In Federico Fellini’s quirky, imaginative fable, a motley crew of European aristocrats (and a lovesick rhinoceros!) board a luxurious ocean liner on the eve of World War I to scatter the ashes of a beloved diva.
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Seems a bit pretentious, but the film is Fellini through and through. No other director or writer could do anything that feels quite like this. A wonderful, surreal absurdity, the film features a diverse cast of bizarrely engaging characters.
Over the years, Fellini became a brand name, with films promising to be his memories, his interests, his take on the classics, his version of the world. So the first thing that struck me in this late-career gem was the generosity of its ensemble, harkening back to his early years. The next thing I noticed is how much his late films miss Nino Rota's music. A bittersweet triumph...pair it with The Grand Budapest Hotel.
Later Fellini film is not quite on the level of his earlier masterpieces, but is still an enjoyable flight of fancy for those who enjoy his hyper-stylized absurdism. The story is unfocused and episodic (as with most Fellini films) but gets off to a slow start and remains uneven throughout. But there is still an abundance of oddball characters, bizarre images, and a jubilant atmosphere to keep it entertaining.
Two of the great pleasures of e la Nave va are the incisive performances of Pina Bausch and Barbara Jefford. Both are presented as schemers, though la Principessa Lherimia looks the picture of blind innocence at first and, oppositely, Ildebranda Cuffari proves far kinder than she seems. Fellini's late career exploration of artifice is paired with its perfect subject: Italian Opera and the religious regard it enjoys.
Occasion de retrouver les fantasmes felliniens dans un film chaotique et parfois démesuré. On peut prétendre à raison préférer de loin certains chefs-d'oeuvre comme "Huit et demi", à la cuvée (couvée) du maître Federico Fellini de ces dernières années... www.cinefiches.com
I don't know, I just don't appreciate late-period Fellini as much. While I find the majority of the film interminable, I did actually cry at the end. The ending was especially a little too wink-wink clever for my taste, even for 84'. Fellini is Fellini though.