THE ICICLE THIEF
DIRECTOR: Maurizio Nichetti
ITALY 1990
WITH:    Heidi Komarek, Carlina Torta, Massimo Sacilotto, Claudio Fava, Lella Costa
CINEMATOGRAPHY:    Mario Battistoni
MUSIC:    Manuel de Sica, who just happens to be the son of the original man De Sica.... the lyrics are better than Weird Al's ...
ONE WORD: Children running a muck with props.


Subtitle this film COMEDY, ITALIAN SOAP OPERA STYLE ... and be ready to go nuts.

If you saw, in the mid seventies a film called "ALLEGRO NON TROPPO", and enjoyed it, this one is for you. ALLEGRO NON TROPPO was the Italian version of FANTASIA
done by Bruno Barreto. It had seven cartoon sketches, not all for children either, set up to several pieces of classical music. Where FANTASIA was a bit showy and cute,   ALLEGRO was actually a bit more serious and at the same time a bit deeper in its themes. It was not a typical Walt Disney film where life isn't life, and all the endings are so nice a la Moliere. In between the cartoon sketches there were a series of theatrical bits with an orchestra of old ladies with typical Italian satiric gags. The main character of these skits was its actor Maurizio Nichetti, playing the part of the cartoonist having to slave away to create these visual extravaganzas. Both Barreto and Nichetti are good friends from way back and have grown up in the arena of television commercials. Barreto has gone 'serious'.... and Nichetti went nuts,... the ICICLE THIEF is an example of what one comedian can get caught up in,... gags,... script problems,... you name it.

With a plain story, somewhat taken from the famous post war (WW2) film called The Bicycle Thief (Vittorio de Sica), about an out of work man and his wife who is trying to make it as a cabaret singer with two other ladies. In between, a child of about one year old, almost always steals the lens with his typical curiosity. Where BICYCLE was a seriously political film which put down the fascist government, and all forms of corruption, ICICLE spends its time just simply trying to catch up with the mis-adventures which are always taking place a step ahead of the director. What you get is a crazy Italian soap opera that gets inter twined so much that you wonder what is going to happen. Add Nichetti , trying so hard to make sure his characters follow the script and end up in the correct place, a misplaced model that only speaks English (relief for all of us bad subtitle readers.,.) and you
have something similar to the old FIRESIGN THEATRE albums. Several stories in search of a title, or another story.

It is funny, if you are not too keen on the insulting TV laugh track, and you appreciate gag comedy. It has several funny commercial products send ups and in the end it accidentally sends those send ups all to hell.

It is one of those films that is best ... enjoyed ... and not described. It is about so many things as it  about nothing, and the best thing I can tell you about its craziness is watching the kids in the film ... it's what it really is about, you get the feeling ... just watching things happen. And sometimes they are ... but you remember them!

Very nice and fun film to watch. What it may lack here and there of this and that, it makes up for it in enthusiasm and surprises!

4 GIBLOONS

 

   

      

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