Archive for April 30th, 2014


 © 2014 by James Clark

      It’s a wedding reception out in the sticks (somewhat like that wedding party in Fellini’s La Strada). But we notice its far heavier acidic content, as compared with the child-like food-fight at the table where Gelsomina and Zampano relax a bit before once again putting their show on the road. A local woman has staged a quite startling invasion in the course of sending a message to one and all, a touch of theatre with no qualms about upstaging the principals. The happy complement of her entrance involves one male pig and two females, decked out in appropriate headgear, and she gets things rolling with, “Here come the brothers!” (The bride is from a farm.) She can barely keep from falling over from delight in her indiscretion, as she moves the animals toward the bridal party, amidst appreciative laughter from the guests. She refers to one of her companions as “Regina, the Pervert…If you only knew what she does!” The father of the bride stands up to deliver a seemingly heartfelt paean to the value of farming life, only to have the lady with the pigs call him a “hick,” which gets the company going on the speechmaker’s being out on bail. Someone asks her, “Why don’t you sing for us, a song from the heart?” perhaps with regard to re-establishing the moment of romance. She declares, as if emphasizing that it is her passionate nature which has brought about the creepiness wafting over the event, “When I sing, I sing with joy!” But, in going on to tell everyone that, “If you knew the whole story, it would ruin this celebration,” this disruptive entity alludes to a life of conflict unsuited for mainstream gratifications. She fires off a musical statement particularly unflattering to Carmine, the groom, whom she obviously has known for a long time; and the bride stands up and sings (in the impromptu operatic-rap at which the whole party seems to excel), “You sing and act so happily, but your heart’s bursting with rage…” To which (and to the charge that she’s jealous, being no longer the groom’s lover) the center of attention patronizingly addresses her, O Flower of Shit…” The bride is a frumpy blob with missing teeth and the groom resembles a weasel; but the invited intruder is a smartly turned out, no longer young but not yet old woman, with the kind of broad-faced handsomeness bringing to mind a dark, punchy, 40-ish version of Monica Vitti, who was radioactive at the time. However, on second thought, we should mention now that our protagonist needs no buoying by resembling a celebrity. She’s embodied by super-formidable, Anna Magnani, one of the most richly explosive presences in the history of cinema. (more…)

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