Bicycle Thieves (1948) Vittorio De Sica's classic story of a man in post-war Rome, desperate to support his family, who gets a lucky break when he is hired for a city job as a poster hanger, a job that requires him to provide his own bicycle...only for his bike to be stolen on his first day. Unable to afford a replacement, the man and his young son set off on a desperate search of the city. Checks all the Italian neorealism boxes: real people as actors, location rather than studio filming, natural lighting, limited camera movement, documentary style shots, cynical or pessimistic outlook, and focus on the lowest tiers of society. An engaging story, but definitely no Hollywood ending. 7.0/10 I was going to watch De Sica's Umberto D. afterward, but I can only handle so much soul-crushing Italian neorealism in a day, so... Sisters (1972) Brian De Palma has made some terrific movies--Scarface, The Untouchables, and Mission: Impossible come immediately to mind--but I've always enjoyed his Hitchcock-esque thrillers like Blow Out and Dressed to Kill. This one features Margot Kidder (years before Lois Lane) as a woman whose formerly conjoined twin may be committing murders. Jennifer Salt is a reporter who's witnessed part of one murder--no one believes her, of course--and is trying to uncover the truth. Hoo boy, does this one stink! A few flaws: it's unintentionally(?) funny in places, as it treads very close to parody; the protagonist plays no role in the resolution; the "twist" is not so clever; without going into spoilers, there are some, let's say, dishonest shots--shots that misdirect the viewer but that are not logically consistent with the film's central conceit; one sequence has a murder scene--a man has been repeatedly stabbed and slashed--thoroughly cleaned during the few minutes between when the murder occurs and the police, summoned by a witness, arrive. Absurd. Kidder is solid, though I'm not totally sold on the French-Canadian accent, and Charles Durning shows up as an inept private eye, but his comical character seems to be from another movie. Some prominent critics apparently consider this a passable thriller; I gotta disagree. Awful. 4.0/10.