˘The Bicycle Thief÷ (Ladri di Biciclette). Dir. Vittorio De Sica. Written by Cesare Zavattini and De Sica. Perf. Lamberto Maggiorani, Enzo Stajola. PDS/ENIC, 1948.
Ellis, Jack C. A History of Film. Fourth Edition. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1995.
Allen, Robert and Douglas Gomery. Film History: Theory and Practice. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1985.
˘Casablanca.÷ Dir. Michael Curtiz. Written by Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein and Howard Koch. Perf. Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Claude Raines. Warner Bros., 1942.
Identifying the character with the actor could not happen in the films of Italian Neo-Realism. Cesare Zavattini, who co-wrote ˘The Bicycle Thief÷ with De Sica, is noted as the theoretical founder of Neo-Realism. As early as 1942 he called for a new kind of Italian film that would abolish contrived plots, take to the streets for its material, and do away with professional actors. According to Zavattini, since plot was inauthentic because it imposed an artificial structure on everyday life, professional actors or stars compounded the falsehood since ˘to want one person to play another implies the calculated plot÷ (Cook 441). The unemployed family man in ˘The Bicycle Thief÷ and his son are the lead characters and both are non-actors who were coached by De Sica. Using real people (the father was a factory worker) did not detract from the power of the film or its international success and honors, including the 1949 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
Italian art cinema from Neo-Realism to Bertolucci stands apart from classic Hollywood films in its critical method of filmmaking and the thematic concerns of its auteurs. Its roots are in modernism, each film carries an implicit ideology, and these films deal with more adult subjects. In Italian Art Cinema the creative process is more important than the business process that guided classical Hollywood films (and todayĂs blockbuster movies). The movies of HollywoodĂs classical pe