Earlier this week I started to watch Pasolini’s The Hawks and the Sparrows (Uccellacci e Uccellini), an allegorical 1966 film about a father and son who meet a talking crow. It was very interesting! Alas I was so sleepy that I paused it about a third of the way through and went to bed, and I don’t want to write much about it until I’ve seen the whole thing. In the meantime you should see the opening credits, which are incredibly simple, inventive, funny and utterly distinct.
The whole thing is very Pasolini. At the beginning of the movie the son dances with some boys outside of a grubby bar on the outskirts of Rome and runs off to visit his girlfriend, who is dressed like an angel for a pageant.
He meets up with his father again, they walk some more, and they meet a talking crow who says he’s left-wing. The crow joins them (although they refuse to say where they’re going) and explains that he comes from far away, that his country is Ideology, that he lives in “the capital, the city of the future, on Karl Marx Street, number seventy times seven,” all of which the father and son find very funny.
Later on the father is complaining about their poverty and the crow tells them they’re actually very lucky, they “walk like masters in the streets on the outskirts of the cities, and you enter the little cafés with the workers and the morning sun, and you kiss girls dressed as angels, and you discuss life and death with the words closest to hand, whereas I . . .” He’s a thoughtful crow. He’s portrayed by a well-trained actual crow, not a mechanical movie crow.
You might like it. I think I like it. I hope to find time to watch it again from the beginning and write more about it soon.