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Italian Neorealismo Cinema Classics

Updated on August 28, 2011

Italian Neorealismo Cinema is Great

If you are looking for Italian Neorealism (Neorealismo) look no further. This is where only all true Realismo aficionados hang out. This author knows. La Strada is a film by which other films can be measured. You can reflect on the characters and the deeper message of the film. You came to this site to know something on Italian neorealism and you have entrusted me as your guide. What i am going to do is take you through some of the scenes that are available and get your mind around the why of neorealism for a little while. There are a lot of things going on everywhere. If you watch this sequence on Italian neorealism you will be more of a knower. Practically it is impossible to find reliable free Neorealismo films online in full and uncut with subtitles . So if you want to have a good collection of neorealism for your home, you can also order the films here . This is where you go to get the digs on neorealism. Neorealism or Neorealismo is really deep films. Great acting that would puts the Goodfellas and Godfather cast to shame. The role of Zampano, Umberto D, and Antonio, Maria, and Bruno in Bicycle thieves.

in Rome in 1997 i took a class on Italian Neorealismo with an old colleague of the good old Italian directors of the Neoreolismo era. He was there when Fellini was directing some films and the class was basically him talking about those experiences and then playing the film. I don't remember what his part was in the film making but the guy dressed like an an Italian film director. The films here are pretty much the ones on the syllabus of that class.

These films poetically capture life's deep philosophical truths and convey them in a way that is entertaining thought provocing and tastefully portraye. You can even watch them over and over and not get bored of them (too much). These films capture the hard struggle for existence. Also the cinematography, music, acting, lighting, directing, writing, etc are simply superb. On the critical side all of these films share one flaw which is the lack the deep transcendental realization of the Vedic (India) literature which I present in another article.

What I am going to do is give you some of the best scenes of the movies I have spent the most time watching as well as a little bit of background on the films.

Opening Scene of Bicycle Thieves and more

Notice the good music, drama, acting, etc.

The Bicycle Thieves (Thief) - Father and Son enjoy a moment at a restaurant.

this comment from elena047

Un capolavoro (a masterpiece)

The Bicycle Thieves - (The Criterion Collection) (1949)

On the DVD

The two-disc Criterion DVD of Bicycle Thieves is most significant for its fine digitally restored print quality, a marked improvement over previous video editions of the film. Now the beauties of this devastating masterpiece of Italian Neorealism shine through anew: the richness of the locations, the simple clarity of the performances, the heartbreaking details of the daily lives of the dispossessed. No commentary track, but a first-rate booklet gives a primer on the movie, with critical appreciations (including a classic take by Andre Bazin), a bell-ringing Neorealist manifesto by screenwriter Cesare Zavattini, and a variety of memoirs on the making of the film, including one by director Vittorio De Sica. A second disc has three well-chosen extras. Life as It Is: The Neorealist Movement in Italy is a useful 40-minute intro to the general subject of postwar Italian cinema. Working with De Sica is a 22-minute doc with reminiscences from surviving members of the Bicycle Thieves cast and crew, including Enzo Staiola, the unforgettable little boy who was plucked out of a crowd to star in the film. A 55-minute documentary on the life of Zavattini, made for European TV, gives background on this feisty leading light of Neorealism; testimony is offered by Bernardo Bertolucci and Roberto Benigni, among others. By the way, for years the film was known in the U.S. as The Bicycle Thief, but if you re-visit it you'll be struck by how shatteringly appropriate the restoration of the original plural is. --Robert Horton

La Strada

One of the great classic masterpieces of cinema. Here is a review of the film.

Scenes from La Strada

I tried to find the opening scene when Gelsomina's mother gives her away for a few lira. I couldn't find it nor could I even find the script online. This is a bunch of scenes all melded together with Gelsomina's song in the background.

La Strada - Criterion Collection


New high-definition digital transfer, with restored image and sound

Video introduction by Martin Scorsese

Audio commentary by Peter Bondanella, author of The Cinema of Federico Fellini

Federico Fellini’s Autobiography, a 2000 documentary originally broadcast on Italian television

Optional English-dubbed soundtrack featuring the voices of Anthony Quinn and Richard Basehart

New essay by film scholar Peter Matthews

New and improved English subtitle translation

Optimal image quality: RSDL dual-layer edition

8 1/2 - Federico Fellini

Marcello Mastroianni plays Guido Anselmi, a director whose new project is collapsing around him, along with his life. One of the greatest films about film ever made, Federico Fellini's 8½ (Otto e mezzo) turns one man's artistic crisis into a grand epic of the cinema. An early working title for 8½ was The Beautiful Confusion, and Fellini's masterpiece is exactly that: a shimmering dream, a circus, and a magic act.

