Martin Teller's Movie Reviews

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Posted by martinteller on May 16, 2010

Coming right smack between my two least favorite Fellini films, and with elements of each.  The parade of grotesqueries of Satyricon, the little snatches of obnoxious nostalgia from Amarcord.  Fellini paints a picture of Rome that often grates on my nerves.  The inhabitants are rude and obnoxious, treating the city as their personal living room.  They’re loud and confrontational, they wear filthy wife-beaters in public and they look like they smell.  I honestly can’t tell whether Fellini likes these people or loathes them… I suspect a bit of both.  Anyway, I found some of the behavior very annoying, especially during the vaudeville scene.  But I really, really liked other parts of the film.  The “ecclesiastical fashion show” is a terrific gag.  You wouldn’t think it could be stretched out to 10 minutes, but Fellini pulls it off magnificently.  The traffic jam and the brothel scenes have their own marvelous moments as well, and even the aforementioned vaudeville has some great stuff.  It took a while to take hold of me, but after about half an hour I just got into the groove of the free-form structure, taking in the sights and the cabaret of life… even if some of it was quite irritating.  Rating: 7


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