4.5 Gorgeous set pieces (the flat, the fashion show) and remarkably poetic sequences (the frescos) throughout. That traffic chapter might be my favorite. Fellini at the peak of his artistic freedom and power. Who would get the chance to realize a non-narrative personal vision of this scope today?
As undeniably cinematic as Fellini's Roma is, the experience of it feels something more like a rhapsody (a capriccio): Manic allegros (dinner scene); enveloping orchestral swells (traffic scene); sublime, transcendent masses (the frescoes)... Transportive. So that, by the end, I'm both spent & fulfilled. This is not Fellini's folly at all, but his own genius. Best fashion show scene after Klein's Polly Maggoo. 4.5
From 2014, late Fellini marks not an artistic moment so much as an economic one: the insane post-60s era when an arthouse director was enough of a brand name that he could get funding to turn his scattered collection of thoughts into a string of big set-pieces, then have it treated as an event. Loose, dated, intermittently beautiful, self-important, transitional. File it next to Pink Floyd's Atom Heart Mother.
Unique examination of Rome through the eyes of Fellini ruminating on its present state (circa 72) and his own history with the city from arrival pre-war on. The usual amount of near grotesque casting choices mixed with a wise near documentary analysis. While not up to his impressive body of fiction work it certainly stands alone within his filmography.