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Neorealism was an important and powerful movement in filmmaking, whose originators were Roberto Rossellini, Cesare Zavattini, Vittorio DeSica, and Luchino Visconti. This movement took place at the end of the Second World War in Italy. Neorealism had the realistic quality, which fascinates an audience. The neorealists chose to use the documentary way of telling their narratives. This documentary way involved the subject matter and the filming technique. The author shows the characters of the film in the context of their economic, political, and social circumstances (Stubbs, 1975). Once the neorealist movement was nearly over, the neorealist concentrated on the theme and character and ignored plot, because of a belief that plot distorted truth regarding people. However, if neorealist films depend on the plot interest, they could only be acceptable with reservation (Stubbs, 1975). The story of Bicycle Thieves has a plot interest because the audience is strongly interested in what will take place next in the sequence of events (Stubbs, 1975).
The neorealist technique puts more emphasis on location shooting, the use of inexperienced actors, little makeup, objective camera angles, and grainy, fast film stock. To some extent, neorealists planned this style, and to some extent, circumstances forced the neorealists. The Neorealist studios were in problems during the war, and the neorealists could do little, such as making their films on location with inexperienced actors, in natural settings (Stubbs, 1975). At the end of the war, filmmakers filmed their actions where they occurred, such as in public buildings, actual apartments, and in streets. However, the neorealists preferred medium and long shots, which made the actor, appear loosely framed within his environment. Neorealists further tended to prefer shots taken at eye level (Stubbs, 1975).
Bicycle Thieves required a simple and straightforward style with its craft. The frame was loose, and the lighting realistic. With the exception of the renown down tilt on Bruno and Ricci on the curb and other shots, the angle of the camera is neutral and on the same level with the eye. The center of interest is the character of Antonio Ricci who gets hope in the job that required the use of a bicycle. A thief escaped with Ricci’s bicycle, which made him attempt to steal a bicycle and lose a job. To know Ricci, it is necessary to learn more regarding the frustrations and hopes of a human being (Stubbs, 1975).