Sunday, 22 July 2007

Amarcord


Amarcord; Drama/ Comedy, Italy/ France, 1973; D: Federico Fellini, S: Bruno Zenin, Puppella Maggio, Armanda Brancia, Magali Noël, Josiane Tanzilli, Ciccio Ingrassia, Maria Antonietta Beluzzi

Rimini, 1930s. Numerous episodes from lives of people from spring to winter. Petals from flowers are flying in the air while a mass of people attending a ceremony of a burning of a puppet that symbolizes a witch. Teenager Titta is often making nonsense with his colleagues in school, enjoying sneaking out to attend the local cinema. His dad gets a warning from the Fascists, his grandpa gets lost in the fog in his own yard. His friend is dreaming that a giant picture of Mussolini is marrying him with a girl, a mass of people observes a giant ship at the sea at midnight. It all ends with a wedding.

Eccentric humorous drama "Amarcord" with a lot of autobiographical elements intervened together from Federico Fellini's own life was nominated for a Golden Globe for best foreign language film, while it won the Oscar in the same category - Fellini's forth and last film that won that award in that category. "Amarcord" is arguably Fellini's last great film, a slightly cold, but realistic achievement with bizarre and grotesque characters that would later on influence a whole bunch of unusual films from the Coen Brothers, Gilliam, Burton, Kusturica and others, with a load of funny situations, like the dialogue between the barber and his customer ("I was the 14th child in my family, so my father gave me the name Definitivo." - "Too bad he didn't stop earlier. He would have had a fool less."). Fellini is rather skillful - masturbation, farting, obsession with giant breasts (the legendary/ infamous sequence in a store where a overweight saleslady in her mid 40s exposes her giant breasts to the confused teenager Titta and almost suffocates him with it) and dumb pranks (in school naughty students make a long pipe out of a map and use it to reach the professor and piss near her) seem like a vulgar comedy, and in some other director's hand it would have ended like that, but Fellini still manages to make surreal poetry out of them, creating a drama that refuses to idealise the imperfect people and avoids pretentiousness. Evenly mixing grotesque and emotions, this nostalgic movie was rightfully hailed by the critics and shared all of the authors memories about his childhood with the audience.

Grade:+++

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