The Hawks and the Sparrows (Uccellacci e uccellini) Reviews
Written and directed in 1966 by Pier Paolo Pasolini, "Uccellacci and Uccellini" is one of those films that generate immediate division, there are no half terms. Particularly, I consider it as a special film, but that already shoots in ample start for my appreciation, for the respect and admiration that I feel for Italy, for its history in the cinema and by diverse actors, among them Totò Innocenti.
"Uccellacci e Uccellini" has all the key characteristics of the Neorealist style, and deals with Marxist concerns about poverty and class conflict, but without losing his humor, which, by the way, generates great power and importance of this work, Uniting political reflections, social construction and having as a midfield, humor, Pasolini achieves a comprehensive and active dialogue, places the viewer in a critical and reflective situation, delivers a work open to laughter, but not limited to that. To overcome the limits of a common or simplistic comedy, it was, but of what it necessary to count on the support of the Italian actor Totò Innocenti.
This was Totò Innocenti's last film. After the death of the actor, two other films were released, but in both productions, the filming took place long before "Uccellacci and Uccellini". Totò in 1966 was already more than a consecrated comedian, his figure was a mark and renowned of Italy, having the recognition of his work expanded to other countries and continents, it is not for nothing that he is part of a select group where the actors are present Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. We can see in Uccellacci and Uccellini a more restrained Totò, which generates a certain strangeness for those who already know it of previous works, much of this half disengaged, sometimes even plastered originate from the direction of Pasolini, who limited the improvisations, The game and even the face masks of the actor, requests that denied the characteristics that made Totò a celebrated comedian. It is necessary to understand that the requests of Pasolini were not ways to cut or to diminish the work of Totò, on the contrary, knowing the artistic quality of the comedian, Pasolini sought to present a punctual work and that dialogued with the neorealistas proposal of the film, besides being a Great opportunity that Pasolini offers to the great Totò.
In "Uccellacci and Uccellini" we have truth, naturalness and authenticity so well incorporated and structured that it is hard to believe in the possibility of comedy in the face of such harsh realities and of a world where people use the hardness of their lives as materiality for laughter . A particular work in his proposal and among many reasons, a rare work. The allegory created by Pasolini, unifies aspects of Marxist philosophical fable.
As in all fairy tales, there is a definite story in this film: the narrative pretext is given by the philosophical (Marxist) considerations of an old raven that approaches two men, father (Totò) and his son (Davoli). The crow seems to convince the two men, using his wisdom and his words, but the moment the problem of hunger appears, the "reasonable" man reveals himself, and Totò ends up eating the wise crow. The allegory presented is clear and well performed.
Regarding the neo-realist considerations presented in the film, I can categorize them through André Bazin, a French cinema theorist and critic, arguing that neorealism portrays: truth, naturalness, authenticity and is a cinema of duration. The necessary characteristics of neo-realist cinema include:
A defined social context; A sense of historical reality and immediacy; Political commitment to progressive social change; Authentic scenes and scenery with its location, as opposed to the artificial studio; A rejection of classic Hollywood styles; Extensive use of non-professional actors as much as possible; A documentary style of cinematography.
"Uccellacci and Uccellini" is reportedly the work that Pier Paolo Pasolini most loved, probably because it is the most complete synthesis of his artistic eclecticism. It is a work with great poetic power, from the beginning was the object of discussion and controversy. He got a special mention at the Cannes Film Festival and was awarded the silver prize.
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