This neorealist masterpiece by Vittorio De Sica follows an elderly pensioner as he strives to make ends meet during Italy’s postwar economic recovery. Considered one of the high points of Italian neo-realist cinema, Umberto D. provides the ultimate example of the movement's unadorned, observational style, which emphasizes the reality of events without calling attention to their emotional or dramatic impact. Many people refer to Umberto D as the final film of Neorealism. The movie was included in TIME magazine's "All-TIME 100 Movies" in 2005. Umberto D tells about Italy in the hard and heavy moment of the post-war re-building, and in a way show a pain and a drama (I would say "tragedy) that the establishment did not want people to know then. Still homeless and nearly penniless, Umberto scampers down the park lane with his dog. The camera glimpses Umberto two or three times during this ruckus, but it does not single him out until the protesters have dispersed, to pronounce curses against their own organizers and recover their breath. People who admire the work of such contemporary filmmakers as Hou Hsiao-hsien, Chantal Akerman, and Abbas Kiarostami can see something up-to-date in this aspect of Umberto D., and even recognize in it a principal source of today’s cinema of the steady gaze. His landlady (Lina Gennari) is evicting him, and his only true friends, the housemaid (Maria-Pia Casilio) and his dog Flike (called 'Flag' in some subtitled versions of the film) are of no help. Critics today tend to like the astringent parts: the long, deliberately undramatic sequences full of mundane activity (such as a housemaid’s morning routine), performed with … Umberto is slowly being stripped of his dignity, and even of the desire for dignity. exemplified by Umberto D., released in Italy in 1952, and after a slow commercial reception, released abroad and in the U.S. in 1955. Beggars abound in the film, soup kitchens and charity wards extend their provisional shelter; but Zavattini also makes it plain that Umberto needs these resources partly because he ran up debts, while other pensioners are in the clear. With the dismal release of Umberto D., Italy’s neorealist period came to an end. A French remake entitled A Man and His Dog premiered in 2008. Stream ad-free or purchase CD's and MP3s now on Amazon.com. But as someone who begins weeping at the first notes of the title music—someone who thinks this film’s long, undramatic sequences can be seen best when watched through tears—I wouldn’t want Zavattini and De Sica to have backed off. Yes, poverty and old age bear down on Umberto, in ways that are specific to Rome in the early fifties—but the key problem is indecency. It seems to us that the world fame that our directors have rightly acquired gives us the right to demand that he accept his duty and fulfill this task.”. A delicately-crafted product of its era, Umberto D defines, and concludes, the first age of Neorealism. ... a band of kids comes sprinting from around the corner and once again headed in the opposite direction of Umberto. She threatens to evict Ferrari at the end of the month if he cannot pay the overdue rent: fifteen thousand lire. Sprawling across more than half a century of American history, Martin Scorsese’s crime saga combines epic ambition with a mood of isolation and dissolution. Made in 1952 it is both a shining example of the movement and perhaps its last gasp. Umberto D. is a film directed by Vittorio De Sica with Carlo Battisti, Maria Pia Casilio, Lina Gennari, Memmo Carotenuto, Alberto Albani Barbieri. Meanwhile, the sympathetic maid confides in Umberto that she has her own problems. Worse, upon its release in early 1952, the film came under attack from Giulio Andreotti in Libertà, the weekly organ of the Christian Democratic Party. This poignant story about a poor retiree facing eviction dutifully follows the neorealist template, with its plotless narrative, location shooting, and nonprofessional actors. The film’s goal to capture a rather harsh and unromantic look at life is considered the Italian neorealism. Indeed, Umberto slowly becomes convinced that the situation may be hopeless, and he ultimately considers committing suicide. The burden of decorum, the futility of culture: the film touches on these themes lightly, almost comically, in its opening sequence, but soon begins to insist upon them by positioning Umberto between two characters of contrasting status—apparently the last two people in the world with whom he is still in contact. As an educated, middle-class man, he might be expected to feel closer to the woman from whom he rents a room, but she is a tall, blonde monster of bourgeois pretension. Despite Umberto's attempt to abandon Flike, the dog finds him hiding under