Friday, December 11, 2009

Un pilota ritorna

[Lentäjän paluu] / [En flygares återkomst] / A Pilot Returns. IT 1942. PC: A.C.I. (Alleanza Cinematografica Italiana). D: Roberto Rossellini. SC – story: Tito Silvio Mursini (= Vittorio Mussolini) – manuscript: Michelangelo Antonioni, Rosario Leone, Margherita Maglione, Massimo Mida, Roberto Rossellini – dialogue: Ugo Betti, Gherardo Gherardi. DP: Vincenzo Seratrice. Aerial scenes cinematography: Crescenzo Gentili. AD: Franco Bartoli, Virgilio Marchi. M: Renzo Rossellini. S: Franco Robecchi. ED: Eraldo Da Roma. Military advisor: Maj. Filippo Masoero. Aerial advisor: capt. Aldo Moggi. CAST: Massimo Girotti (lt. Gino Rossati), Michela Belmonte (Anna), Gaetano Masier (lt. Trisotti), Elvira Betrone (Signora Rossati, Gino's mother), Nino Brondello (lt. Vittali), Piero Lulli (De Santis), Giovanni Valdambrini (doctor, Anna's father), Piero Palermini (young British officer), Jole Tinta (mother of the sick baby). Actual duration 85 min. Print: Cineteca Nazionale (Roma), by agreement with Ripley's Film. E-subtitles in Finnish by Lena Talvio. Viewed at Cinema Orion, Helsinki, 10 Dec 2009.

The first screening of this film in Finland. The print is good.

The film deals with Mussolini's invasion in Greece in October 1940.

1. Rossellini's second feature film, belonging to his military trilogy La nave bianca, Un pilota ritorna and L'uomo dalla croce, covering the navy, the air force, and the army.
2. Slightly more story-driven than La nave bianca.
3. The slight narrative is little more than a pretext to portray the state of war.
4. The film is official Fascist war propaganda, but it shows the distaste of the flyers for propaganda, and emphasizes the distress of the homeless and the victims more than the derring-do of the flyers.
5. There is a nominal love interest, but the film emphasizes the gravity of the protagonists. Facing death and responsibility for others dying and wounded they have little energy for romance.
6. Massimo Girotti is quite good as the serious flyer who does what is expected of him but could hardly be less excited about the official causes. His final enigmatic expression is memorable.
7. There are some good Rossellinian sequences: a) the sequence at the well with the long queues, b) the sequence of the amputation of a soldier's leg, c) the sequence of the refugees at the bridge which is blown up by the bomber.
8. There is a lot of aerial footage which gives the film an interesting and different look.
9. There are also many montages with newspaper headlines to cover the progress of the war campaign.
10. As Rossellini scholars have noticed, there are indeed some aspects of ellipse and anti-narrativity here, unfinished business, waiting, and deconstructing classical storytelling.

No comments: