Watch La Linea, the Popular 1970s Italian Animations Drawn with a Single Line


Simplicity is not the goal. It is the by-product of a good idea and modest expectations.

Thus spake designer Paul Rand, a man who knew something about making an impression, having created iconic logos for such immediately recognizable brands as ABC, IBM, and UPS.

An example of Rand’s observation, La Linea, aka Mr. Line, a beloved and deceptively simple cartoon character drawn with a single unbroken line, began as a shill for an Italian cookware company. No matter what he manages to get up to in two or three minutes, it’s determined that he’ll eventually butt up against the limitations of his lineal reality.

His chattering, apoplectic response proved such a hit with viewers, that a few episodes in, the cookware connection was severed. Mr. Line went on to become a global star in his own right, appearing in 90 short animations throughout his 15-year history, starting in 1971. Find many of the episodes on Youtube here.

The formula does sound rather simple. Animator Osvaldo Cavandoli starts each episode by drawing a horizontal line in white grease pencil. The line takes on human form. Mr. Line’s a zesty guy, the sort who throws himself into whatever it is he’s doing, whether ogling girls at the beach (top), playing classical piano (above) or ice skating (below).

Whenever he bumps up against an obstacle—an uncrossable gap in his baseline, an inadvertently exploded penis (NSFW, below)—he calls upon the godlike hand of the animator to make things right.

(Bawdy humor is a staple of La Linea, though the visual format keeps things fairly chaste. Innuendo aside, it’s about as graphic as a big rig’s silhouetted mudflap girl.)

Voiceover artist Carlo Bonomi contributes a large part of the charm. Mr. Line may speak with an Italian accent, but his vocal track is 90% improvised gibberish, with a smattering of Lombard dialect. Watch him channel the character in the recording booth, below.

I love hearing him take the even-keeled Cavandoli to task. I don’t speak Italian, but I had the sensation I understood where both players are coming from in the scene below.

Watch the complete collection here.

via E.D.W. Lynch on Laughing Squid

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Grape harvest time: wine festivals in Tuscany

Some of the best wine festivals in Tuscany scheduled for September 2017

The end of summer marks the beginning of the grape harvest. Countless festivals dedicated to wine are held in the most beautiful Tuscan hamlets. Here are some of the best wine festivals in Tuscany scheduled for September 2017.

Montecarlo [Photo credits: John W. Schulze]
Montecarlo [Photo credits: John W. Schulze]

Festa del Vino di Montecarlo – Montecarlo (Lucca)

August 31 to September 10

Music, art exhibitions, wine and local food tastings in Montecarlo’s squares (Piazza D’Armi and Piazza Garibaldi). Info (in Italian) here.

Settembre Di Vino in Pitigliano
Settembre Di Vino in Pitigliano

Settembre DiVino – Pitigliano (Grosseto)

August 31 and September 1,2 and 3

Annually on the first week end of September, the streets of Pitigliano’s historic centre are filled with thousands of people, music, shows and so much wine!. Info (in Italian) here.

Expo del Chianti Classico [Photo credits: Expo del Chianti Classico official page on Facebook]
Expo del Chianti Classico [Photo credits: Expo del Chianti Classico official page on Facebook]

Expo del Chianti Classico – Greve in Chianti (Firenze)

September 7-10

A great opportunity to taste the best Chianti Classico Wine in the area that bears its name. The Expo del Chianti Classico offers visitors a full program of artistic and cultural events, as well as the possibility of visiting cellars and castles and to taste the specialties of the Chianti area. Info (in Italian) here.

Walking in Panzano in Chianti [Photo credits: Giuseppe Moscato]
Walking in Panzano in Chianti [Photo credits: Giuseppe Moscato]

Vino al Vino festival – Panzano in Chianti (Firenze)

September 14-17

Every year on the third weekend of September winemakers of Panzano in Chianti get together in Piazza Bucciarelli with their best products.  Vino al vino is a good opportunity to taste different styles of wines, visit a beautiful village and enjoy some music. Info (in Italian) here.

Manciano [Photo credits: Serena Puosi]
Manciano [Photo credits: Serena Puosi]

Festa delle Cantine di Manciano – Manciano (Grosseto)

September 8-10

“For locals, the Festa delle Cantine is a chance to catch up with old friends in the name of tradition and free wine – a good enough reason to party on its own. For tourists, the festival is a chance to experience Manciano at its liveliest on a weekend when everything from the food to the music is authentic and inspiring.” Info, here.

Scansano [Pleur Phillips]
Scansano [Photo credits: Pleur Phillips]

Festa dell’Uva di Scansano – Scansano (Grosseto)

September 24,25

Wine tasting in historic wineries; craft markets, music and floats. Info, here.

Festa dell'Uva (Impruneta, 2010) [Photo credits: Marco Meoni]
Festa dell’Uva (Impruneta, 2010) [Photo credits: Marco Meoni]

Festa dell’uva dell’Impruneta – Impruneta (Firenze)

September 24

The festival, founded in 1926, is a collection of music, ballet and spectacular floats animating Buondelmonti Square. The grape festival is one of the longest-running Italian festivals and much loved by locals. Info, here.

Chiusi [Photo credits: Stefano Costantini]
Chiusi [Photo credits: Stefano Costantini]

Festa dell’uva di Chiusi – Chiusi (Siena)

September 22 -24

Road shows, music, wine and food tastings at the many historical wineries and tasting points in town. Info, here.

Festa dell'Uva in Capoliveri [Photo credits: Tommasso Galli]
Festa dell’Uva in Capoliveri [Photo credits: Tommasso Galli]

Festa dell’uva di Capoliveri – Capoliveri (Elba Island)

End of September, beginning of October

Three days of events, games and races between local “rioni” (neighbourhoods) of Capoliveri. A great opportunity to taste local wines and many other traditional products.


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