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'The Bicycle Thief' to close campus film series season

RELEASED: May 5, 2010

poster for The Bicycle ThiefEAU CLAIRE — Vittorio De Sica's "The Bicycle Thief" (Italy 1948), a landmark of cinema, will close the spring semester campus films series at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. The International Film Society presentation will screen at 6 and 8:30 p.m. May 13-16 in Davies Theatre.

More accurately translated from the original Italian as "Bicycle Thieves," the film is set in poverty-stricken Rome in the aftermath of World War II. A man (Lamberto Maggiorani) who hopes to support his desperate family with a new job loses the bicycle that is his main means of transportation for work. With his wide-eyed young son (Enzo Staiola) in tow, he sets off to track down the thief. Simple in construction and rich in human insight, the movie embodies the greatest strengths of the neorealist film movement in Italy: emotional clarity, social righteousness and brutal honesty.

"Given an honorary Oscar in 1949, routinely voted one of the greatest films of all time, revered as one of the foundation stones of Italian neorealism, it is a simple, powerful film about a man who needs a job," wrote critic Roger Ebert, who lists this among his Great Films. "Such films stand outside time."

The 93-minute black-and-white film is subtitled in English and not rated. The newly restored Criterion Collection version of the film will be presented.

Admission is free at the door with a Blugold Card or International Film Society membership. Community members who wish to attend campus films must purchase an annual IFS membership at the Service Center (715-836-3727) in Davies Center's east lobby. An individual membership costs $4; a family membership costs $10.

More information about the campus film series is available online and at the Activities and Programs office, Davies Center 133.

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JS/DW

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