At ItalyIndeed one of our aims is to promote the work and legacies of those people from our region of whom we are justly proud. When Italian cinema is mentioned, who springs to mind? Sophia Loren, Marcello Mastroianni, Federico Fellini? All great names that as Italians make us all proud, (and Mastroianni of course was from our region and features in one of our earlier blog posts), but what about Vittorio de Sica? While Mastroianni smouldered in front of the cameras, de Sica was a master behind them. Indeed, it was under his guiding hand that Sophia Loren produced the performance in ‘La Ciociara’ that saw her become the first foreign language actor to win an Academy Award. De Sica himself, born in the town of Sora, (also the birthplace of Cicero and among our many Culture, History and Archaeology destinations), was a winner of four Academy Awards.
Born in 1901 he rose from poverty to become, as an actor, a matinee idol of both Italian theatre and cinema by the late 1920s. In 1940 de Sica turned his hand to directing and really came to prominence through his collaborations with screenwriter Cesare Zavattini. Their harrowing portraits of life in post-war Italy, epitomized by ‘Ladri di biciclette’, (The Bicycle Thieves), laid the foundations of the neorealist movement and established de Sica as one of the most influential foreign language directors in the history of cinema. With ItalyIndeed you can immerse yourself not only in de Sica’s films but also get to know the man, with our Italian Language and Cinema Experience.
“I am basically an unhappy man. Life gives me always the impression of cruelty. I read the newspaper - crimes, murders, divorces, and so on. I do not find evidence of sincerity or solidarity there. I love humanity, I trust humanity, but humanity has a way of disillusioning me. The pictures I direct are nearly always melancholy. This comes from the contrast between my love and my disillusion. I am an optimist. I love life. I seek perfection. If my art seems pessimistic, it is a consequence of my continuing optimism and its disillusion. At least I have enthusiasm. It is necessary to all professions to have enthusiasm in order to have success.” Vittorio de Sica