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I Vitelloni (DVD)

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  • Fellini neo-realism at its finest
  • Very stream-of-consciousness should you not enjoy films of that type
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      07.05.2014 22:40
      Very helpful
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      • "Fellini neo-realism at its finest"

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      • "Very stream-of-consciousness should you not enjoy films of that type"

      Federico Fellini's first real masterpiece, already showing his considerable natural filming style.

      Federico Fellini's break-out film was in large parts inspired by his own life and surroundings, focusing on the existential aimlessness of youths in post-war Italy. The vitellonis (loosely meaning "slackers") are a group of friends who spend their days aimlessly wandering around their small provincial town, chasing skirt, and having big dreams that none ever have the push to actually execute. Though essentially an ensemble piece revolving around the five young men in this group, the central focus is on Fausto (Franco Fabrizi), who gets the young Sandra (Leonora Ruffo) pregnant and is forced to marry her, yet is not willing to give up his womanising ways even after that. The youngest of the group and Sandra's brother, Moraldo (Franco Interlenghi), disapproves, but is more caught up in the preponderances over the meaning of his own life and holding up a dream of leaving his home for some place else. In many ways, this film was to signify what was to become typical of Fellini, particularly the acute sense of presence of the characters and their surroundings that are in some ways more important than the plot itself. The main climax of Fausto stepping up to his responsibility of a faithful husband is thus undercut by Moraldo's solo departure, leaving his vitellonis behind to supposedly never achieve their dreams, a symbolic breaking from listless inaction to take that step toward becoming an adult. With its combination of slice-of-life, existentialism, surrealism, and growing up in a small provincial town, this movie is a real winning charmer. A particular highlight is a late night dinner at the house of an eccentric actor (Achille Majeroni), whom one of the vitellonis, the aspiring stage writer Leopoldo (Leopoldo Trieste) admires, resulting in one of those poetically magical encounters Fellini's films were often filled with. (c) berlioz, 2014

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