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Fellini Satyricon

Posted by martinteller on November 29, 2007

Boy, was I ready to trash this film.  Mercilessly, savagely rip it to shreds.  First of all, the acting is awful.  Never seen so much ludicrous leering and fake, lusty laughter.  And the dubbing job is the worst I’ve ever heard.  The story fluttered around from one pointless, decadent event to another, with a dash of poorly delivered poetry or philosophy here and there to remind you that it’s Art.  And the UGLINESS on display is dreadful.  Yes, it’s done with an impressive sense of style — incredible sets and dazzling colors.  But what good are dazzling colors when they’re smeared together so brutally on the screen?  Who cares about sets when they’re draped with such grotesque people?  It’s really hideous.  It was torturous to sit through.

But then, around the halfway point, things got interesting.  Starting with the slave ship, the random bits of story started to draw me in and I wanted to see what would happen next.  The narrative thread is thin, but it’s there.  By the end, I was somewhat attached to Encolpio and pleased to see some growth in his character.  Also, the imagery settles down from the massive assault of the early scenes, and there are some truly striking visions on display (but still, quite a bit of ugliness).  The movie reminded me a LOT of Jodorowsky, and my reaction is similar… mixed.  I really hated some aspects of it, but there were enough redeeming qualities to make it worthwhile, and I’m sure it will be a long time before I forget it.  Rating: 6


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