’s right after the liberation of Italy. This influenced many filmmakers. The film Bicycle Thieves sets in post WW2 and tells the story of a family who is affected by the consequences of the war. The fil was shot on locations that were not glamorized enough, for instance, the streets were empty, and buildings were dirty, etc so that the viewers can connect to the destructions caused by the war. Even the opening scene depicts a country that is full of poverty, and anger.
Approach 2: National cinema
Historical issues play an important factor in the making of any film. The national cinema approach is used to describe a film that is associated with a specific city or country. These films cover some of the historical issues that the country is facing or has faced and based their characters and story to that specific event (Bondanella, 2001).
Italian neorealism is also considered as the beginning of the golden era in the film making industry in Italy. Directors like De Sica, Visconti, etc had used this approach in their film. Their film depicts poverty, socioeconomically issues and political issues, etc that people in Italy faced post World War 2. In the film Bicycle Thieves, De Sica represents an alteration of classical Hollywood cinema approaches that utilize glamour and fiction despite he chose the neorealism theme. The lead character of the film Antonio is shown struggling to earn living for his family in the era of poverty and socioeconomic crisis.
Approach 3: Kinds of formalism
Kind of formalism is an approach that describes the styles and elements that include lighting, sound, color contrast and set used in the movie, etc (Corrigan & Corrigan, 2014).
The film Bicycle Thieves (De Sica & Staiola, 1968) is based on the Italian neorealism theory that depicts the life of a modern-day lower-class Italian man who is in search for his bicycle so that he can earn living for his family. Specifically discussing the opening scene of the film the director De Sica selected the location that has union hall and markets. All these were to the working class that had to cope up with the declining socioeconomic condition of the country. During the scene, the lead character Antonio was lost in his thoughts when a man came and told him to come and listen to the announcement. The zoom-in shot of the people was taken that depicts their need to get the job as after the World War 2 both the political and economic condition of the country was not balanced and people have to live in poverty.
Altman, R. (1984). A semantic/syntactic approach to film genre. Cinema Journal, 6-18.
Bondanella, P. E. (2001). Italian cinema: from neorealism to the present. Bloomsbury Publishing.
Corrigan, T., & Corrigan, G. (2014). A short guide to writing about film (Vol. 7). Pearson Education.
De Sica, V., Zavattini, C., Maggiorani, L., Carell, L., & Staiola, E. (1968). Bicycle thieves. Lorrimer.
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