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Fellinis Roma (DVD)

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  • Wonderfully stylistic Roman documentary-fantasy
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      16.05.2014 08:45
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      • "Wonderfully stylistic Roman documentary-fantasy"

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      Modern Rome captured on Fellini's prismic camera

      A semi-autobiographical pseudo-documentary of Rome as fancifully witnessed by director Federico Fellini, exploring his personal view of the Eternal City in a kaleidoscopic prism of both realism and dreamlike fantasy. As such, there isn't really a plot to speak of, the movie existing more as a collection of various disconnected scenes in three distinct acts, beginning from the 1930s Mussolini era of Fellini as a child in his home town of Rimini, through him arriving to the capital as an 18-year-old at the outset of World War 2, and finishing in the present day 1972 of him making a documentary on Rome - complete with person-to-person interviews in street cafes. In a way one can see this as an offshoot of "Satyricon" in its more modern view on Roman society and also acting as a spiritual prequel to "Amarcord" in its biogrphical content. Within it are many moments of vulgarity (the movie theatre filled with belching and farting; a whorehouse displaying its wares like food), beauty (ancient frescoes discovered by tunnel builders that fade away after being exposed to the outside air; the rain-soaked autostrada during a traffic jam), and fantastical (the outlandish papal fashion show set up within the confines of the Vatican, a sequence of almost surreal juxtaposition of archaic and modern). While the film may not entirely tie together into a cohesive whole the way many other of Fellini's more episodic offerings do, there is still much of worth to be seen in this phantasmogoric slice-of-life impression of a city in constant move, change, and turmoil. (c) berlioz 2014

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