Reflection On: Umberto D

Posted on October 14, 2010 
Filed under Uncategorized

Umberto D was a captivating, artistic film, which was surprisingly enjoyable.  I am generally a fan of Italian Neo-Realist films, as I studied it for a semester, however my expectations were fairly low for this film because the plotline seemed tedious.  So many different aspects of this film were superb; the acting, set design, the direction, storyline.

As a fan of foreign cinema, I find it interesting how, throughout different time periods, certain cinemas have crossed over to near mainstream but not maintained there stay.  Currently, I enjoy Bollywood and Hong Kong cinema.  I think that they are #2 and 3 behind Hollywood as the largest film industries in the world.  Some films just find a time when they resonate with numerous audiences and that is what Italian Neo-Realist hit on.

Although Hollywood is currently the largest film industry in terms of revenue, I certainly don’t think they produce the most quality films.  Often when I watch films from Indian Cinema, Hong Kong or Spanish Cinema, I am blown away by there intense and in depth dialogue.  Although I do occasionally find a Hollywood film that I feel is strong in terms of originality and dialogue, these cinemas seem to produce them on a regular basis.  The great thing about many of these films is that they are often some of the biggest hits in there country as well.

It’s hard to believe but it seems the Golden Age of films in Hollywood is long past us and each time I watch a decent U.S. film I find myself wondering if we will ever again produce stars such as Bogart, Monroe, etc…


4 Responses to “Reflection On: Umberto D”

  1.  Sinyee Cindy Leung on October 16th, 2010 6:59 pm

    I am glad that you mentioned something about Hong Kong cinema because I am from there. And I would like to know which Hong Kong’s films you have watched and found them impressive and interesting. Although I am not an expert, I noticed that, generally, Hong Kong’s films are about police, thief, hitman and gangster. And it seems that Hong Kong people have few choices of film genre. Do you agree? Really looking forward to hearing from you.

  2.  abethon on October 20th, 2010 6:43 pm

    Hey! Sorry for the late reply….I have been so busy the past few weeks that when I get on here I like to overload. Anyways, in regards to Hong Kong films, I do agree that the majority are the police/gangster/hitman type films. My favorite newer films from Hong Kong is the Ip Man series which is loosely based on the martial arts teacher for Bruce Lee and many others. Of course the influence of Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan has had such an impact on Hong Kong cinema, mostly due to the mainstream cross-over that they have had as actors. This is one of the main reasons I think we see so many martial arts/fighting type movies.

    I really am a big fan of many of these films though, such as “A Touch of Zen,” “The Way of the Dragon,” and “Drunken Master.” Others that I thoroughly enjoy, more recent films are; “Internal Affairs,” “A Chinese Odyssey,” and “A Better Tomorrow.”

    I think being from there might cause you to have a different outlook on films that are released since it is your homeland and you likely know more about HK then I do. Just to give you an idea of where I am coming from, when I watch foreign films, whether they are from Hong Kong, India (Bollywood), Japan, Spain, etc….I look at it as an artistic expression of the director from there, not as a biography of the times or reflection on the country. I truly enjoy watching foreign films because I have seen so many U.S. based movies and it is exciting and somewhat relieving to watch movies that are from a different viewpoint and not so influenced by the “Hollywood style.” When I watch foreign films I kind of just let them take me where they want to go, however, when I watch a U.S. film, such as The Social Network (something that is based of true events), I have a very different view point because I know how our country is run and what goes on regularly within our society.

    Sorry if that is confusing but if you have any more questions I’d love to discuss them. I actually have quite a few friends from Hong Kong and visited last year, that is what peaked my interest in this specific cinema (especially after visiting the Avenue of Stars). I’m actually going back in December for a much longer stay and am really excited to explore the area more since I was only there for 6 days last year.

  3.  Sinyee Cindy Leung on October 30th, 2010 4:39 pm

    I remember when I was very young, my dad used to play “Drunken Master” once in awhile and watched it with me. And I still remember my attention was always drawn by Jackie Chan sitting on “invisible chair”, I would stop playing my toys and just stare at the screen…

    I have similar feelings as you do. Sometime when I am watching HK fims, I may feel sick of their similar patterns. But when I am watching foreign films, everything is new to me and I would like to and can explore more about them as I ” let them take me where they want to go” .

    Glad that you like HK.

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