VISA & MAGAZINE Poetic and necessary history of honor, partisans and seaplanes

saw revised red pig

from Andrea Minchella


PORCO ROSSO, by Hayao Miyazaki (Kurenai No Buta, Japan 1992, 92 min.)

At the cinema until August 7th. Then go and find it because it is really worth witnessing a declaration of love as original as it is poetic by the Japanese legend of animation towards our country and the best part of it. Although made in 1992 and distributed in Italy only in 2010, “Porco Rosso” is one of those projects that breaks away from the era in which it was packaged to become a universal storyfresh and powerfully evocative.

Miyazaki grapples with Italy between the two wars. He decides to set his story of him in a country as beautiful as it is tormented by the increasingly rampant fascist party. The protagonist of the story is Marco Pagot, a pilot of the Italian Air Force who has a bad accident during the First World War and mysteriously takes on the appearance of a pig. From that moment on he decides to remain a pilot but to hunt down the many air pirates that infest the Adriatic Sea. The seaplane of him, a Savoia S.21 (which recalls the seaplanes actually built by Siai Marchetti), it is colored red, hence the name of Porco Rosso.

Pagot, reminiscent of Humphrey Bogartboth for its angular character and for the inevitable raincoat, he often remembers his adventures as an Air Force pilot trying to understand if and when he had a poetic as well as supernatural vision of an endless line of many seaplanes that, flying over his aircraft , they seemed to travel an indefinite course towards infinity. Miyazaki making this magnificent sequence seems to want to celebrate the thousands of pilots who during the two wars sacrificed their lives becoming like a single stream of memories for all those who survived. This scene, silent and delicate, in which Marco Pagot, with the appearance of a man, flying over the void, sees above him that row made up of dots which, at a closer look, they become seaplanes and airplanes with different shapes and colors, it justifies the vision of the whole story.

“Porco Rosso” becomes a universal narrative of Italian war craftsmanship in the 1920s. Like the Piccolo family of Milan, who developed the Porco Rosso seaplane after Pagot had an accident due to the American Curtis, always in defense of the pirates of the Adriatic. At the Piccolo Pagot she meets Fio, a smart and capable girl, who decides, against Pagot’s will, to board the Red Pig to make sure that the work done on the seaplane, carried out by her, has been correct and well done. . So the path of the reserved pig rider is enriched with female presences that sweeten the whole story.

Gina, a beautiful woman who has always known Pagot, also provides the narrative with a feminine and romantic dose that transforms Pagot’s adventures. Gina, beautiful and mysterious, runs a refined hotel in the Adriatic Sea. All the scenography recreated by Miyazaki to set the Adriatic Sea and the islet on which the Adriano hotel is located very reminiscent of Lake Maggiore on which the prototypes of aircraft and seaplanes that were built in the nearby Caproni or Siai Marchetti warehouses have flown countless times. This denotes the peculiar and millimetric ability of the Japanese master to be able to reconstruct a world in which he decides to develop his story about him. I don’t know if an Italian would have potuto do better.

So “Porco Rosso” is a film which speaks, lightly but with poetry and sincerity, of resistance, honor and friendship. Only a genius like Miyazaki could decide to set his project in an Italy that was trying to oppose fascism, increasingly violent and widespread, which would have compromised its beauty and politics for a long time.



LEON, by Luc Besson (France 1994, 110/127/136 min.)

The love. The true one. What does not consider physicality. What is established between a child and an adult. The immense and melancholy love we live for our parents. Luc Besson, after four years from the masterpiece “Nikita” gives us this story that moves us because it tells something that, after all, we all live or have lived.

Jean Reno is gigantic but the real surprise is Natalie Portman who here describes in a surprising way the universal characteristics that a young actress must have. Perhaps the last true masterpiece of the French director.

seen revised red pig – MALPENSA24

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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