This months review is about a simple romantic comedy from Italy called Pane e Tulipani (Bread and Tulips). The lead character is an Italian housewife named Rosalba who lives in Pescara with her two sons and her husband, Mimmo.
We first see the family on a vacation, visiting some ruins with a group of other tourists. Watching them, they seem to be like the average family might be: the father is loud and in charge, telling everyone what to do; the teenage sons are basically in their own little worlds, not wanting to listen to what anyone else is saying and acting like they don't really want to be there; the mother is trying to make sure everyone is safe and happy. We can soon see, however, that despite her constant smiles, Rosalba is not really happy. She seems worn out, used and neglected.
When the tour bus stops at a rest station, Rosalba accidentally drops an earing in the toilet of a restroom, and by the time she retrieves it, she finds the entire tour, including her family, have taken off again. When she finally manages to reach the rest of the family by phone, Mimmo is furious and starts yelling at her, blaming her for everything and telling her to stay there. You get the feeling this is the normal way their relationship works.
Rosalba and Grazia spending some time together as friends.
Disheartened, Rosalba sits on the steps outside the station, watching people. One bumbling woman catches her eye and imagination, and she gets a ride with the woman toward her home, planning to hitchhike her way back instead of waiting any longer to be rescued. Next car she gets in is being driven by a man going to Venice. She has never been to Venice, and decides maybe, since the family is on vacation already, she should visit it. As they pass the exit that goes to Pescara, Rosalba's eyes light up and smiles. She is tasting a bit of freedom and feeling rebellious.
After they arrive, she finds a small hotel to spend the night in, planning to just see a little of Venice then return home the next day. When she has dinner at the local restaurant, she meets the maitre d', Fernando, and they exchange some polite words, as she is still very shy about being out on her own alone. She is terrified yet thrilled at having her own adventure, without the rest of the family.
Not everything is good, however. She calls her husband and gets yelled at again. The hotel she is in is also closing, with the night she is there being the last night it will be open.
The film gives us a look at these simple lives in Italy, with people finding their own ways.
Rosalba spends the next day site-seeing, enjoying the wonders of Venice, even writing a postcard home. She is so caught up in it, however, that she misses the evening train back to Pescara, and now she has a problem. She has little money left, since all she had to start with was what remained of her vacation spending money, and she also has no place to stay now. She goes back to the restaurant for dinner, then asks Fernando where she might find a place to stay with the little money she has left. He says there is no place available for what she has, but he does have some space in a room in his apartment, and so he sets her up there for the night.
The next day, Rosalba awakens to a table set with breakfast and a note from Fernando, asking her to leave the keys in the post box. By now, she is feeling more confident with her ability to handle things as she heads to the train station.
Venice has trapped her with its charms, though, and she finds herself accepting a "Help Wanted" position in a florist shop. Now with an income, she returns at night to the apartment, meets another of tenants, Grazia, and Fernando moves her into another room where she can stay for a longer amount of time. Rosalba is on her own vacation... from her family.
Rosalba sneaking away while Constantino is on the phone with his mother.
Soon she is making a place for herself in the others' lives and, at the risk of sounding cliche, finding herself again. But while things are going well for her, things at home are not good. We learn now that Mimmo has a mistress, and has had her for a few years. No one else in the house will do any cleaning or take care of things. Mimmo, desperate to have things back to the way they were, hires a plumber, Costantino, (who is an avid fan of detective novels) to act as a private investigator to track down his wife. Mimmo is too cheap to hire a real detective.
Surprisingly, Costantino manages to find Rosalba after he posts pictures of her everywhere. The pictures get the attention of Fernando, who is now worried about what kind of person has brought into this life if she is being pursued by a detective. Rosalba explains, then confronts Costantino.
As it should be for a comedy, every character is slightly odd in their own ways while still having an endearing charm. No one, with perhaps the exception of Mimmo (who is essentially the villain of the movie), seems really to be pushing events in any direction; they just happen, as does life. Fernando and Rosalba learn more and more about each other, and suddenly find themselves in love, yet not completely ready to admit that. Only when Rosalba leaves Venice (having been found and admonished by Mimmo's mistress for "abandoning" her family) do they fully understand what they have found.
Fernando and Rosalba, realizing how much fun they have together.
The film gives us a look at these simple lives in Italy, with people finding their own ways. There are plenty of humorous scenes, including some rather odd ones when Rosalba dreams.
One of the most touching scenes for me is when we first see how lost Fernando is without Rosalba. He is sitting at his kitchen table with a vase of tulips on it (Rosalba brought fresh flowers home each day from the florist). As we watch, one of the petals peels off and thumps to the table, as if the flowers are also dying slowly without her. In a later scene, we see Fernando at the same table, but now, all the pedals of the tulips have fallen except one, and the fallen ones have been collected in a bowl on the table. It is both sad and funny at the same time.