a footbridge. The great critic I. Alone except for his dog, Flike, Umberto struggles to maintain his dignity in a city where human kindness seems to have been swallowed up by the forces of modernization. According to Robert Osborne of Turner Classic Movies, this was De Sica's favorite of all his films. He is the only major character other than the landlady to be played by a trained performer, the canine actor Napoleone. [2], In an interview where he discussed Diary of a Country Priest, Psycho and Citizen Kane, Ingmar Bergman is quoted as saying, "Umberto D. is... a movie I have seen a hundred times, that I may love most of all. It was, however, quite popular overseas and the film he remained most proud of (even dedicating the film to his father). Since the Christian Democrats had full, seemingly permanent control of the government, and since Andreotti (later to serve seven times as prime minister) controlled the state’s movie production loans, and exercised the right of precensorship over scripts, the brand of film criticism he practiced was unusually powerful. Perhaps this fact accounts for the movieness of Umberto’s interactions with him—a movieness that offends people who want a “perfect aesthetic illusion of reality,” giving the impression of “no more cinema.” But De Sica was not necessarily one of these people. XX wieku. Fabuła. It was shot on location with a cast of non-professional actors -- which tense to increase to the authentic atmosphere that adds to the central themes of the film. And so, in Italy’s highly politicized film culture, Umberto D. opened without organized support, to compete against the recently revived Cinecittà’s superproductions and such government-subsidized fare as Don Camillo (1952), a nougat-centered clerical farce. The film was directed by Francis Huster, co-written by Huster and Murielle Magellan, and stars Jean-Paul Belmondo in his first role in seven years, alongside Hafsia Herzi, Julika Jenkins and Francis Huster among others. Flike goes to play with some children, and Umberto slips away, gambling that one of them will adopt him. Directed by Vittorio De Sica. Umberto D. (pronounced [umˈbɛrto di]) is a 1952 Italian neorealist film directed by Vittorio De Sica. Serving as an apt demonstration of the effect that a historical context has on a production, like Shoeshine and Bicycle Thieves before it, Umberto D embraces these contextual elements and uses them to enhance and emphasise its subtextual themes. He knew that sentiment is as legitimate a mode of storytelling as irony or satire, so long as the sentiment is honest—which I believe it is in Umberto D. If the main character feels that his humanity itself is slipping away, his sense of being a proper man, then why shouldn’t he have a sentimental relationship with a dog? The impact on critics was enormous. Umberto's lone friend is Maria, servant of the boarding house. These same critics generally dislike the pooch. But the main opposition was the Communist Party, which had conducted its own attack against Zavattini and De Sica for what it too saw as pessimism. Umberto Domenico Ferrari jest emerytowanym urzędnikiem państwowym. A masterpiece of Italian neorealism, Vittorio De Sica's Umberto D would also prove to be the last great film from the movement. Umberto D was the last of the great cycle of Italian neo-realist films from director Vittorio de Sica. De Sica (1901-1974) said his method was to form a mental image of a character while working on the screenplay with his longtime collaborator Cesare Zavattini. The police dispense the crowd and Umberto returns to his cheap furnished room which he shares with his dog Flick. Couldn’t we use a few more?This piece originally appeared in the Criterion Collection’s 2003 edition of Umberto D. Stuart Klawans has been the film critic of the Nation since 1988. An elderly man and his dog struggle to survive on his government pension in Rome. Check out Umberto D by Various artists on Amazon Music. Subsequently, they saw Umberto D. as too critical of the pride they were trying to engender in themselves. The governing elite are not seen, but the effects of their actions are all too apparent in de Sica’s depiction of Rome. When I say that Umberto D. pushes neorealism to new extremes, then, it’s not only because of the film’s extraordinary concentration on the mundane but also because of its subject matter, which goes to the limit of social criticism. Although Alessandro Cicognini’s music comes on with the throb of verismo opera, the initial view prompts curiosity more than tears. Finally in desperation, Umberto takes the dog in his arms and walks on to a railway track as a speeding train approaches. He packs his belongings, and leaves the apartment. His parting advice to the maid