The next meeting of UCL’s Italian Film Club will take place on Thursday 9 February with a screening of Fantozzi (1975). The film directed by Luciano Salce is based on two best-seller books published by Paolo Villaggio in the 1970s that have as a protagonist the stoical and unlucky low-level office worker Ragionier Ugo Fantozzi interpreted by Villaggio himself.
Accountant Ugo Fantozzi embodies every possible stereotype of the average middle-class Italian of the 1970s. Stuck in a frustrating job, exploited and made fun of by his coworkers, designated victim of his bosses, unhappy and disheartened family man hopelessly in love with the ‘belle’ of the office, he always seems to draw the shortest straw.
Despite the absence of an actual plot (the movie is in fact a sequence of short, self-contained episodes), Fantozzi is probably one of the last peaks of the Italian-style comedy. The general tone is much lighter if compared to classic examples of the genre and the emphasis on surreal events and
slapstick sketches is reminiscent of Buster Keaton, but nonetheless the satire on society and culture is still visible under the veil of farce.
The first of a long series of films of declining quality, Fantozzi made a strong impact on Italian language, comedy and society. Every single character, quotation and episode is well known in Italy and is often ‘recycled’ in everyday life, even after more than 35 years since its first appearance.
Please, note that the film will be in Italian with Italian subtitles only.
Hope to see you there!