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Monthly Archives: January 2015

Movie of the Day: Volere Volare (1991)

There are some movies that are so abstract and off-kilter that you want to like them just on sheer audacity. Sometimes that is true even when the film has you scratching your head. Volere Volare, is a bawdy confection of styles; animation, slapstick, bizarre sound effects and the kind of bizarre otherworldliness that Tex Avery perfected. Yet, for a film with so much trickery, you understand that the filmmaker is walking a very fine line, cross that line and your movie goes over the edge and tries our patience.

Volere Volare is the work of a director named Maurizio Nichetti whose previous work I am not familiar with. What I learned about his technique (from just this film) is that he seems to have a rye sense of humor and a knack for defying all logic to make his comedy truly bizarre.

Nichetti stars as a character named Maurizio who works as a sound effects artist for classic cartoons. His perverted brother is a fellow sound engineer who hires women to provide the moans and groans for porn films. This alone could have made for a very wicked comedy by itself but once the idea is introduced, Nichetti doesn’t do anything with it.

Instead he introduces us to another element that could have made an entire movie. We meet a prostitute named Martina who specializes in very weird clients who get to play out their sexual fantasies even if they don’t always fit the classic definition of erotic (some have to be seen to be believed).

Up until this point Nichetti seems to be setting the elements of a great comedy in motion. We wait to see how he will tie these three characters together but instead he throws in a very strange development, which trashes the second half of the movie. Maurizio begins to exhibit signs of turning into an animated version of himself and, eventually, he does. Unfortunately, he does so just as he is about to have sex with Martina. This is an interesting idea as the springboard for another comedy but Nichetti uses that as his climax and we sense an opportunity lost.

My affection for bawdy comedy kept me confident with what worked in `Volare Volere’ but I sensed that he didn’t have a direction in mind. This is a movie all the pieces in place with a director who hasn’t supplied himself with a direction in which to carry them. The movie doesn’t end, it just kind of peters out. Volere Volare, alas, is one of those movies that leaves you saying “Well . . . okay then.”

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