Capernaum (Capharnaüm)

Capernaum (Capharnaüm) Lebanon (2018) Dir. Nadine Labaki Poverty is a major global issue and whilst it is shocking in developed countries like ours, we are probably blasé about its existence in war torn countries. For her latest film, Nadine Labaki takes us to Lebanon for this brutally raw tale of life on the breadline. Capernaum … Continue reading Capernaum (Capharnaüm)

Kes

Kes UK (1969) Dir. Ken Loach Neo Realism is usually associated with Italian cinema and the works of Vittori De Sica et al, but that doesn’t mean other countries haven’t made a significant contribution to this simple but affecting milieu. There is something about working class Britain that lends itself to this subgenre of cinema … Continue reading Kes

People On Sunday (Menschen am Sonntag)

People On Sunday (Menschen am Sonntag) Germany (1930) Dirs. Robert Siodmak & Edgar G. Ulmer It is generally accepted the beginnings of the Neo-realism movement are found in the works of Vittorio De Sica and 1940’s Italian cinema but like most developments in film, the Germans got there first! This experimental outing from 1930 not … Continue reading People On Sunday (Menschen am Sonntag)

The Ciambra (A Ciambra)

The Ciambra (A Ciambra) Italy (2017) Dir. Jonas Carpignano Life is about the choices we make, learning from the bad, and building on the foundation of the good. But sometimes the influence of our surroundings and family situation is so overwhelming that we are likely to be destined to follow a path in life that … Continue reading The Ciambra (A Ciambra)

Rome, Open City (Roma città aperta)

Rome, Open City (Roma città aperta) Italy (1945) Dir. Roberto Rossellini For many De Sica’s Bicycle Thieves is considered the starting point for discovering Italian cinema’s Neo Realism movement. But if you want to see the true launching pad for the subgenre, it almost assuredly has to be this powerful dramatisation of the real life … Continue reading Rome, Open City (Roma città aperta)

Life+1Day (Abad va yek rooz)

Life+1Day (Abad va yek rooz) Iran (2016) Dir. Saeed Roustayi In the wake of directors like Jafar Panahi being imprisoned for making confrontational films about their country, it seems up and coming Iranian filmmakers are sticking to the neo realist style to portray real life in their country. In his debut Saeed Roustayi points his … Continue reading Life+1Day (Abad va yek rooz)

Bellissima

Bellissima Italy (1951) Dir. Luchino Visconti If you have been appalled by parents who push their kids into auditioning for TV talent shows or hideous beauty pageants, imagine how legendary Italian auteur Luchino Visconti must have felt encountering them en masse when auditioning for child actors. The result of his experiences is this trenchant, savage … Continue reading Bellissima

Miracle in Milan (Miracolo a Milano)

  Miracle in Milan (Miracolo a Milano) Italy (1951) Dir.  Vittorio de Sica An eccentric old lady Lolotta (Emma Gramatica) discovers a newborn baby in her cabbage patch which she takes in and raises as her own, naming him Totò. Upon Lolotta’s death when Totò is 11 years-old, he is sent to an orphanage until … Continue reading Miracle in Milan (Miracolo a Milano)

Shoeshine (Sciuscià)

  Shoeshine (Sciuscià) Italy (1946) Dir. Vittorio De Sica In post war Rome, two young friends, Giuseppe Filippucci (Rinaldo Smordoni) and Pasquale Maggi (Franco Interlenghi), test ride horses with the dream of owning one themselves, but with both being poor this is seemingly out of their reach when one horse is up for sale. However … Continue reading Shoeshine (Sciuscià)

Umberto D.

Umberto D. Italy (1952) Dir. Vittorio De Sica Umberto Domenico Ferrari (Carlo Battisti) is an elderly retired government worker marching for a better deal for pensioners. When he returns to his tiny apartment he finds that his landlady wannabe socialite Antonia (Lina Gennari) has begun renting his room out for couples to use in his … Continue reading Umberto D.