THE BICYCLE THIEF ARROW ACADEMY BLU RAY

Okay so I doubt I need to discuss this, frankly amazing and frankly over commentated on classic. That is I do not need to discuss the film, A story of a man brought low by unemployment and in a desperate bid to make life better for him and his young son, buys a bike for a lucrative job fly posting. This bike is in turn stolen and all he has left is to steal from another to finish his job and make his son proud. It never ends that way, then Italian neo realism never does.  If you want a blow by blow discussion on this film (and there is a lot to say), then read any number of wonderful reviews from the great and the good.  I love the film, as a humanistic, compassionate piece about the failings of a society and the dubious justness of life against a man trying and failing to win.  For all its commentaries across time, watching it will do you, and it far more justice. However you are here for the new Blu review!

DISC

When this was announced I thought, why the hell am I paying again for a Blu Ray that I already have.  Well I have Arrows 1080 p release. In that delightful box and with the lovely 4 covers. This cover wasn’t even as good as those 4 other ones. Why god, do I have to spend money, why! Well I can a test to a Three things.

One – This version is legitimately 4K. Not like Criterions 1080p presentation of the 4K. This is the 4K. It looks good. It feels good to project and it quivers with the light balance of the rain, sun bleached streets and interiors. This is all good. Some say that films pre 2000 never can be bettered than 1080p. They are right and wrong. This proved the latter. It also proves Arrow are upping their game and rightly so.

Two –  The mono is shaky. I do not like it. It maybe that it cant be perfected but the added incidentals sound (which could be from the uncompressed PCM)  are a draw away from the screen.

Three – The package is well worth spending money on. Full retail? I do not know that in truth. Though I really should think cineastes will climb over this.

EXTRAS

The big guns are out and both Robert Gordon commentary and David Cairns video essay delve deep and surface. The commentary with everything from eternity. On Italian neo realism, on De Sica and on the films message. Cairns is a Truncated version of a bio of De Sica with more detail on the artist and work and less a history lesson like Gordon. Kat Ellinger is an interesting prospect. If I am honest, Kat is being put on everything and that is to her credit but I think what she has to talk about is trivial and filler. Maybe there is and was more to say but I just didn’t think it was as A quality as the first two. Once again not Kat’s fault. More I feel the producer trying to bring it in with extras that were on time and budget.

SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS:

 

  • Brand new 4K restoration from the original camera negative
  • Original uncompressed PCM mono Audio
  • Feature length audio commentary by Italian Cinema expert Robert Gordon, author of BFI Modern Classics Bicycle Thieves
  • Money Has Been My Ruin a brand new video essay by critic and filmmaker David Cairns on Vittorio De Sica s career and filmmaking
  • Indiscretion of an American Film Producer a brand new video essay by film historian Kat Ellinger on De Sica’s relationship with Hollywood producers David O. Selznick and Joseph H. Levine and the version that never was
  • Original trailer advertising De Sica s films, featuring Bicycle Thieves star Lamberto Maggiorani and Francesco Golisano presenting Miracle in Milan
  • Optional English subtitles
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Vince McIndoe

 

FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Booklet featuring writing on the film by film historian Michael Brooke, archival writings by Zavattini, De Sica, and contemporary reviews, illustrated with original stills and artwork

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