Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
Original title: Uccellacci e Uccellini
Alternate title: The Hawks And The Sparrows
Italy, 1966. Arco Film. Story and Screenplay by Pier Paolo Pasolini. Cinematography by Mario Bernardo, Tonino Delli Colli. Produced by Alfredo Bini. Music by Ennio Morricone. Production Design by Luigi Scaccianoce. Costume Design by Danilo Donati. Film Editing by Nino Baragli.
Pasolini lightens up a little in this charming comedy that takes Catholicism on with humour instead of trauma. Its picaresque narrative has father and son Totò and Ninetto Davoli as a sort of modern-day Quixote and Panza, hitting the road and making the acquaintance of a chatty, philosophical raven. The stories that the bird spins take them into flashbacks that include such odd delights as two monks (played by the leads) converting birds to Christianity. Pasolini is making statements about morality both in relation to and out of context with religion, but he does so in smooth, clever ways instead of hitting you over the head with didactic bitterness. The photography is beautiful, and the various flourishes of storytelling conceit (such as having the opening credits sung in full-blast Italian operatic style) are hilarious.
Cannes Film Festival: In Competition