(taken from

8 1/2 by Federico Fellini - The Criterion Collection

The Criterion Collection is proud to present the 1963 Academy Award® winner for Best Foreign-Language Film-one of the most written about, talked about, and imitated movies of all time-in a beautifully restored new digital transfer. Disc two features Fellini's rarely seen first film for television, Fellini: A Director's Notebook (1969). Produced by Peter Goldfarb, this imagined documentary of Fellini is a kaleidoscope of unfinished projects, all of which provide a fascinating and candid window into the director's unique and creative process.

Umberto D - Vittorio De Sica

Shot on location with a cast of nonprofessional actors, Vittorio De Sica's neorealist masterpiece follows Umberto D., an elderly pensioner, as he struggles to make ends meet during Italy's postwar economic boom. Alone except for his dog, Flike, Umberto strives to maintain his dignity while trying to survive in a city where traditional human kindness seems to have lost out to the forces of modernization. Umberto's simple quest to fulfill the most fundamental human needs-food, shelter, companionship-is one of the most heartbreaking stories ever filmed and an essential classic of world cinema..

Umberto D - The Criterion Collection

New high-definition transfer from restored elements with new and improved subtitle translation

"This is Life: Vittorio De Sica," a 55-minute Italian television documentary

Interview with actress Maria Pia Casilio

New essay by critic Stuart Klawans and reprinted recollections on the film by De Sica

Writings of Umberto D. by Umberto Eco, Luisa Alessandri, and Carlo Battisti

The Hawks and the Sparrows.

Pier Paolo Pasolini

The thought i have while writing this neorealismo post is that if I am going to make something to guide people well then I may as well do it right. There are thousands of things to guide people on. I do not pretend to guide them down all of them. This is about bringing people deeper in the film movement. To be like a coach or an inspiration to people to get more out of their watching film. I hope my time has been helpful to you.

Finally we are going to get into the Hawks and Sparrows. This is more direct in the philosophical challenge bringing it on directly. This is more subtle in other films. This one there are some things on the surface but others are hidden. One thing is for sure, this is a funny film. I can watch this film over and over again and there are still funny parts that can make me laugh. The music in this film is particularly bizarre. This is one film that others can be measured against.

The Hawks and the Sparrows - Uccellacci e Uccellini 1964

Product Description

THE HAWKS AND THE SPARROWS, a wild comic fable, stars the beloved stone faced clown Toto as an Italian everyman, and Ninetto Davoli as his good natured but empty headed son. Pasolini uses a comic crow, which philosophizes amusingly and pointedly about the passing scene, as a counterpoint to the performers, representing humanity, as they progress down the road of life. Pasolini presents a tragic fable which shows two delightful innocents caught, like many Italians, between the Church and Marxism.

Cinema Paradiso - Giuseppe Tornatore

"A famous Italian filmmaker, haunted by the memories of his first love, returns to his hometown after an absence of 30 years. Upon his return, he reconnects with the community and remembers the highlights and tragedies that shaped his life and inspired him to follow his dream of becoming a filmmaker. For those who have never seen it -- and those who have never forgotten it -- director Giuseppe Tornatore's (MALENA, THE STAR MAKER) cherished Academy Award(R)-winning motion picture (1990, Best Foreign Language Film)."

Great Scenes from Cinema Paradiso

Cinema Paradiso - The New Version (1990)

Fully restored, digitally remastered, and includes 51 minutes of never-before-seen footage!

Big Deal on Madonna Street

Mario Monicelli

An all-star cast and jazzy score highlight this charming comedy, a deft satire of classic caper films like Rififi. Big Deal on Madonna Street hilariously details the plight of a sad-sack group of bumbling thieves and their desperate attempts to pull off the perfect heist.

Great Scenes from Big Deal on Madonna Street

Big Deal on Madonna Street - Criterion Collection (1960)

Black & White, Closed-captioned, DVD

Who is the best actor, is it Anthony Quinn as Zampano, is it Battisti as Umberto D in Vittorio De Sica film of the same name, or is it Lamberto Maggiorani as Antonio Ricci in Bicycle Thieves?

The Book of Greatest Films - a reference to all time great films

Fellini study material.

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