Mariko from Los Angeles made a curly request: Italian Cinema, specifically Neorealism, and I’ll be honest, I had no idea what this meant, so I did a little research before I went. The first place we all turn to in moments like these is of course is Wikipedia, who had this to say:
Italian Neorealism (Italian: Neorrealismo) is a national film movement characterized by stories set amongst the poor and the working class, filmed on location, frequently using non-professional actors. Italian Neorealist films mostly contend with the difficult economic and moral conditions of post-World War II Italy, representing changes in the Italian psyche and conditions of everyday life, including poverty, oppression, injustice and desperation.
My first thought was to visit some locations in Rome that these films had been made in, but once I arrived in Rome, there were regular demonstrations and public speaking events held by the Communist Party. I took some interesting photos of flags and protestors, but the one shot that struck me was the bored policemen waiting around the edges of the demonstration. These were clearly weekly events and nothing really happened that they had to worry about, but their presence was required anyway.
One photo struck me as perfect, and all I had to do was play with the image to supersaturate the blacks and give them the wonderful glowing faces reminiscent of films like “The Bicycle Thieves”, and bit of out of focus neorealist typography and bingo, I had a great film still, circa 2012. Italy may well be heading into difficult economic and moral conditions once more and these men were a part of that on this day.