The Hawks and the Sparrows (Italian: Uccellacci e uccellini, literally Bad Birds and Little Birds) is a 1966 Italian film directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini. It was entered into the 1966 Cannes Film Festival.
The movie is a post-neorealist story about Totò, the beloved stone-faced clown of Italian folk-stories.
Originally Uccellacci e Uccellini, The Hawks and the Sparrows was adapted by director Pier Paolo Pasolini from his own novel. Italian comedian Toto plays a dual role, as “himself” and 12th century monk Brother Ciccillo. In modern times, Toto and his son Ninetto Davoli come across a talking crow who insists upon asking them where they’re going. The answer, it turns out, is eight centuries into the past, where Toto and Davoli become monks, employed by Francis of Assisi to convert the birds of the world to Christianity. Unfortunately, every sparrow that they win over to God is devoured by a hawk. Back in the present, Toto and Davoli face a similar situation when their landlord threatens them with eviction. After various and sundry misadventures, the two human protagonists, growing weary of the philosophical crow’s loquaciousness, eat the bird and move on, prepared to face whatever life brings them without the “help” of their feathered friend. The symbolism in The Hawks and the Sparrows is so obvious as to be funny, which was Pasolini’s intention all along.
Hal Erickson Continue reading
Jessye is a young and modern Chinese woman who works for the national tourism office in China. She is sent to a small village in southern Italy to investigate the touristic potential of the region for the booming Chinese tourism industry. Her only contact initially is Franco, a solitary farmer who lives with his animals in the countryside and rents his rooms. In the village she also meets Salvatore, who owns the village pub and dreams of a modern lifestyle. Through these and other people of the region Jessye starts to learn more about the local traditions and their endangered Greek language that now have to face the invasion of the present-day expansionist tourism industry.
Set over the course of a weekend tournament for chess software programmers thirty-some years ago, Computer Chess transports viewers to a nostalgic moment when the contest between technology and the human spirit seemed a little more up for grabs. We get to know the eccentric geniuses possessed of the vision to teach a metal box to defeat man, literally, at his own game, laying the groundwork for artificial intelligence as we know it and will come to know it in the future. Continue reading
20th Century-Fox evidently adored “triangle” comedies like Wife, Husband and Friend; apparently so did Loretta Young, who appeared in most of these films. Young plays the wife of businessman Warner Baxter, while “friend” Cesar Romero is an amorous singing teacher who convinces Young that she has a future in opera. To show up his wife, Baxter takes lessons from diva Binnie Barnes–and as it turns out, he’s the one with the ideal operatic voice. The romantic quadrangle is resolved when Baxter makes a disastrous stage debut, whereupon Romero and Barnes exit and Baxter and Young realize the error of their ways. Wife, Husband and Friend was remade in 1949 as Everybody Does It, with Paul Douglas (of all people) as the would-be Caruso. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Continue reading
A post-WWII romantic comedy that explores the effects of the war on American marriage, this film stars Fred MacMurray and Paulette Goddard as Peter and Mary Morley, a pair of constantly fighting attorneys. They are on the verge of breaking up their marriage when the war breaks out. Mary goes into the Women’s Army Corps, and when she returns after the war, she’s no longer sure if she wants a divorce. In her absence, however, Peter has hooked up with Gloria Fay (Arleen Whelan), who demands that he sign the divorce papers. In turn, Jack Lindsay (MacDonald Carey, one of Peter’s clients, has fallen for Mary, but he doesn’t want to move in with her until the divorce is official. ~ Michael Betzold, All Movie Guide Continue reading
Mommy, I’m scared
What’s a human anyway…
This is the question the film explores. Through the streets of Istanbul, echoing with seagull cries and boat whistles, through the people in their homes who, scream, shoulder to shoulder, back to back, lip to lip, hand in hand, fist to fist, eye to eye, cheek to cheek: Ali and his father Rasih… Neriman the tailor and her son Keten… Ipek with her baby in her belly… The doorman Riza, his wife Selvi and their son Cetin… The neighborhood butcher, Kemal… Neriman’s dog, Cakir. Ipek’s gymnast roommate Umit… Ex-boxer Aytekin and his friend Zambak… Continue reading
Cleaners, emigrants from all over the world, work in night shift at studio sound stages where Italian soap operas are filmed. Once they find unlocked one of the doors to rooms where cameras and shooting equipment is stored. And Hindu Dilip stumbles on a great idea: to film his friend’s wedding ceremony as a gift to him. Quite soon this idea becomes the second source of income for the whole shift team of cleaners and changes their lives forever. After many ceremonies and guest nights they decide to use the empty sound stages at night to film the real stories of real people. The TV «soap» during the day and the real life stories at night… A small screw in the huge television machine. But how long will it last?