Pane e Tulipani is a beautifully done film, full of heart and humour along with a touch of sadness. Everyone at times wonders how else their life could be, but few actually get a chance to "go on holiday" to learn. I would definitely recommend this movie to anyone.PT
|At The Cinema - Pane e Tulipani - Bread and Tulips|
|All images are copyright Istituto Luce, Rai Cinemafiction, Amka Films Productions, Monogatari, Televisione Svizzera Italiana (TSI)|
All images are Copyright - CC BY-SA (Creative Commons Share Alike) by their respective owners, except for Petey, which is Public Domain (PD) or unless otherwise noted.
|Letter From The Editor - Globalization|
|Speaking with Aliens|
|Celebrations - Esala Perahera - The Festival of the Tooth|
|Language Conflicts - Bokmål vs. Nynorsk|
|At the Cinema - Pane e Tulipani - Bread and Tulips|
|Revisited - Words Which Have Changed Their Meaning|
|Languages in Peril - Keeping Up With The Kartvelians|
|Where Are You?|
|Sections - Reviews|
|Word on the Streets - Indonesian Innovators|
|GlobTech - Google Translate Section|
Find previous issues in the archives.
Letter From The Editor - No Politics • Make Your Own Language Group • A History of Research in Study Abroad • Parrot Time on Patreon • Languages in Peril - Sayonara, Ainu • At the Cinema - La Coppia dei Campioni • Where Are You? • Book Look - The Bible of the Language Learners and Polyglots • Basic Guide to Romanian • At A Glance
Letter From The Editor - Hope and Failing • Six Ways To Choose Which Languages To Learn • Learning Spanish - The trials, the tribulations and one triumphant learning hack • At the Cinema - The Last King (Birkebeinerne) • Celebrations - Birkebeinerrennet • Where Are You? • Book Look - Langenscheidt Dictionaries • Basic Guide to Swedish • At A Glance
Letter From The Editor - Culture and Language, Again • Learning A Language Is Learning Its Culture • Revisited - Early Bardic Literature in Ireland • Languages in Peril - Save Medan Hokkien! • In Others' Words - Ulrike and Peter Rettig • At the Cinema - Monster Hunt • Where Are You? • Book Look - Language Alter Ego • Basic Guide to Italian • At A Glance
Letter From The Editor - A Kind Word • Language and Power: The Hidden Struggle • 4 Ways To Learn Through Reading • Language Learning is for everyone! • Languages in Peril - The Decline of Sicilian • At the Cinema - The Host • Where Are You? • Book Look - Italian Short Stories for Beginners • Basic Guide to Hungarian • At A Glance
Letter From The Editor - Making it Happen • Motivation - Expressing oneself and the expression of oneself in language learning • Motivation Killers in Learning a Language • Mixing Languages and Relationships • In Others' Words - Brian Powers • At the Cinema - Cutting Room Floor • Languages in Peril - Cyprus' Language Revival Approach Problem • Where Are You? • At A Glance
Letter From The Editor - The Importance of Travel • Broadening The Mind Travels The World • The Secret Life of Diacritics • There Are No Wrong And Right Gestures, Only Cultural Differences • Google Translate Exposed: - The Truth Behind Everyone's Favorite Translator • At the Cinema - Queen • Book Look - The A to Z of Learning German • Where Are You? • Basic Guide to Papiamentu • At A Glance
Letter From The Editor - Free Things • The Cost of Free Language Resources • Review of Polyglot Workshops: Brazil • Easier Way to Learn Languages Fast • Dream, decide, do - tips from a polyglot • At the Cinema - Cambio de Ruta • Languages in Peril - Talysh • Where Are You? • App Rev - Tandem • Book Look - Language Master Key • At A Glance
Letter From The Editor - Studying in Summer • Polyglot Events All Around The World - You Are Not Alone • Playing Games with Language • Spanish E-training – The 'Big Bang' Investment • Can a Language Die? • At the Cinema - La Casa del Fin de los Tiempos • Languages in Peril - Scottish Gaelic • Words in Your Mouth - Apple • Celebrations - Nag Panchami • Where Are You? • Book Look - Fluency Made Achievable: The Fluent Guide to Core Language Skills • At A Glance
Letter From The Editor - Sounds Like • How Do You Say It? - A look at sound notation systems • Of Pidgins and Creoles - A look at how some languages are born • Who Are You To Learn A Language? • At the Cinema - Dil Chahta Hai • Languages in Peril - Yumans on the Edge • Words in Your Mouth - Egg • Where Are You? • Book Look
Letter From The Editor - Breaking with Tradition • Are You Wasting Your Money on Language Classes? • Chatting in Languages Online - Part 2: Voice Chats • Why English Is Different Than Any Other Language • The Digital Language Collective • At the Cinema - Viva La Libertà • Languages in Peril - The Tribes of the Tamil-Kannada • Words in Your Mouth - Rice • Where Are You? • Book Look
