Join 3,440 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Is Everything About Italy Felliniesque?
February 6, 2013 5:18 AM   Subscribe

A slight traffic jam in Naples, Italy.

At times I thought this was staged, but apparently it wasn't.
posted by Xurando (69 comments total) 46 users marked this as a favorite

 
[insert Nino Rota soundtrack here]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:26 AM on February 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


I was disappointed they didn't just pick up the car and carry it away.
posted by Debaser626 at 5:28 AM on February 6, 2013 [19 favorites]


Apparently they got stuck like that for hours * Italian hand gesture *
posted by Foci for Analysis at 5:29 AM on February 6, 2013


Once they got that many people there, couldn't they just pick it up and turn it?
posted by notsnot at 5:33 AM on February 6, 2013


Only in America!
posted by DU at 5:34 AM on February 6, 2013


I've had nightmares like that... "Oh, look, physics has now changed so I can't complete the K-turn. There's one car who's driver is angry with me, and now another car is right up on me so I can't turn even if physics fixes itself, and now here comes the Pope, who's angry I'm not good at k-turns, and he's brought the police with him, and some guy is yelling at his grandma because of me, and there's a whole crowd looking at me, and I'm still trying to complete the turn because what else am I supposed to do?"
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:36 AM on February 6, 2013 [20 favorites]


Once they got that many people there, couldn't they just pick it up and turn it?
posted by notsnot at 5:33 AM on February 6 [+] [!]

You are clearly coming from a cultural background where people believe problems are things that need to be solved.
posted by Marauding Ennui at 5:39 AM on February 6, 2013 [58 favorites]


My favorite bit (@2:05) is when the Priest hands his scepter to woman and then to the cop, like, "Hey, is this cool?"

PS: If there is anyone in Italy who needs an IT person, I will work for room and board.
posted by tripping daisy at 5:40 AM on February 6, 2013 [5 favorites]


I live in a neighbourhood of Italian immigrants and I work in a hospital with a catchment area of mostly Italians. The longer I live and work here, the more things like this video and Silvio Berlusconi make sense.
posted by Silentgoldfish at 5:43 AM on February 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Could you ever conceive of going to Italy, Tom, persuade my son to come home?
posted by shakespeherian at 5:44 AM on February 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


First reaction: this wouldn't be Fellini-esque unless a priest showed up leading a procession into the mix.

[Watches a minute and a half more]

Ah, yes, I see what you mean here.

It works even better if you imagine the older woman as Giulietta Massina.
posted by gimonca at 5:47 AM on February 6, 2013 [5 favorites]


Once they got that many people there, couldn't they just pick it up and turn it?

At some point, after the pope shows up, one of the men in the crowd makes a gesture suggesting they all lift the car...
posted by ennui.bz at 5:48 AM on February 6, 2013


You know the "film" shown at the end of Blake Edwards' After the Fox, the one that drives the film critic wild? This actually has the same insouciant brilliance...

Bikers arrive on cue. There is a flash of an attractive young woman's face. And now a religious procession? The drama builds in an urgent yet oddly relaxed way. There are enough people--why not just lift the car? But no, these things must be handled with as much loud discussion and gesturing as possible. Surely the priest has the answer!

Human beings. Greatest show on earth.
posted by kinnakeet at 5:48 AM on February 6, 2013 [6 favorites]


I feel like this is a set up to a great joke. Or a porn movie. Or a Far Side cartoon. Or something.
posted by fight or flight at 5:49 AM on February 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


wanna add to the surreality of it? Start the video, then skip ahead 20 secs...wait where did those bikers come from?
skip ahead 20 secs... a priest? WTF
skip ahead 20 secs... lots of yelling and hand gestures
skip ahead 20 secs... bike tears off down the road

awesome

ps...im bad at math
posted by ShawnString at 5:53 AM on February 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


I was wondering why they didn't just pick it up too. We did pretty much the opposite to a guy I knew in high school. He had just gotten a Ford Fiesta and one day at lunch a bunch of us went out, picked it up, and turned it sideways in the parking space. This left about 2 inches of clearance on each end, effectively trapping him until one of the neighboring cars left (or until he convinced about six reasonably strong guys to turn it back).
posted by TedW at 5:56 AM on February 6, 2013


You know, I you turn one of those onto its top, you can pretty much spin it to point in any direction you choose. THAT's what I was hoping would happen....
posted by HuronBob at 5:59 AM on February 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think the woman at the end is saying "I told you I should drive and you just went on and on about how bad women are at parking."
posted by marienbad at 5:59 AM on February 6, 2013


I've had nightmares like that... "Oh, look, physics has now changed so I can't complete the K-turn. There's one car who's driver is angry with me, and now another car is right up on me so I can't turn even if physics fixes itself, and now here comes the Pope, who's angry I'm not good at k-turns, and he's brought the police with him, and some guy is yelling at his grandma because of me, and there's a whole crowd looking at me, and I'm still trying to complete the turn because what else am I supposed to do?"

