Marco Ferreri

Sog.: from the novel Pobre, paralítico y muerto (1960) by Rafael Azcona. Scen.: Marco Ferreri, Rafael Azcona. F.: Juan Julio Baena. M.: Pedro del Rey. Scgf.: Enrique Alarcón. Mus.: Miguel Asins Arbó. Int.: José Isbert (Don Anselmo Proharán), Pedro Porcel (Carlos Proharán), José Luis López Vázquez (Alvarito), María Luisa Ponte (Matilde), Antonio Gavilán (Don Hilario), Chus Lampreave (Yolanda), Antonio Riquelme, Carmen Santonja, María Isbert. Prod.: Pere Portabella per Portabella Film, Films 59. DCP. Bn.

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

Seen today El cochecito […] does not seem affected by the wear and tear of time: it seems just as fierce and tender, joyful and irreverent, intelligent and desperate as it did when it first appeared. What is undoubtedly clearer and more defined is its historical function. Similarly, its disruptive role is easier to comprehend, which Madrid’s most prudent critics attributed – and still attribute – to it in comparison with the stagnant Spanish cinema of the time. […] Ferreri is responsible […] for organically connecting and convincingly merging a hypothetical ‘liberation’ cinema (neorealism) with an instinctive and subtle poetics of ‘refusal’, splendidly linked to the Iberian tradition of ‘humour negro’. In addition to Ferreri, this process is also the handiwork of screenwriter Rafael Azcona (who would work alongside Ferreri on many of his best films), whose inventions are the basis of the ‘plot’ (but also the script and dialogue) of El cochecito: the story of an obsessively querulous octogenarian, Don Anselmo, who wants a motorised wheelchair after seeing some of his friends (paralyzed, crippled, disabled, etc.) using one, even though unlike them he can still perfectly well use his legs. He requests one in vain from his lawyer son with whom he lives, and so he poisons the whole family to be able to buy one. Ferreri’s ability is especially evident in the way he weaves the underlying para- dox of the plot into a neorealistic comedy… thereby transforming everything into a corrosive and scathing allegory, without the film’s story ever taking on a ‘high tone’, like a metaphorical discourse. Therefore it proceeds smoothly, with substantial and in many respects admirable continuity, as a monitored but delightful ‘sketch’. […] One of El cochecito’s greatest assets is that its allegorical significance is so dense that it offers different interpretations (which are not alternatives but supplement one another) with each subsequent viewing.

Lino Miccichè, Don Anselmo avvelena figli e nipoti per una carrozzella, “Avanti!”, 23 August 1978

Copy From