is to get rid of the boyfriend from Florence. In Umberto D., two very smart filmmakers had the courage to jerk tears, and created a masterpiece. With its thought-provoking structure, interweaving story lines, and saturated colors, Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s debut feature represented a quantum leap in the audiovisual grammar of Mexican cinema. In the ending sequence, after having failed to … Prof. Umberto D'Alessandro (MD, MSc, PhD) has a long working experience in Africa, first as a clinician (Benin and Kenya) and later as a clinical epidemiologist (The Gambia). AKA: A sorompók lezárulnak. A. Richards once remarked that you could characterize an era of history according to a certain choice between anxieties: were people more worried about being thought sentimental or stupid? One of the marchers is Umberto D. Ferrari, a retired government worker. Umberto D. This neorealist masterpiece by Vittorio De Sica follows an elderly pensioner as he strives to make ends meet during Italy’s postwar economic recovery. Capturing the tense mood of a new millennium, Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s debut feature explores the hidden spaces of Mexico City at a moment of political turbulence and extreme social stratification. And so, despite being a gentleman, Umberto finds himself in concert with the housemaid (another nonprofessional, Maria Pia Casilio, discovered by De Sica when she was an apprentice seamstress), whose dark, ingenuous, button-eyed face is unmarked by book learning. At first Flike warily hides, but eventually Umberto coaxes Flike out to play with a pine cone. Year: 1952. This poignant story about a poor retiree facing eviction dutifully follows the neorealist template, with its plotless narrative, location shooting, and nonprofessional actors. [1] The film's sets were designed by Virgilio Marchi. Umberto Ferrari, aged government-pensioner, attends a street demonstration held by his fellow pensioners. His person—embodied by the nonprofessional actor Carlo Battisti, a Florentine professor of linguistic science—is distinguished by an alert, somewhat rabbity face and fussy manner, which hint at a lifetime of intelligence expended to no real effect on the world. Umberto runs after him. Which brings us back to Flike. During the whole film Umberto is struggling to get by, and is eventually forced to leave his home because he could no longer pay the rent. Umberto D. Directed by Vittorio De Sica • 1952 • Italy Starring Carlo Battisti, Maria Pia Casilio. She is three months pregnant, but is unsure which of two soldiers is the father, the tall one from Naples or the short one from Florence. Unable to bring himself to beg from strangers on the street, Umberto contemplates suicide, but knows he must first see that Flike is taken care of. Umberto D. is the film that I prefer among all those I have made, because in it I have tried to be completely uncompromising in portraying characters and incidents that are genuine and true. Shoeshine (1946) and Bicycle Thieves (1948) had brought into focus, for domestic and international viewers alike, the intuitions, concerns, and methods of Italy’s best postwar filmmakers, and so had established neorealism as a movement. Amongst the other examples of Italian Neorealism- that subgenre that so melodramatically depicts lower middle-class lifestyle post-World War II, it may be the best of the best. U mberto D. is perhaps the most astringent film ever made about a poor old man and his dog. Nor does Umberto D. concern itself with the neorealist theme of economic hardship as such, despite Zavattini’s quickness in telling us, right in the first scene, how many lire Umberto gets for his monthly pension, how much he pays out in rent, and how much he owes. But was the film itself dismal? "Umberto D" is one of the most successful demonstrations of that theory. When he returns to the apartment, he finds workmen renovating the entire place. Played by Lina Gennari with all the mannerisms that a veteran actor can muster and Battisti cannot, she comes across rather like an unfunny Margaret Dumont. With Carlo Battisti, Maria Pia Casilio, Lina Gennari, Ileana Simova. Police disperse an organized street demonstration of elderly men demanding a raise in their meager pensions. "[3], Roger Ebert included the film in his selection of Great Movies, writing "Vittorio De Sica's Umberto D (1952) is the story of the old man's struggle to keep from falling from poverty into shame. De Sica said that the film was quite unpopular in Italy because it was in a period after WWII when the country was just getting back on its feet. Umberto D. Is about an old government-pensioner and his loyal dog Flike. Umberto D bears witness to society’s inability to change