How to Steal a Million


Starring Audrey Hepburn and Peter O’Toole, How to Steal a Million is another fun, witty movie. Hepburn plays the daughter of an art forger. When her home is broken into by O’Toole, her father and she fear that his forgeries will be revealed. Later they fear that a sculpture lent to a museum will be proven to be a fraud when it’s examined for insurance. Throughout the caper delights.

It’s a lighthearted romp with a clever final heist and a surprisingly moral end. It’s lots of fun and Hepburn and O’Toole are quite entertaining.

Bicycle Thieves

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I’ve heard that Bicycle Thief is a classic film but never saw it — till now. I got the DVD, and see that the title’s been correctly translated to Bicycle Thieves, which makes more sense. (Bravo, Criterion Collection!)

I wasn’t sure what I expected, but I didn’t expect the emotional power this simple movie packed.

In a nutshell, Bicycle Thieves shows the poverty of post-WWII Italy. Many men stand in line for job opportunities. Only a couple will get anything. Since he has a bicycle, Antonio Ricci is lucky enough to get a job putting up posters. He must have a bike. The first problem is that his bike has been pawned. It recoup it his wife Maria pawns the family’s sheets, sheets they got as wedding presents. Since this job will pay well and steadily and since there’s nothing else of value, pawning the sheets seems sensible. Though I did have a feeling of apprehension as soon as they got their money.

Antonio uses most of the money to recover his bike and starts work. As the title suggests it isn’t long before some ne’er-do-well, someone just as needy as Antonio steals the bike. The rest of the movie is the search for the thief and the bike. While it seems like little can be done with such a simple problem, director DeSica presents a journey through impoverished Rome that breaks your heart and shows you the self-absorbed rich, the dangers of pedophiles, the ties between a father and a son and the longing for better by people who’re more than willing to work for what they get.

The ending is particularly moving and well earned. The emotional journey we’re taken on is real. As a neo-realistic film Bicycle Thieves portrays life as it probably really was for many. I could definitely watch this again and again.

I Saw Sunday

Here’s a new meme: I Saw Sunday

So, what did you see this week?

One thing or a whole list! – Words or photos or both!

Share it here with us.

The Rules

1. Write your post on your blog and include a link back to I Saw Sunday.
2. Leave the link to your post in the Mr Linky widget so we can find you.
3. Leave a comment after linking so that I know you have been here.
4. Please be sure to visit the other participants and share what they saw.

I didn’t get to this last week, when I did see an interesting discussion on a French news show about women from the Ukraine who protest the inequity they see in French culture particularly with respect to the DSK affair. The women are scantily clad and what little they’re wearing is very sexy, the standard French maid get up. The discussion revolved around the ethics and effectiveness of using sex to get attention about women’s rights. The whole issue is intriguing and complex.

I hope I’m wrong, but I think I’ve seen the after effects of theft. My phone went missing on Wednesday and Friday my Nikon camera “walked off.” Neither item is at home or school. I hate to think anyone at school took it, but students have reported items stolen, I now found out. If I had known this was a problem, I’d have been more careful. I think they don’t want to admit such problems to the Americans as the Chinese lose face. I don’t care so much about the phone, but the camera. Quelle horreur! I love that camera and really am not in the mood to buy a new one. Then there’s that deep sinking feeling one gets when you’re the victim of a crime.

Another new thing I saw this week was my friend’s church. They have a service with lots of songs and PowerPoints. I was surprised that the former leader was from the U.K. and the new presiding elder seems to be from Scotland. I sort of assume that most Europeans have left Christianity. That’s the picture one gets from the BBC dramas. (I know TV shouldn’t be my main source.) It was an interesting experience, but just didn’t seem spiritual enough for me. The sermon with the PowerPoints reminded me too much of business and school. Still it was good to see another slice of Guangzhou.

“Slow down and take the time to really see. Take a moment to see what is going on around you right now, right where you are. You may be missing something wonderful.”
– J. Michael Thomas