CAPRICCIO ALL’ITALIANA (episodio Che cosa sono le nuvole?)

Pier Paolo Pasolini

Int. tit.: Caprice Italian Style. Sog., Scen.: Pier Paolo Pasolini. F.: Tonino Delli Colli. M.: Nino Baragli. Scgf.: Jurgen Henze. Mus.: Domenico Modugno, Pier Paolo Pasolini. Int.: Totò (Iago), Ninetto Davoli (Otello), Franco Franchi (Cassio), Ciccio Ingrassia (Roderigo), Laura Betti (Desdemona), Adriana Asti (Bianca), Carlo Pisacane (Brabanzio) Domenico Modugno (lo spazzino). Prod.: Dino De Laurentiis Cinematografica. 35mm. D.: 20’. Col.

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

The second part of Pasolini’s cinematographic work, which had begun with Edipo Re and Teorema, is increasingly philosophical and attracted to the negative. While writing ever more relevant essays and articles on the Italian reality of the Seventies, his films and poems seem to lose vitality. They are self-reflective works – he was the first to regretfully recognize the excessive vitalism of his ‘trilogy of life’. The short films are exceptions, in particular two episodes, La Terra vista dalla Luna and Che cosa sono le nuvole?, which reunites Totò and Ninetto Davoli and includes Franchi and Ingrassia, Laura Betti and Domenico Modugno, borrowing from a high tradition of theatre (Shakespeare) and low tradition (the opera dei pupi, street comedians, variety performance and songs). The result is simple and superb fun, harrowing poetry and radical intensity of thought. Men are together with puppets, good and evil are overlapped and confused, and the question about the clouds reveals the main concern: who are we? Where do we come from? The ending evokes the famous scene from Los olvidados, not such an unlikely pairing.

Goffredo Fofi

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