so as to cater to the needs of all its people rather than just the elite. Umberto D. is possibly Vittorio De Sica's masterpiece, an emotional knockout that thrills the soul with its gorgeous black and white cinematography and sublime performances. Original title: Umberto D.. Synopsis: Umberto Ferrari, aged government-pensioner, attends a street demonstration held by his fellow pensioners. Neorealism intends to provide nothing but realism and the tedious aspects of life, but its dramatization is a desperate attempt, a cry, rather, for reform within the infrastructure of societal and economic norms. He sells a watch and some books, but only raises a third of the amount. The Umberto Proudly powered by WordPress Theme: Intergalactic 2. Most of the actors were non-professional, including Carlo Battisti who plays the title role of Umberto Domenico Ferrari, a poor elderly man in Rome who is desperately trying to keep his rented room. The failure of Umberto D at the box office suggested that Italians had seen enough of their problems depicted on screen. A masterpiece of Italian neorealism, Vittorio De Sica's Umberto D. would also prove to be the last great film from the movement. The+Umberto+D.+DVD+Menu One of them is Umberto Domenico Ferrari, a retired civil servant, who says he's 15,000 lire in debt (which is a … His landlady (Lina Gennari) is evicting him, and his only true friends, the housemaid (Maria-Pia Casilio) and his dog Flike (called 'Flag' in some subtitled versions of the film) are of no help. The landlady refuses to accept partial payment. It features an old man and his dog as they struggle to survive in the tough reality of the Italian postwar city. In Umberto D (Sica, Dear Film, 1952), the scene where Maria wakes up in the early morning to do chores utilizes strategic lighting, camera position, non-diegetic sound, and mise-en-scene to illustrate the grim and bleak life of many in post-WWII Italy. New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Foreign Film, New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Foreign Language Film, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Umberto_D.&oldid=994913985, Films with screenplays by Cesare Zavattini, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WorldCat-VIAF identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Ileana Simova as the woman in Umberto's room, Memmo Carotenuto as a patient at the hospital, Alberto Albari Barbieri as Antonia's friend, Vittorio De Sica was nominated for the Grand Prix –, This page was last edited on 18 December 2020, at 05:30. Umberto D. – włoski dramat z 1952 roku w reżyserii Vittoria De Siki, będący jednym z ostatnich filmów zaliczanych do neorealizmu włoskiego[1]. Umberto D ( 1952) This Italian neorealist film was named as one of Time Magazines "All-Time 100 Movies" in 2005. That the filmmakers also make him go everywhere with little Flike—clutching him to his breast, fretting over his well-being, ultimately begging the dog to come play with him—seems to these viewers an almost invasive ploy, as if Zavattini and De Sica were trying to force into their hands an already soggy handkerchief. Umberto D starts with a protest in one of Rome’s city squares. “No more actors,” André Bazin wrote of Bicycle Thieves, “no more story, no more sets—which is to say that, in the perfect aesthetic illusion of reality, there is no more cinema”—or, rather, that the film is “one of the first examples of pure cinema.” The impact on audiences was equally strong, with both Shoeshine and Bicycle Thieves winning the Academy Award for best foreign-language film. I believe their greatest work, which surely includes Umberto D., kept touch faithfully with popular sentiment, even while helping to create the decidedly unpopular tradition of the art-house film. The maid was taking care of his dog, Flike, but a door was left open and Flike ran away. They feel that screenwriter Cesare Zavattini and director Vittorio De Sica did enough to immiserate their title character by depriving him of youth, family, friends, health, money, and home. Umberto D. is perhaps the most astringent film ever made about a poor old man and his dog. Perhaps today’s division between auteurist productions and mass-market movies might be eased, and contemporary cinema enlivened, if our filmmakers would more often put themselves at risk as Zavattini and De Sica did with Umberto D. Of course, this prescription is open to question, considering that Umberto D. was released to utter disaster. I have sought with great humility to approach the true, poetic and limpid style of the great Robert Flaherty. Surely an audience needs no further prompting to feel the isolation of Umberto Domenico Ferrari. 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