Shoot Loud, Louder…I Don’t Understand (1966)

SHOOT LOUD, LOUDER…I DON’T UNDERSTAND (1966)
aka Spara forte, piu forte, non capisco
Article 1808 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 2-25-2006
Posting Date: 7-25-2006
Directed by Eduardo De Filippo
Featuring Marcello Mastrioianni, Raquel Welch, Guido Alberti

An artist witnesses the murder of a gangster, but begins to wonder whether what he saw was true or a dream.

Whether this movie can actually be classified as fantasy or not is the first question to address here; I have at least one source that classifies it as such. To some extent, it is about fantasy; we have a man who has strange dreams, and then isn’t quite sure whether he was dreaming. Some of the elements of his life are certainly bizarre; his mad uncle only communicates with fireworks (and the artist understands him), and the girl of his dreams (or is she real?) keeps dumplings in an oven in her van. I actually like the central idea here, but I’m far less taken with the way this movie handles it, or at least the dubbed version I saw. The movie is frantic, shrill and annoying most of the time; it feels something like having a fever dream while people in the next apartment are having a screaming argument, and the feeling is neither pleasant nor fun. Nonetheless, Marcello Mastrioianni does a very good job in a strange role, but it’s the mad uncle who steals the movie (played by Eduardo De Filippo, the director). The best scene comes near the end, and involves a rain of wooden chairs from the sky. The curious may want to check it out, but it’s certainly not as much fun as it sounds.

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