Ro.Go.Pa.G. (Rossellini, Godard, Pasolini, Gregoretti, 1963)

Ro.Go.Pa.G. is an anthology of 4 short novellas, not really united through any single subject, except – maybe (and that’s a big “maybe”) – some allusions into the end of the world theme. The title is formed from the beginning letters of the directors’ last names.

Virginity [Illibatezza] is a film by Roberto Rossellini. It’s about a stewardess whose exceptional beauty made one of the passengers fell badly in love with her. By discovering true origin of his passion, she manages to neutralize him with nobody getting hurt.

Frankly, I thought the story was not very good. It’s understandable, but that understanding is achieved mostly thanks to the intermission, where people were openly discussing character’s motives, – that probably seemed like a smart and ingenious device at the time; to me it seems weak, and the opposite of subtle. It’s also superficial: after the finale, my only thought was “hey, is this it?” Ultimately, though, it’s watchable.

The New World [Il nuovo mondo] is a film by Jean-Luc Godard. Its content evaporated from my memory 30 minutes after I watched it – there is no actual story, just a man and a woman in some sort of relationship, with hints at a nuclear blast that happened 120 kilometers above Paris. Completely meaningless and insignificant, like most of Goddard works.

Cottage Cheese [La ricotta] is a film by Pier Paolo Pasolini. As the story goes, the movie is being filmed, something based on the life of Jesus Christ, and the guy playing one of the bandits, that are to be crucified together with Christ, doesn’t have a lot of opportunities to eat, but then he manages to gorge a lot of different kinds of food, while other are watching him do it. Right before he’s about to say his only line, something happens to him.

Probably the most interesting film in the collection. It’s distinct, relatively interesting, and seems to have a message, although I wouldn’t know what it is. It doesn’t seem insignificant, quite the opposite – there is some power behind it. And, contrary to Pasolini’s reputation, it’s not dirty in any sense of the word.

The Chicken Breeding [Il pollo ruspante] is a film by Ugo Gregoretti. A family of four (a married couple and 2 of their children) visit some distant area looking to buy a land plot, but eventually figure out that they don’t have enough money. Their son talks only with advertisement catchphrases, and the universe of discourse in filled with crude hints at problems of the consumer society, which seems to be the whole point.

This one is kind of simplistic and overwhelming at the same time. Not exactly interesting. Best word for it would be – pretentious; it irritates more than it makes one think.

All in all, the quality of the collection is below average. There is way too much emptiness and pretence, while actual, sincere meaning is lacking. Might be recommended to the fans of cinema at best, and even to them – just to curtain the blank spots.

Time: 01:56:18
Released in: 1963
Directed by: Roberto Rossellini, Jean-Luc Godard, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Ugo Gregoretti
Written by: Jean-Luc Godard, Ugo Gregoretti, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Roberto Rossellini
Performed by: Rosanna Schiaffino, Bruce Balaban, Maria Pia Schiaffino, Jean-Marc Bory, Alexandra Stewart, Orson Welles, Mario Cipriani, Laura Betti, Edmonda Aldini, Ettore Garofolo, Ugo Tognazzi, Lisa Gastoni, Ricky Tognazzi, Antonella Taito
Entertaining quality4- out of 5
Art quality:  4- out of 5

IMDB page: link

(v. 4.8)
®shoomow, 2017 

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