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Sight and Sound – Bicycle Thieves

Presented by California Film Institute at Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center, San Rafael CA

Feb 12 - 13 2023
Sight and Sound – Bicycle Thieves

Sight and Sound – Bicycle Thieves

A poetic & heartbreaking tale focuses on a struggling father’s relationship with his young son

Sun, 2/12, 1:00 pm
Mon, 2.13, 7:00 pm

This key work in the postwar 1940s film movement known as Italian Neo-Realism is a landmark of humanist filmmaking made on the streets of Rome. Director Vittorio De Sica’s poetic and heartbreaking tale focuses on a struggling father’s relationship with his young son and his desperate hunt for a stolen bicycle that is essential for his employment.

In Italian with English subtitles. (Italy 1948) 90 min.

The first critics’ poll by Sight and Sound in 1952 was a response to another survey of film directors that same year. 85 critics from the US and Europe were invited to participate, and 63 of them actually did. It’s fascinating that the top-voted film was only four years old. It’s also interesting that half of the dozen titles on the list (including tie votes) were silent films, but that historical period was still in the rear-view mirrors of many participants.

Sight and Sound – Greatest Films of All Time

‘Tis the season for “10-Best” lists, as virtually every critic and pundit in the country has assembled an annual honor roll of film releases from 2022. But the “top-ten” list that has captured the imagination of the international film community this particular year is one that appears only once a decade, assembled by Sight and Sound, the venerable periodical of film criticism published by the British Film Institute.

In 1952 Sight and Sound published their first poll of film critics, and these polls have continued every ten years since. Each invited participant submits a personal top-ten list of “The Greatest Films of All Time,” and over the years the list of participants has expanded dramatically. Each list can stand as a bellwether of trends and fashions in criticism. This short series highlights the number one film polled from every decade: Bicycle Thieves, Citizen Kane (multiple years), Vertigo, Jeanne Dielman.

Visit the BFI website to see the ranking of 250 films in the latest poll.

While it’s difficult to say what these results may ultimately prove, the ranking of film classics can present an irresistible exercise for cinephiles. If nothing else, film lists provide meaty topics for discussion and debate.


$12.50 – General
$9 – Senior • Youth • Matinée
$5 – CFI Members

Contact: 415-454-1222


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Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center

1118 Fourth Street, San Rafael, CA 94901

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