Letter From The Editor - Thirteen • Chatting in Languages Online - Part 1: Text Chats • Why Do People Learn Languages? • The Question Of Practice - An International Language Is Possible • At the Cinema - Chinese Puzzle • Celebrations - Fastelavn • Words in Your Mouth - Cheese • Where Are You? • Book Look
Letter From The Editor - Over Time • Which Language Is...? • The Ultimate Fate of Language Learning • 5 Funny Words In Afrikaans From My Perspective • At the Cinema - Everybody's Famous! • Word on the Streets - Why Writers are Important • Words in Your Mouth - Milk • Where Are You? • Book Look
Letter From The Editor - World Ambassadors • Coming Home to Faroese - The Why and How of Learning a Small Language • Danish and Faroese: A Biography • At the Cinema - Ludo • Basic Guide to Faroese • Celebrations - The Faroese Festival Summer • Revisted - The Faroe Islands • Word on the Streets - Famous Faroe Islanders • Where Are You? • The Grind: Why the Faroese Hunt Whales • The Legend of the Scottish Princess • Faroese Ballads - Nornagest Ríma and Ormurin Langi
Letter From The Editor - Expansion • Religion in Culture • Languages in Peril - Decline of the Gallo-Italics • Language Learning and Translation • Word on the Streets - Italian Greats • Book Look • At the Cinema - Xingu • Celebrations - Hangul Day • Where Are You? • Words in Your Mouth - Bread
Letter From The Editor - Tracing Words • Constructed Languages - Making It All Up • Language Conflicts - Flemish vs. Walloon • Rohonc Codex - Hungarian Enigma • At the Cinema - Il Comandante e la Cicogna - Garibaldi's Lovers • Where Are You? • Words in Your Mouth - Sausage • Book Look • GlobTech - Using Locale
Letter From The Editor - Globalization • Speaking with Aliens • Celebrations - Esala Perahera - The Festival of the Tooth • Language Conflicts - Bokmål vs. Nynorsk • At the Cinema - Pane e Tulipani - Bread and Tulips • Revisited - Words Which Have Changed Their Meaning • Languages in Peril - Keeping Up With The Kartvelians • Where Are You? • Sections - Reviews • Word on the Streets - Indonesian Innovators • GlobTech - Google Translate Section
Letter From The Editor - The Highlander Condition • When Languages Meet • At the Cinema - Mal Día Para Pescar - Bad Day to Go Fishing • Celebrations - Tanabata - The Star Festival • Languages in Peril - The Romanian Relatives • Revisited - Words Made By Great Writers • Where Are You? • Language Learning Methods - Immersion • Sections - Links
Letter From The Editor - Price of Fame • Liber Linteus - Mummified Language • Pencak Silat • At the Cinema - Bombay • Celebrations - Inti Raymi - Festival of the Sun • Cracking the Code • Languages in Peril - The Chibchan Family • Revisited - Words From The Names Of Animals • Word on the Streets - Great German Authors • Where Are You? • Language Learning Methods - Internet • Sections - Neighborhood
Letter From The Editor - Why Polynesian? • Rongorongo - Island Chants • Otto Dempwolff - Islands of Language • At the Cinema - Whale Rider • Celebrations - Pasifika Festival • Special Feature - Avoiuli • Languages in Peril - The Island Invasion • Revisited - Legends of Maui - Maui's Home • Word on the Streets - Malay Masters • Where Are You? • Revisited - Legends of Maui - Maui Snaring the Sun
Letter From The Editor - Linguist or Polyglot • The Phaistos Disc - Puzzle of Crete • Otto Jespersen - Progress of Language • At the Cinema - Kukushka - The Cuckoo • Celebrations - Carnival • Languages in Peril - The Salish Tragedy • Word on the Streets - Kannada Writers • Where Are You? • Revisited - Stories In The Names Of Places • New Souls • Language Learning Methods - Software • Sections - Parleremo YouTube
Letter From The Editor - Freaking Out • The Voynich Script - Cryptic Codex • Benjamin Whorf - Relativity of Language • At the Cinema - Lost in Translation • Languages in Peril - The Polish Connection • Word on the Streets - Romanian Poets • Where Are You? • Celebrations - Holi • A Language Dream • Revisited - Words From National Character • Language Learning Methods - Classes • Sections - Language Exchange
Letter From The Editor - Truth in Advertising • Linear A & Linear B - Lost Minoan • Edward Sapir - Patterns of Language • At the Cinema - Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner • Word on the Streets - Norwegian Notables • Where Are You? • Celebrations - Valentine's Day • Languages in Peril - The Rhaeto-Romance Trio • Revisited - Proverbs • Linguistics Love Song • Language Learning Methods - Books • Sections - Recordings
Letter From The Editor - A New Parrot Time • The Rosetta Stone - Triple Cypher • Ferdinand de Saussure - Signs of Language • At the Cinema - L'auberge Espagnole • Languages in Peril - The Finno-Ugrics • Word on the Streets - The Russian Zone • Where Are You? • Celebrations - Day of the Dead • Revisited - Slang • We Are The Linguists • Language Learning Methods - Audio • Sections - Journals
Subscribe to Parrot Time!