L'ultima carrozzellai is a delightful story from the slow days of yore, back before propaganda was a thingii. It enjoys (and readily spreads the enjoyment) of the square, Roman, comforting and comfortable flow of a story told because it's a good storyiii, and because we're good together, and because all's well. Almost painfully counterdistinct from the volatile, vituperating flow of a spirit recounted because someone's trying to sell us some tupperware. It's like warm baking soda versus boiling vinegar, it's like olive oil versus oil of vitriol, it's outright impossible to miss. Even if one's trying, even if one's so inhabituated to the abrasive life in baths of aqua regia, even if one thinks he's managed to forget humanity -- nevertheless the simple presence, the unassuming display of the artifact pierces through all that nonsense like the fantasy of the holy cross supposedly piercing through the lures of the Enemy. Art works in fact exactly like religion's missrepresneted in the imagination to be working in fact yet never does, ain't that the bitch of all time.
Many lesser actors, and lesser writers, and lesser thinkers -- indeed many subhumans also -- have attempted over the ages the being Aldo Fabrizi. It didn't work out so well for them, which I suppose is a second reason to see this film, though perhaps persuasive for a different sort of viewer than the first. There's also a (relatively) young Anna Magnaniiv being thoroughly annoying and outright reprehensible, and not just "as a character", either. I can't imagine how Rossellini managed to not beat the shit out of her on a regular basis, for reals.
C'era 'na vorta tutto quer che c'era...———
- 1943, by Mario Mattoli, written by and acted by Aldo Fabrizi.
Very ineptly re-titled "The Last Wagon" for its limited English release notwithstanding a carrozzella's got about as much to do with a wagon as an American with a person. [↩]
- Very technically speaking Aldo Fabrizi is mostly a scion of the Italian Avanspettacolo, itself an... emanation of the fascists' notions of using the tax code to "shape" society (for "its better", of course). Something I'm sure you're well familiar with, not like the socialists won the war or anything. Right ?
Yet it's the fate of the world that early cancer looks a lot healthier than healthy tissue later on. [↩]
- Which, of course, means something else in that context. [↩]
- She's thirty-something, and quite a distance from the absolutely deligthful fifty-something in Mamma Roma. It could (rather, it should) be pointed out Anna Magnani's a rare case of one of those women that are at best insufferable in their youth, only to mature into an absolute delight as they age well out of what dour dorks misrepresent as "the window". How is it, anyway, that I'd buy Mamma Roma la fruttivendola all the wine she can drink any place or time she cares to drink it, yet I deem centottanta lire an indefensibly excessive outlay for Mary Dunchetti, canzonettista ? [↩]