Introduction to Film Studies

The three distinguishing elements of Neorealism as seen in DeSica's ‘Bicycle Thieves’ are frequent use of nonprofessional actors, setting of stories amongst the middle class and the poor, and filming being done on location, especially in a countryside and poor neighborhoods. Neorealism emphasizes the desperation, daily life and poverty of the local people. The three elements are also applied in developing the story Bicycle Thief. Themain Characters in this story are Antonio and his son Bruno, who are poor. We learn that Antonio will lose his job unless he finds the stolen bicycle. The setting of the story is also done in their neighborhood. The thesis applied in this film talks about the poor stealing from the rich in order to survive.

The filmmaking technique, which Andrew Sarris calls "a revolutionary battle cry" in Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin, is the montage technique. This technique enables creation of an idea through perpetual rise of new meanings from the montage. This is the core technique to Eisenstein’s theory of filmmaking. Montage is well developed in the fundamental scene of the film where the massacre on the Odessa Steps takes place. The montage use heightens the emotional impact of the massacre by interspersing the event with the terrified faces of onlookers. The social and emotional impacts of the film make it a great success.

Peter Bogdanovich's essay on Ford's "How Green Was My Valley,” says that memory-image takes us back through the rest of the story. The film is primarily about nostalgia, where the characters seem to yearn for an idealized past. This begins in the title, where the valley was initially green, and implies that it must not be so today. With the eyes of one character, Huw, we can see him recounting his experiences when he was a boy. Currently he is living the life full of tragedies but he recalls serene experiences full of happiness and comfort. At the end of the film Huw’s father dies. This makes his present miserable, unlike the past, which was indeed greener. Therefore, memory-image takes us back through the whole story.

According to Bordwell and Thompson, a film movement is a group of movie producers who come up with their own unique style of producing movies. The film "Battleship Potemkin” is part of a film movement called the Italian Neorealism. The set up of "Battleship Potemkin” is similar to that of the film movement Neorealism. The films in this movement are similar in the sense that the locations, in which they are shot in, is in poor neighborhoods, the actors are not professional and the setting is done among the poor people.

James Agee characterizes Chaplin's pantomime emotion and poetry in "Comedy's Greatest Era." Using Chaplin’s film the City Lights, a blind girl was able to see again after her lover helped restore her sight. When they meet, the camera shots enable one to see the emotions of each of them. The film Gold Rush proves that ridicule and tragedy are always together and lead to transformation of tales of privation into comedy.

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