Saturday 12 April 2014, 1.00am HKT
THIS week I’m taking a slightly different approach to unloading my temporary movie fetish and do you a single movie, one that makes an impression on me because of my tenuous link with Italy.
Le Quattro Giornate di Napoli (1962)
The Four Days of Naples (English dubbed version)
MGM (in USA), Titan (in Italy), black & white, 2 hours 4 mins
The plot seems to me:
Like most spaghetti films, you’ve got to think quite a bit to fathom out if there IS a plot.
In 1943, occupying Germans force the townsfolk of Naples to work in slave camps, a fact which throws a monkey wrench into Axis cooperation. The Napoletanos have had enough of the crap, they snap, and tip over into open rebellion with the aid of the Resistenza Italiana. However, the rebels and the Resistenza aren’t making any headway against the Germans. The tide turns for the rebels when a bunch of cute-looking boys with fantastic cheekbones and clear complexion (from the local orphanage or something) joins the rebellion. The chicks who join in soon after are so fine too. A whole lot of very italianate patriotic weeping and sloganeering ensues among the rebels while the faffing around continues unabated. Amazingly, four days of this tiramisu tumult actually drove out the Germans. When everything settles down, Allied troops then conveniently turns up and the city is awarded a fantastic medal of valour.
The whole point of the movie:
Meals take prime precedence over any kind of rebellion or fighting. Respect your elders, but you don’t have to listen to them at any given time. You shunt from one position to the next so often and so much that your enemy just becomes completely nonplussed and incredulous at your unbelievable level of faffing around. This being Napoli, the home of another big Mafia group, you either bloody well snap at your enemy when you (get round to) doing your rebellion — or follow the traditional Mafia routine of slowly strangling your enemy to death down some alleyway. When your young men and women look absolutely cute and adorable, your Win Factor goes up several notches. Ugly people makes for ugly and longer-lasting fighting.
This is actually a rather realistic portrayal of how Italian generally fight against oppression. Those who don’t understand Italians (and therefore won’t understand this movie) will think this movie has got to be sh*tting them and looks more like an Italian version of Keystone Kops. The chicks are absolute babes, if you get my drift.
My private name for it:
“Now I Know Why They Want to Eff With Us”
No, these are NOT the rebels you’re looking for