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Le Poulet de grain

A Short film by Ugo Gregoretti

Produced by Cineriz, Arco Film

Production year : 1963

    Synopsis

    Gregoretti's Il Pollo Ruspante ("Free Range Chicken") shows an Italian middle class family with two children traveling via an autostrada (highway) to the site of a real-estate project where they could be interested in buying a detached house.

    While they do a laringotomized marketing executive presents a lecture to a businessmen's seminar, reciting passage after passage in an impersonal, mechanical tone through a vocalizing apparatus.

    The lecturer teaches the businessmen how to "stimulate consumption" via the substitution of small shops (where the customer was forced to talk to the shop-owner and so was allowed time to rationalize each buying action) with large supermarkets, where people could more easily give over to their instincts, grabbing frivolous or useless articles from the shelves on a whim due to the delay of the moment of bill presentation and payment.

    The family visits a highway service station with an adjoining supermarket and restaurant. In the supermarket the children clamor to have candies and toys bought for them and the parents give in for fear of "letting people think they're poor"; then they all sit down to consume a drab standardized meal where the father can't convince the waitress to bring him "just one egg" (since all the portions must contain two) and has to explain his children the difference between battery-bred chicken and free ranging ones (in itself a metaphor of regimented urban life compared to the rougher, but more free, rural existence).

    The family finally reaches the development site where an enthusiastic real estate agent pressures them to reserve a yet-to-be-built house while telling off the warden (a southern Italian, representing the agricultural past of Italy) for having planted cabbages and other vegetables in a small patch of land, trampling over it and destroying the plants. The lecture goes on, in a harrowing enunciation of tricks and strategies to push consumerism to ever higher heights, all exemplified in corpore vivo by the family's odyssey. Finally, when in the evening the family is getting back to Milan, the father having decided against buying the house, a car accident befalls them, probably killing them all.

    The robot-voiced marketing executive concludes his exposition and is cheered by the businessmen' crowd, who congratulate him as they all leave the meeting room.

    Actors (4)

    Production and distribution (2)

    Executive Producers :

    Cineriz, Arco Film

    Full credits (3)

    Producers :

    Alberto Barsanti, Alfredo Bini, Angelo Rizzoli

    Director of Photography :

    Mario Bernardo

    Screenwriter :

    Ugo Gregoretti

    Technical details

    Short film

    Genres :

    Fiction

    Production language :

    Italian

    Coproducer countries :

    Italy, France

    Original French-language productions :

    Unknown

    Nationality :

    Minority French (Italy, France)

    Production year :

    1963

    Production formats :

    35mm

    Aspect ratio :

    1.85