Hawks And Sparrows (1966)

PIER PAOLO PASOLINI

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 , .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

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 and 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

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