Monday, May 31, 2004

Rented the DVD of De Sica's masterful Umberto D., but haven't watched it yet. For me it ranks with De Sica's The Bicycle Thief as among the world's most profoundly moving films. I did however find time during the day to watch the little accompanying documentary on De Sica, which was okay, if a little too much of a valentine; it did explore rather interestingly though De Sica's decades-long collaboration with the writer Cesare Zavattini. The films they made together are generally regarded as belonging as much to the writer as the director. I also have another great Neo-Realist film lined up, Fellini's La Strada, which -- according to my well-worn sacred book of film (A History of Narrative Film by David A. Cook) -- was attacked by Zavattini as "betraying the social commitment of neo-realism," although I've never figured out why.

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