Author: Flavio De Bernardinis
Publisher: Centro sperimentale di cinematografia; Edizioni Sabinae
Vittorio De Sica (1901-1974) is a unique film artist. While Rossellini and Visconti came into being with neorealism, De Sica matured through neorealism. As an already established artist, he put himself wholly on the line and played a gambit that revolutionized Italian and world cinema. From 1923, the year he made his debut in a minor role with Tatiana Pavlova’s theatre company, and over the following twenty years of his career in Italian theatre and cinema, he sowed the seeds of the neorealism that would lead to his 1943 I bambini ci guardano (The Children are Watching Us). In this book we tell his whole story, before, during and after neorealism. From the early days in theatre to his role behind the camera, De Sica runs the gauntlet of the history of the performing arts in Italy at a crucial point in time: the years straddling the decline of the theatre of the great stars of the nineteenth-century tradition to the birth of the director’s theatre, the “talkies”, songs and gramophone records, up to the formidable season of “Sciuscià” (Ragazzi) (Shoeshine, 1946) and Ladri di biciclette (Bicycle Thieves, 1948).
This is what makes De Sica unique. He was an actor, singer, and director. He was at home with serious repertory as well as light and comic repertoires, ultimately scaling the heights of the art of cinema.