Took a bit of a left turn with this one. 1948 is a very strong year with a lot of contenders. I could have just as easily chose The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, or The Red Shoes. But I didn’t. I’m going with Bicycle Thieves. Because we need some international flair. And because it’s one of the greatest films ever made or whatever.
The real important thing here is that it’s an example of Italian Neorealism. Which was a movement after World War II tat strove to add a degree of realism to films that wasn’t previously there. It started with Rome Open City, but this feels like the one that really broke through.
I like this as the choice for 1948 because 1948 feels like the turning point for society where it started to demand a little more realism in their movies, seeing them as capable of more than just escapism. That’s why, over the next five years, you start to see the method actors popping up. A degree of realism starts to seep into the movies, and it really began with movies like this one. (more…)