Ok, so last night I stayed up until 3:30 am prepping for my History of International Cinema lecture on Italian cinema and I must say I had a rebirth of love for that joint. OH MY GOSH! The Bicycle Thief is probably one of the most AWESOME movies EVER! The acting is the best I’ve ever seen. The story is so well-written and so engaging, it’s timeless. And after all these years I still cry at the end when the father is being beaten up by the angry mob and his son, Bruno, is standing there next to him tugging on his clothes shouting "Papa! Papa!"
Then I watched bits and pieces of Fellini’s 8 1/2 and I had forgotten how visually stunning this movie is. When I was in film school I never could really get this movie because Guido just always seemed like a sexist pig to me. My directing professor used to talk about Fellini all the time as if he was God himself. But watching this movie again now that I’m older and now that I’m in the professor shoes–I gotta admit, the guy was pretty genious. I wonder if Michel Gondry was influenced by Fellini, he had to be since he has inspired so many artists. But watching some of the dream sequences in 8 1/2 last night reminded me of The Science of Sleep in a lot of ways in terms of how they handled dream states vs. reality.
And then I can’t forget Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blow Up. A little slow in the beginning but I just love the concept of playing between what’s real and what we think is real. Italian cinema has an interesting history surrounding fascism and neorealism and it’s interesting to see how the whole movement has evolved over the years.
I am so excited about giving tonight’s lecture! Now I just hope my students will share my enthusiasm. One can only hope…
If you’re reading this post and you have no clue about the movies I’m talking about, do yourself a favor and save yourself $20 from going to the multiplex. Go see some real films and rent one of these flicks today!
Yeah, maybe I am a film snob…maybe just a little… 🙂