Pure Cinema

Powerful Essays
Topics: Film theory, Film
Italian Neo realism; Pure Cinema

1. Ladri de Biccilette [Bicycle Thieves] (Vittorio De Sica)

Do you agree with Andre Bazin that Ladri de Biccilette is an example of ‘pure cinema’? (Bazin [1971] p.60). To what extent is such a pure cinema possible and, in your opinion, which Italian Neo-realist film screened on the unit comes closest to it? Explain your reasoning.

This essay will address the characteristics of ‘pure cinema’ and the extent of its practical nature. It also seeks to analyse the film Ladri de Biccilette whilst exploring the traits of pure cinema in this film.
The definition of pure cinema refers to a cinema where real life is projected onto the screen in way that creates the illusion of reality. The more the aspects of a film are closer to real life, the purer the cinema it will be regarded. Pure cinema does not concern itself whether the audience is bored, shocked, thrilled or satisfied, and also would not care much how the scenes are interpreted. It seeks purely to reflect what is going on in reality, without intentionally altering or cutting parts out in order to manipulate a specific set of emotions from its audience. In perfect pure cinema, there is no lighting added to the scene and things are filmed as they were perceived before the existence of the camera in the scene. The location and settings, which are the most important defining aspect of pure cinema, are real places instead of studio-based scenes, and the director does not manipulate mise-en-scene, either. The events are just the ones of ordinary issues and dialogues are simple and do not necessarily follow a good grammar. In other words, there is no exaggeration nor dramatization of the events. Using real people instead of actors, and allowing them to act and speak freely with a small amount of direction, is another characteristic of pure cinema. The position of the camera is random and the camera usually films everything in a long-take and wide angle (like looking



Bibliography: Andre Bazin (1971), what is cinema? (vol. 2), University of California Press Films Ladri de Biccilette [Bicycle Thieves] (Roberto Rossellini, 1945) 103m

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