RSU Film Series to Present ‘The Bicycle Thief’ Sept. 24

“The Bicycle Thief” – a 1948 neo-realist Italian film about a poor man searching the streets of Rome for his stolen bicycle – will be presented at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24, at Rogers State University.

The film, which is free and open to the public, will be shown in the Will Rogers Auditorium on the RSU campus in Claremore. The screening is part of the RSU Fine Arts Film Series, sponsored by the RSU School of Liberal Arts.

“Our goal is to expose our students and the community to some of our most classic and thought-provoking films,” said Dr. Michael McKeon, assistant professor.

“The Bicycle Thief,” directed by Vittorio De Sica, was based on the novel by Luigi Bartolini. It stars Lamberto Maggiorani as the poor man searching for his lost bicycle and Enzo Staiola as his son. The film appears frequently on critics’ and directors’ lists of the best films ever made.

Dr. Hugh Foley, RSU associate professor, will introduce the film and offer some remarks.

The film is one of the earliest and best examples of the neo-realist movement in film, in which filmmakers attempted to bring a new degree of realism to film, Foley said. Many of the actors in the film were not professionally trained actors, but “regular” people the filmmakers discovered on the streets of war-torn Rome.

“One might call it the first ‘reality television,’ but the film is also a moving work of art, with attention paid to composition, contrast and line by the director,” Foley said. “The story contrasts the earnestness of post-war Italians wishing to improve their lives with the predatory and cynical urban forces that thwart the well-intended main character of the story. One is immediately engaged by the visual aspects of the film’s cinematography, and then swept off for good by the sympathetic protagonist.”

The film is being shown in concordance with Foley’s class in International Cinema.

For more information on the RSU film series, call (918) 343-7594.