Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Archival Bicycles

From The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (Vittorio De Sica 1971)


Flashback with bicycle and plus fours

Away from the estate (bad news activates the plot)

I haven't seen Vittorio DeSica's The Garden of the Finzi-Continis in over ten years. What I remember about the film (aside from its grim ending) is the opening sequence following a group of youthful cyclists, in tennis whites, on their way to a match at the Finzi-Contini family estate.

On second viewing, beyond the opening sequence, The Garden of the Finzi-Continis loses dramatic momentum (bad things happen and than it ends). As it were, the film starts to feel more like a product of 1970s (synth-dirge soundtrack and meaningful zoom shots of lens flared foliage--think Don't Look Now or Days of Heaven). But I still recommend Finzi for its ten minute, pre-War II story world populated w/beautiful people, roadster style bicycles, leather satchels, wooden tennis racquets and large breed dogs.

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