I have a thing for Scandinavian cinema.
Dryer's world is deeply, deeply religious. That much is obvious from even just one of his films. But it's only after watching three of his masterpieces that the frightful implications of that have become apparent to me.
The first half of the film picks up, thematically at least, where Dryer's own The Passion of Joan of Arc left off. Oppressive religious conviction is still responsible for unimaginable horrors. People (women) are still being burned at the stake for selling their…
There's a moment, near the end of the film, in which Ricci's son picks his father's hat up off the ground and dusts it off, eager to return it to his father's head and, in that small way, restore a bit of lost dignity.
That moment is one of the most devastatingly beautiful moments I've ever seen on film.
It's astonishing to me that Bicycle Thieves has left me with such a lingering, cautiously optimistic impression given its bleak and…