Oct 23, 2014

26th Oct 2014; De Sica's TWO WOMEN

A film by Vittorio De Sica
1960 / Italy / 97 minutes
26th Oct 2014; 5.45pm / Perks Mini Theater

Based on the novel by Albert Moravia the film explores war from the perspective of a woman and her young daughter as it is a story of motherhood as well as a coming of age story for her daughter. Set in World War II during the rule of Benito Mussolini, the film explores a woman and her 12-year old daughter trying to hide from the horrors of war by traveling from Rome to the Northern Italian mountains.

It’s a film that showcases what women go through in war as they endure many of its horrors where a widow tries to shield her daughter from these moments where the two become part of a group of refugees seeking shelters in the mountains. They befriend a former professor with Communist ideals. 

The film’s screenplay does have this unique structure where the first act is set in Rome as well as Cesira and Rosetta walking towards the mountains when their train is forced to be stopped. The second act is set in the mountains and in nearby villages while the third is about Cesira and Rosetta trying to return to Rome when the Americans arrive to liberate Italy.

"Two Women" is a remarkable slice of life and show the great acting ability Sophia Loren possesses. Very rarely are beauty and talent merged in one character. Evidently, the purpose of this account, as originally written by Alberto Moravio and adapted by Cesare Zavattini for the screen, is to represent the disaster of those people—and, indeed, of Italy—who thought the war was a matter of playing it cozy and making do.

 The indication of Allied soldiers committing the devastating rape is the ultimate bitter dramatization and comment upon the tragedy of the war. De Sica's direction has the qualities of fullness and momentum that are familiar and so compelling in his films.
(Source ;: Internet)

Vittorio De Sica

Vittorio De Sica, was one of the great directors of the postwar Italian neorealist movement, which represented a large, loud break with Hollywood tradition and dealt with life as it might exist outside sound stages. As one of the world's most influential filmmakers, and as an actor who starred in some 150 movies, Vittorio De Sica built a remarkable film career that spanned half a century. De Sica directed 34 feature films, for which he won numerous international prizes. He was honored with four Academy Awards: two Special Awards, preceding the creation of the Best Foreign Film category, for "Shoeshine" in 1947, and "The Bicycle Thief" in 1949, and Best Foreign Film Awards for "Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow" in 1964, and The Garden of the Finzi-Continis in 1971.

De Sica was born in 1902 in Sora, near Rome, and grew up in Naples in a middle-class family. His career took off in the 1920s when he joined a local theater company and became a matinee idol. He later formed his own company, producing plays and co-starring with his first wife, Giuditta Rissone During World War II, De Sica turned to directing. His first four films were routine light productions in the tradition of the Italian cinema of the day. But his fifth, "The Children Are Watching Us," was a mature, perceptive, and deeply human work about the impact of adult folly on a child's innocent mind. The film marked the beginning of De Sica's collaboration with author and screenwriter Cesare Zavattini, a creative relationship that was to give the world two of the most significant films of the Italian neorealism movement, "Shoeshine" and "The Bicycle Thief."    Some more great films followed. Vittorio De Sica died in 1974 at the age of 72.                                                                                     

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