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Brutal VisionThe Neorealist Body in Postwar Italian Cinema$
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Karl Schoonover

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780816675548

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816675548.001.0001

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Spectacular Suffering

Spectacular Suffering

De Sica’s Bodies and Charity’s Gaze

(p.149) 4 Spectacular Suffering
Brutal Vision

Karl Schoonover

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter examines three films from the Vittorio De Sica-Cesare Zavattini collaboration, namely, Shoeshine, Bicycle Thieves, and The Roof, and how each posits spectacle as a realist cinematic device capable of triggering and nourishing a charitable gaze in line with the nascent institutional practices of global humanism. It argues that De Sica’s neorealism develops specific narrational procedures aimed at fostering a gaze of globalized concern. The films also align themselves with a gaze that anticipates the subjective structures necessary for large-scale international aid projects rather than endorsing regional or statist forms of assistance, dismissing these latter as corrupt, condescending, and ineffectual.

Keywords:   Vittorio De Sica, Cesare Zavattini, Shoeshine, Bicycle Thieves, The Roof, realist cinematic device, charitable gaze, global humanism, neorealism

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