"PartII? Where is Part I?", I hear you ask. Well, some time ago I discussed the merits (or otherwise) of "Battleship Potempkin". Today I'm continuing my survey of Classic "must watch films" which I have watched so you don't have to with a couple of Italian "Greats".
Note that the plots are discussed, so if you don't want to know stop reading NOW.
The Bicycle Theives (Vittorio de Sica, 1948)
Background: Set in poverty stricken post-war Rome.
Plot: Man gets bicycle stolen, man and son spend all day looking for it, but can't find it. The End.
Good Points: The location filming
Bad Points: At 87 minutes it's about 80 minutes too long.
This is the heart rending tale of a man struggling to keep food on his family's table. He gets a job as a poster putter-upper (what are they called???) but whilst he's busy gluing one to a wall theives nick his bike. Without it he can't do his job, so he and his son go out and try and find the bike.
I suppose it's a social commentary, but not my idea of entertainment, I'm afraid. You may remember the title - it's the film that Tim Robbins goes to see in "The Player". And, if I remember rightly, he's about the only person in the cinema.
La Dolce Vita (Fellini, 1960)
Background: Rome, Trevi Fountain, Anita Ekberg
Plot: Famous film star, paparazzi reporters, not sure (see below).
Good Points: Rome, Trevi Fountain, Anita Ekberg
Bad Points: At 166 minutes, it's about 140 minutes too long.
This is a leisurely look at fame. I think. It's so leisurely that although I've watched it right through twice I couldn't tell you what happens. I'm sure things do happen, but it's never seemed to me to be very coherent.
Anita Ekberg looks good in that black dress, but you don't need to watch the film - just get a poster.
It's not every blog that might have just saved you from wasting 253 minutes of your precious lives. Maybe you can spend a few of them thinking up a specially witty comment ("First!" doesn't constitute a witty comment).