Dedicated to classics and hits.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Amarcord (1973) d. Federico Fellini

This is a still from Amarcord d. Federico Fellini (1973) one of the many grotesques that appear in almost incidential fashion during Amarcord.

d. Federico Fellini
Criterion Collection #4

  I can't properly express the feeling of joy I get when I think about being able to watch through the majority of the Criterion Collection on Hulu Plus.  Seriously, is there anything else worth doing?  Which is not the same as saying that I'm going to enjoy watching every film.  In fact, I imagine it will be equally as tedious as reading all of the classics of 18th century literature in chronological order, like I did between 2008 and 2011.

This still shows Magali Noel playing Gradisca.  She is perhaps the most central character in the film as she begins and ends it.

  The Criterion Collection is not in chronological order, rather they are simply sequentially numbered like the releases of a record label.  So Amarcord, the 1973 coming of age reminisce by Italian director Federico Fellini, is Criterion Collection #4.  An excellent attribute of every Criterion Collection title is the corresponding web page they have set up with supplemental material.

This is the head of Mussolini, who actually speaks to some of the townspeople during a Fascist rally that is both comical and surreal. Like, the mouth is about to open and address the crowd.

  For example, while I was watching Amarcord, I read the essay, Federico of The Spirits by Sam Rohdie. Considering my utter ignorance and even irrational dislike for the collected work of Fellini (Why? I have no idea) I found Federico of The Spirits to be incredibly helpful in understanding/enjoying the film.  If you contrast the Criterion Collection page to the pathetic Wikipedia entry for the same film, its easy to see what a tremendous resource the Criterion Collection supplemental materials are for someone watching movies in a vacuum.

Fellini's use of color in the form of flags and furniture is used sparingly in Amarcord but often to striking effect.  Here, I was reminded of Matthew Barney's Cremaster cycle, for some reason.

  Amarcord was late enough in Fellini's career that critics were able to instantly hail it as a masterpiece.  It won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film in 1975 and numerous other critical awards during that time period.  There is no central narrative to Amarcord, rather the film is organized around the turn of seasons during the course of a single year.  The charteristics of late Fellini: a carnivalesque atmosphere and the presence of grotesque looking actors, saturates Amarcord, shades of contemporary film makers like David Lynch, Harmony Korine, Lars Von Trier and artists like Matthew Barney are evident from stills taken during the film.

This is a peacock in the snow from Amarcord directed by Federico Fellini

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