You are Cassandra "Roast Beef" Kazenzakis and I claim my '65 Ford Galaxie.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 5:59 AM on February 6, 2013 [7 favorites]


These Italian traffic jams always remind me of the one in Robert Sheckley's, "Cordle To Onion To Carrot."

"Traffic was now backed up as far south as Naples. A crowd of ten thousand had gathered. Carabinieri units in Viterbo and Genoa had been called into a state of alert."
posted by Chrysostom at 6:02 AM on February 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


My thoughts to a T, Inspector.Gadget.
posted by The White Hat at 6:03 AM on February 6, 2013


I like how the biker hands the driver a bunch of flowers at the end.
posted by Fnarf at 6:04 AM on February 6, 2013


The Pope's not actually in this, is he? A couple of people mention him but I thought it was just some priest and his congregation out for a stroll. You know, roaming the city as they do.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 6:06 AM on February 6, 2013


Patrolling their turf in case a rival clergy makes a move.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:14 AM on February 6, 2013 [18 favorites]


Eternal City Story?
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 6:17 AM on February 6, 2013


Stronza macchina!
posted by Admiral Haddock at 6:23 AM on February 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


This seems to be the original 9-minute-long YouTube video.
posted by rory at 6:24 AM on February 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


If Bunuel had been directing this, the priest would be driving the car.
posted by kozad at 6:31 AM on February 6, 2013 [5 favorites]


From an Italian friend:

The lady with glasses seems sorta upset. One man says to her, "Go back to pray", and she replies "I already did. I prayed that this dude would get out of the street."

At the end, a motorcyclist throws the driver a rose, and says "An homage to your driving abilities!"
posted by sutt at 6:31 AM on February 6, 2013 [16 favorites]



I like how the biker hands the driver a bunch of flowers at the end.
posted by Fnarf


He also had a whole prosciutto strapped to the bike, I really wish that had become part of the story.
posted by 445supermag at 6:32 AM on February 6, 2013 [5 favorites]


The Fine Art Of Italian Hand Gestures
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:36 AM on February 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


That was utterly delightful.
posted by Diablevert at 6:46 AM on February 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Everything about this is wonderful. I've only been as far south as Rome, but this is pretty much how I understand driving in Italy to be. This is the least terrifying picture of traffic I took (notice: the stopped bus; the two-way traffic; the utter lack of space to walk; the fact that you're expected to walk alongside anyway and, in fact, wait for a bus; not pictured: the fact that traffic was moving very, very fast).
posted by uncleozzy at 6:52 AM on February 6, 2013


Glad to find that incastrato sounds worse than it really is.
posted by Segundus at 7:10 AM on February 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


I still maintain that Italy has the worst traffic I've ever seen even after spending months in China. Only in Italy have I been in a taxi driving down the trolley track with an oncoming trolley.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 7:11 AM on February 6, 2013


He also had a whole prosciutto strapped to the bike, I really wish that had become part of the story.

A small dog should have seized his opportunity and run off through the streets. I miss working in Italy.
posted by arcticseal at 7:13 AM on February 6, 2013


Technoviking would have sorted that shit out fast, just by pointing and glaring.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:15 AM on February 6, 2013 [5 favorites]


Was that a prosciutto crudo at 3:05?
posted by HumanComplex at 7:15 AM on February 6, 2013


Eh just another Wednesday in Naples, land of tiny streets.
posted by tooloudinhere at 7:25 AM on February 6, 2013


My advice re driving in Naples:
1) Negotiate the fare before you get into the taxi.
2) Keep your eyes closed until the vehicle comes to a complete stop.
posted by ook at 7:27 AM on February 6, 2013


Part of me was expecting Graham Chapman to show up as a British Army General, waving his hands and telling everyone 'No, No, Shut it down, move along. This whole thing has gotten far too silly.'
posted by chambers at 7:46 AM on February 6, 2013 [16 favorites]


Lovely, thanks for posting this!
posted by carter at 7:54 AM on February 6, 2013


I really needed this today. Thank you.
posted by smuna at 8:06 AM on February 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Kind of like Silentgoldfish said. While watching the video I thought "Seeing this, Berlusconi make a lot more sense". Because I figure people usually behave to get what they really want, and these are not people who really want to get things done.
posted by benito.strauss at 8:23 AM on February 6, 2013


Naples is a very crazy place. I lived there a month when I was 17. I suspect it was even crazier then.
posted by Goofyy at 8:28 AM on February 6, 2013


Watching this:

"Oh, that sucks. I've been stuck like that before."

"No! More people! Eek!"

"A biker gang?!"

"A Catholic procession! This is the best thing ever!"
posted by xingcat at 8:29 AM on February 6, 2013


If they edit this down to 6 seconds, it would be the best Vine video ever.
posted by cazoo at 8:32 AM on February 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


I love how everyone applauds and laughs when all is said and done.

Am going to Rome in a couple of months, but have no plans to travel by car at any point in the adventure.
posted by Windopaene at 8:34 AM on February 6, 2013


When we were there, automobile traffic wasn't much worse than Boston or Providence. The motorscooters running up and down the pedestrian ramps in Naples were an issue, tho. (They were trying to sell tourists stolen iPods and iPhones.)

On the other hand, Barcelona had very considerate and safe drivers and scooterists.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:42 AM on February 6, 2013


This was more interesting than the last Woody Allen film, set in Rome, and rather shorter.
posted by ersatz at 9:12 AM on February 6, 2013 [7 favorites]


Sublime.
posted by mosk at 9:14 AM on February 6, 2013


Am going to Rome in a couple of months, but have no plans to travel by car at any point in the adventure

I feel that way too, and I was born and raised there. My driving skills went South after two months of using an automatic shift.
posted by francesca too at 9:15 AM on February 6, 2013


A Fiat, a priest, and a biker gang walk into a bar...
posted by sio42 at 9:29 AM on February 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


also, wow, i had no idea italians really waved their hands around that much. i see where the stereotype comes from. i watched it without sound so the hand gestures were even more amazing.
posted by sio42 at 9:31 AM on February 6, 2013


The only way this would have been more Felliniesque is if everyone started singing some sort of folkloric Neapolitan song near the ending.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:36 AM on February 6, 2013


Well that settles it, now I'm going to go watch everything Fellini's ever done.
posted by TwoWordReview at 9:40 AM on February 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Fine Art Of Italian Hand Gestures

Someone should make a series of beatific arguing Neapolitan Buddha sculptures whose hands are posed in Italian gestures instead of mudras.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 10:17 AM on February 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


Reminded me of a cashier at one of my first jobs. She said, "people think Fellini is making fun but he's not. People in Italy are really like that." She also figured she was the first woman in her family to move out of the house (before marriage) since about 50 B.C.
posted by bonobothegreat at 10:44 AM on February 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Did the bearers ever put down the casket? I also love that the first arriving driver from the other direction pulls up to within six molecules of the car whose driver has inexplicably tried to u-turn in a space no more than 15 feet wide.
posted by maxwelton at 10:49 AM on February 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


all I could think watching this is that crowding around and yelling at the poor guy only makes resolution of this problem more difficult and slower. He needs space and to not be distracted in order to successfully complete his ill-advised turn.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 10:54 AM on February 6, 2013


I like that there are jump cuts that imply that this was a MUCH longer ordeal.
posted by elmer benson at 11:34 AM on February 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm fascinated by the way the police stride over to the car, but don't end up doing much of anything except argue with the crowd. In the end it's the priest who appears to give the driver the confidence he needs to complete the turn.
posted by Kevin Street at 12:26 PM on February 6, 2013


This is pretty small potatoes for a Naples traffic jam.
posted by 3.2.3 at 2:09 PM on February 6, 2013


"Who?"
posted by symbioid at 4:42 PM on February 6, 2013


My sides ache now from laughing.
posted by AnnElk at 5:07 PM on February 6, 2013


You are clearly coming from a cultural background where people believe problems are things that need to be solved.

Ask vs. Guess what I do to your Mother Culture.
posted by dhartung at 1:50 AM on February 7, 2013


Er...all these comments, and no one's caught on that it's a fake? The link under the text (to the right of the video) leads to this: "It was a game, we are now famous"

(But until I saw that, I was laughing myself into stomach cramps. It's very well done.)
posted by MexicanYenta at 9:08 AM on February 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


I confess I started to have my doubts when I saw the bikers wearing crash helmets. In Naples?? I used to be the only person I know who was ever fined for riding without a helmet in Naples. My old MotoGuzzi was making strange noises, and I thought if I rode a hundred yards or so and listened carefully, I might be able to reach a rough diagnosis. When the traffic cop stopped me and said he would fine me, I said, but what about him over there, and him, and her, and that one? And then I realised what was happening: I was running on Rome plates. I paid the fine and framed the citation.

But I must admit I was taken in by this one.
posted by aqsakal at 2:15 AM on February 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't care if this was staged, it was a hell of a lot better than some comedies I've suffered through and totally made my evening.
posted by Space Kitty at 12:09 AM on February 11, 2013


« Older Super Mario Busters....  |  A contributor to the Gameologi... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments