Saturday, November 8, 2008

Umberto D

The Independent Film Channel tends to air foreign films on Sunday mornings, and tomorrow, they're airing a very interesting one: Umberto D, November 9 at 10:05 AM ET.

Carlo Battisti stars in the title role, as a poor pensioner in the Rome of the early 1950s. He lives with his beloved dog Flic, but other than that, doesn't have much of a life. The building in which he takes a room is decrepit; the owner wants to evict him, anyhow; and it's not like he would have any place else to go. Life isn't much better for the other pensioners, either, and the all try to eke out a meager existence in what ought to be their golden years....

Umberto D is part of the "neo-realism" genre, a genre which produced several famous Italian movies in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The actors aren't professionals, but they're actually quite good, being put in situations that are quite familiar to them, as they mirror what would have been going on in their real lives.

One warning, though: despite being a very good movie, Umberto D is also a very sad movie.

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