will the REAL UMBERTO please stand up

     This 1952 Italian film is very different in comparisson to the films that we’ve screened thus far.  Umberto to me although was a film with actors gace a sense of a documentary because of the realness of life brong to the screen.  I liked how the film started with the long take, which made me wait and watch what was going to emerge which happend to be the protest. The shot showed the group of elder men like a army of ants being scattered  but the cops clearing the protest with cars. You can see the little regard for the meaning of the protest even the way the bus effortlessly drove through them.

       This film shows real issues , these men was fighting for pension which is how we are introduced to Umberto. Being introduced to Maria in the film who was the maid, her situation shocked me. To know that this young teen girl was pregnant and unsure of who the baby’s father was completely shocked me. The two men didn’t even want anything to do with the baby, i felt like it was a 1952 Maury segment. There was little aspects that just made the conditions of the movie real and maybe even relatable. For example the kitchen which seemed to be filthy, theres ants in the kitchen and Mario was plucking the dead chickens feathers.  Despite the fact the kitchen was filthy there was a thin venire between that and the rest of the house which was suppose to be more upscale.

       There was some sensitve scenarios in this film that i wasn’t expecting to see in such a time. There was teen pregnancy, and Animal cruelty. The scence when Umberto went to the pound and they showed where the dogs get euthanized can be sensitive for animal lovers. Umberto could not get up the rent money to stay where he lived which in this economy is a reality for some families. The interaction between him and his friends to me was a sad one. You could tell that Umberto was asking for money without asking, and you can tell his friends are saying no without saying no. It was like a unspoken converstion.

        I did notice there was some patterns in the film, and it included hand signals. I  noticed this when Maria was talking to the guys from Umbertos room window and the cafeteria scene with Umberto and his friends. It also captured my eye the certain shots used in the film to show a situation.  For example the hospital scene the beds of the patients lined up in the big open space. This was perfect for a long shot  so you can see all the patients. I also liked the long shot when Umberto was moving out of the building and he was on the bus in which Maria faded off from the window. This was symbollic to me as a goodbye between Umberto and Maria.

      One of the most realistic scenes to me in this film was Maria making coffee . It stood out to me because in acting it is said that the hardest thing to do is the most natural things on camera such as pretending to make coffee. There was such emotion for her in this scene because you realized she is in a routined trapp. You see the scratches on the wall from the many swipes shes made over time, and her looking at the cat outside to me represented freedom.

       This film was showed the dark side of peoples lives , most films show the happy side . It doesnt have a clear ending and leaves the audience wondering what will Umberto next move be. I felt it was appropriate because it ties into the documentary vibe, and life doesnt end like a movie.

Print Friendly

2 thoughts on “will the REAL UMBERTO please stand up

  1. I agree with you, this film was very interesting and revealed many post war issues, and the poverty that existed in Italy. It’s funny to see that many of the issues that existed so long ago are still a problem in our economy today, such as raising the pensions for workers. I also think that speaking about teen pregnancy was pretty revolutionary during this time, since teen pregnancy was the ultimate embarassment for a family at the time. This movie does show the real side of life, and maybe thats why some people may have found it boring. Today we are used to seeing “reality” tv, that real life bores us. I think it is good to watch movies like this to bring us back down to earth. This movie shows us, and most of all makes us feel what is is to be in poverty and to feel trapped, and I think Sica really outlined that well in this movie.

  2. I can’t say that I really liked the opening scene of the film. Seing people marching on hte streets and old men asking for their pension didn’t get me to excited to watch it. But as soon as we were introduced to Maria and the fact that she was pregnant the film became way more interesting to me.
    I agree that it was absolutely shocking to find out that 15 years old girl was pregnant and on the top of everything she was unsure who was the baby’s father. I wouldn’t say that it is something very common, but definitely this is a real life situation. The fact that this “reality” was brought on the screen in 1950’s makes this situation even more controversial and interesting.

Comments are closed.