This is a great time for local fans of Italian neo-realism with the ongoing Film Society of Lincoln Center program (now through 11.25) at the Walter Reade, where one of the upcoming films is Vittorio DeSica‘s The Bicycle Thieves. As well as the recent (still current?) booking of DeSica’s The Bicycle Thief at the Lincoln Plaza.
I realize that Gina Lollobrigida first caught on in the early ’50s with two films (also included in the LCFS series) — Attention! Bandits! (’51) and Bread, Love and Dreams (’53). And I enjoyed her in Beat The Devil. But her legend has always rested upon that pagan-cheesecake dance sequence in King Vidor‘s Solomon and Sheba (1959), which is still fairly smoking even by today’s standards. It just hit me that this sequence could be read as a kind of summation of the erotic and atmospheric aspects of the Woodstock Film Festival, complete with thunder and rainshowers.