There’s nothing extraordinary about the life of Umberto D. Ferrari. He goes about his day, caring for his dog, selling a watch at one point, and talking to a maid. However, it’s not necessarily the actions that make director Vittorio De Sica’s seminal 1952 film, Umberto D., a classic, but the context behind them that have made filmmakers like Martin Scorsese call the movie a “precious gift” to cinema.
De Sica sets his film in the ramshackle streets of post-WWII Italy. We first encounter Umberto at a street demonstration, populated by other elderly men, protesting their insufficient pension funds. What follows is a glimpse into the life of a man right on the cusp of losing what little he has left—his books, his apartment, the watch, and his dog, Flike. The film is a stripped-down study of the human spirit and considered one of the highlights of the Italian neorealist movement that inspired the French New Wave films of the subsequent decade. Ingmar Bergman even cited Umberto D. as his favorite film.
See Umberto D. as part of the Palm Theatre’s Take Two Live series on March 29 at 12:30 p.m. Jim Dee and Bob Whiteford will host an introduction and Q-and-A about the film. Tickets are $12. For more info, visit thepalmtheatre.com or call 541-5161.