L'aile ou la cuissei is quite excellent, as the vignette to the right might perhaps suggest.
Funes is generally regarded as "doing humor", but this is rank nonsense. Yes, he did the entire Traffic Cops of Saint Tropez made-for-TV stuff that's dubious, perhaps at best spritzii. Meanwhile he's done a number of absolutely excellent dramasiii, this one among them. That point culminant... how did it go ?
-J'ai essayé de t'en parler...
-Ca fait longtemps ?
-J'avais pris des cours de comédie... Mais t'as pas tellement apprécie.
-Tu avais choisi de rester avec moi.
-J‘ai monté ça.
-Et ça marche ?
-Tes histoires, ça les fait rire ?
-Moi, je prends ce seau et ouaf... Et ils vont rire ?
-Ben, c'est raté...
It's the stuff of legend, never in all of everywhere, Cervantes, Shakespeare and Racine y compris will you find better rendition of a gem of humanity. Actual, fundamental, essential, one of the things that make people. Different ones you will find, of course. Not better.iv
There's also significant historical interest towards this film, because it displays the magical quality of life that people (actual people, not the mob) enjoyed before the Leviathanesque abominations of the Western world entered their final, metastatic, present phase. As a for instance : the final dinner, at the Academy, shows proper waiters : one per seat. Because this is how life worked for longer than there existed "America" in the world : a man had his valet, to wait on him. So when he'd go eat somewhere he'd have his own waiter, see ? Like I use my girls when there's shitty service, exactly.
But then the ever jealous burgeoisie wanted to participate, as it always does. Yet ever rapacious as it is, didn't want to pay for it, or to create the job of it, or to generally - this is the problem with the burgeois, that they wish to swim without getting wet. They want to have sex without becoming pregnant and to be women while staying little girls and to get married without being married and to live without dying and to... it never fucken ends with these idiots.
So they made this atrocity where the inkeep kept a few servants that the aspiring "lords" of gutteral extraction might hire by the evening, and for a moment pretend that they're just like those "mean", those "evil", those terrorists that they were ever so desperately trying to copy, that they were - in the positive or in the negative - building their lives around. Nevermind that the relationship never formed - what relationships ? It's a relationship ?!
It's an important film for understanding what's being despised, and why exactly. Now that's comedy!———
- 1976, by Claude Zidi, with Louis de Funès and Coluche playing Claude Gensac. Also a very hot Ann Zacharias (pic from Nea, same year).
- Incidentally, you can not begin to imagine how blown away the waiters were at Buenos Aires' best restaurant when I had them half fill the wine glasses and added water. They didn't let it out much, being professionals, but it was a struggle for sure. And you'd have thought Veneta mostly moved here !? Weird. [↩]
- For the innocent of Grand Literature : a tragedy is when everyone dies. A comedy is when everyone laughs. A drama is any admixture. [↩]
- I have taken a liking for a certain general de San Martin, on account of the following quote :
De lo que mis granaderos son capaces, solo lo sé yo. Quien los iguale, habrá. Quien los exceda, no.