Tuesdays are the day I work at home until it's time to head out to film class. Every Tuesday I vow to get going early and every Tuesday I wake up at the same time as K., surf the internet for an hour longer than intended, and then rush to my office to catch the last hour of morning sunlight before moving everything to the kitchen table to catch the early afternoon sunlight. A couple of hours later, I curse my film course and the fact that I have to shower. I then dutifully shower, dink around until my hair dries, and then leave the house to watch a movie in which I'm not particularly interested. Today we're watching a film that I've seen before. The Thief belongs to an entire sub-genre in Russian and East European filmmaking that has me cursing the director of what I consider to be the most over-rated movie of all time: The Bicycle Thief for his (ab)use of a child for comic relief and heightened pathos. Strength, humanity, freshness, simplicity, blah, blah, blah. The Bicycle Thief has, in my opinion, given a whole generation of Russian and East European filmmakers license to make sentimental, pre-chewed-and-therefore-easy-to-digest, Disney-esque garbage featuring cute children. I blame The Bicycle Thief for Kolja and Burnt by the Sun. Admittedly, Burnt by the Sun suffers from other flaws for which De Sica cannot be held responsible, the blond girl, however, is his fault.

So, while I am not looking forward to watching today's movie, I am looking forward to the lecture on Thursday. Doctor S. is so good at placing a film in its proper context and pointing out what is interesting while foot-noting those aspects which are poorly executed and boring, that while I may never be able to love the film, I'll be able to admire it in the abstract. -Zh. (Edited on 24/3 because I confused even my editor).


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