I have to say when Professor Herzog stated that the movie would be about a man trying to pay his rent, I thought the movie would be a drag. I was shocked when it finished because it actually caught my attention throughout the whole movie. You would think a character such as Umberto would be someone you would fall asleep watching but I think his character himself was the reason you had to keep watching. If you stopped watching for a minute you would miss one of his specific little details. I really loved Umberto’s relationship with his dog Flike. It really defines the statement “a dog is a man’s best friend”.

Maria the maid was also a great character. I loved how she handled her life so well even though she was pregnant and did not know the father of her child, she still went on with her daily life and worked hard at her job. Of course, I have to mention the coffee grinding scene. To be honest, when we had a class discussion about this scene, I did not realize she was crying and trying to close the door so know one would see her. I actually thought she was getting bored of grinding the coffee and she was just messing around with something in front of her for her own amusement.

It’s so weird how this film is so emotional yet I don’t remember seeing Umberto himself cry or show emotion. His facial expressions were very subtle. I thought he would be an innocent old man at first but then you see him faking his sickness to stay at the hospital. I actually did not understand the rosary concept. I had to look that up but I still don’t understand it quite fully. I do realize they are religious flowers or beads but what does that have to do with them getting to stay in the hospital a little longer?

This movie and the class itself helps me view movies in a different perspective. I view emotion’s differently now and I try to pick out the details of a scene itself instead of just viewing the movie as a whole. I can’t really explain what I mean by that. It’s how you learn how to do something differently. Especially after a class discussion of the movie, I think to myself “oh maybe I should have looked at the movie this way instead of that way”.

3 Responses to “Umberto!”

  1.   Amy Herzog Says:

    Great point about the use of emotion in the film– rather than watching an extreme emotional performance on screen, our own emotions are triggered by the subtle repression of emotion on screen. This will definitely be something we’ll see in Ozu this week.

    And BTW, expanding the way in which you see films is the main goal of the course, so I’m obviously thrilled to read this!!

  2.   jwolpoe Says:

    I think the rosary concept was about how the nuns would treat him more than anything else – if the nuns felt he was a member of the faith, they would quietly favor him and make it easier for him. While it was a charity hospital, it is not unreasonable to expect them to show favoritism to the people they care most about, and they’re going to care more for their own followers than other people taking up beds and money. The nun didn’t say anything when she gave him the rosary, but she smiled. And the other guy, the one who was used to taking advantage of the system, knew that they would be nicer and more amenable to staying longer if they like him better.

    I also loved the emotion on the screen – not overdone, but exactly the way real people are. Umberto’s emotions were completely realistic because that is how the character he was playing would act in the real world. He wouldn’t express too much emotion, but would keep it bundled up and close.

  3.   joerusso Says:

    By asking for the rosary beads it showed the nuns he was a religious man (whether he was or wasn’t we don’t know) and by asking for these he felt it would give him a better chance of being able to stay longer to get in the good graces of the nun, so that she would show some leniancy on him.

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