Earlier this week, I watched Vittorio de Sica’s 1952 Umberto D for the … 11th time – or some such number. I honestly don’t recall how many times I have seen Umberto D since I have lost count of my experiences of being immersed in this gorgeous masterpiece of Italian neorealism. The film doesn’t cease to have relevance in today’s world especially as it concerns contemporary American social politics, & policy-making, during this season of Presidential Elections. Proposals to reduce Social Security and Medicare, which mainly affect the elderly, is on everyone’s mind. So it’s somewhat curious yet profoundly moving to watch a sixty year-old movie that was filmed in a Southern European country with challenging economic issues that seem to directly relate to contemporary American social concerns. However, this is exactly what great art… great cinema does. These works remain forever relevant to our sensibilities, and realities, through the ages and across cultures.
The Criterion Collection is scheduled to release Umberto D. on Blu-Ray, during the first week in September.