Friday, March 18, 2011

Robinet Aviatore - 1911

Country: Italy
Language: Italian
Robinet, the lead in this Italian slapstick comedy, wants to be an aviator in the worst way, and this being an Italian slapstick, that's how he does it. Italian slapstick in this period was absolutely bone-breaking, so much so that it makes Keystone slapstick look like drawing-room comedy by contrast.
Although the course of this comedy is not terribly surprising -- Robinet gets in the air and causes general destruction, mostly by knocking the tops off tall buildings -- the design of his aircraft is particularly amusing. It resembles a giant sturgeon with a forward propeller and one on top -- an auto-gyro of some sort -- with wings and, of course, a jaw hinged to open and close constantly, suggesting, perhaps a crocodile. At five minutes it is no long enough to get tiresome and you should find it tolerably amusing for that length of time.

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