Matthew Lickona 1:15 p.m., May 22
Another in the Fellini line of semi-autobiographical entertainments, episodic and variable in quality from episode to episode, this one set in the hometown of his youth. In his choice of recollections, there is a strict ban on the banal (it hardly seems possible that this wonderland is the same sort of town that Fellini fled in I Vitelloni), and yet the familiar Fellini grotesqueries are mercifully toned down here, and the famous egotism is shut away in a closet. If something doesn’t appeal to Fellini’s playful side, it no longer appeals to him at all. There is an ample supply of jolliness, of the director’s carefully cultivated obsessions, and of flawless, limpid, controlled color images (once again, a salute to the wizardly Giuseppe Rotunno). What is lacking is any modulation or momentum from one scene to the following; each one builds to an abrupt fade-out that’s like a wonderstruck gasp, or sigh, and then the next one starts all over again, building. 1973.
— Duncan Shepherd
- Rated R | 2 hours, 3 minutes