Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Franco Interlenghi, Rinaldo Smordoni, Maria Campi, Annielo Mele
Director: Vittorio De Sica
From the back cover of SHOESHINE dvd released by Image Enter
mommydvd | 01/10/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Two best friends find their bond tested by the trials of postwar Italy, street crime and prison in this neorealist classic from legendary director Vittorio De Sica (The Bicycle Thief). While shining shoes for a living and dreaming of buying a horse of their very own, young Giuseppe and Pasquale are confronted by harsh reality when they are embroiled in a smuggling ring, quickly learning that innocence and childish dreams can only last for so long in a world of turmoil.
Winner of a special 1947 Academy Award (a first for a foreign film), this groundbreaking look at children coming of age against the steepest odds remains a moving, unforgettable experience in world cinema."
STEVE | Delaware County, PA | 06/27/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This film is so groundbreaking, it is difficult to find a place to begin. Shoeshine is a simple film that involves two boys, Giuseppe and Pasquale in 1945 Italy, who manage to get locked up for committing a petty crime. After being imprisoned in a youth detention center, both boys become very disillusioned and bitter over their fate.
Shoeshine has the distinction of being the very first film to win an Academy Award for best foreign film in 1947, when no Academy Awards for foreign films existed! There was not an Academy Awards classification for foreign films until 1956 !! Shoeshine was also well received at the Cannes film festival. The cinematographer, Gianpiero Brunetta remarked that this was quite a statement, since the French still had a lot of hostility towards the Italians after the war. Regardless of this animosity, many French film makers embraced the concept of neorealism immediately.
What is a neorealist film? As an amateur, I will do my best to describe what it is, using Shoeshine as an example. A neorealist film uses a natural background as opposed to a studio one. Amateur actors are used and the topic usually involves simple stories in an impoverished setting. To enhance the simple stories, the use of camera positions and the subject's relationship to the camera is also an important factor. For example, Nannarella, a frail little girlfriend of Giuseppe, is filmed walking away from the camera, to the other side of the street. In a way, she could represent the rebirth of Italy after having just freed herself from fascism. In another scene, this same girl is seen looking forlorned as her two friends, Giuseppe and Pasquale are being driven away to the youth detention center. Her eyes are fixed on the lens as she is filmed walking towards the camera as the camera moves away from her. There are many other examples of the neorealist style on this film, so I will allow you to discover what they are on your own.
Enjoy this masterpiece!"