Among my more satisfying Fellini films to have watched. This vagabond story about young men who wants to drift around with women and parties without ever taking a job has a satisfying character gallery even though the most focus is on a selfish bastard who loves women of high class without realizing that his most gorgeous and best woman is the one back home. One of Fellini's most grounded movies.
One of the key works of art focused on drifting, wayward young men post-WWII. In a weird way, Fellini's quasi-autobiographical account isn't a million miles off from Kerouac. It is hard to say for sure if Fellini is impassively calling it like he sees it, or consciously mounting a critique of himself and his fellows. Ultimately this is a pretty dark portrait of callowness and ennui, even if a little wistful.
One of Fellini's earlier masterpieces. The characters are hopelessly flawed, and so sympathetic. No director in history could ever tell a story about man-children better than Fellini. To top it off, this movie has the single greatest film score I've ever heard. It's a rare score like Star Wars or Citizen Kane that not only succeeds in carrying you; it is also thoroughly unforgettable.
Next to films about gangsters or moody superheros, nostalgic reminiscings about your little group of shiftless, coddled, man-child friends in the 50s are pretty high up there in terms of risk for ‘boys will be boys’ apologism. My guard was up. Instead, I found myself pulled into a tender, empathetic love-letter of a film, witty & sweet & sincere. Not my favourite Fellini, but full of the stuff that makes me love him.
Fellini: Vitelloni= "the unemployed of the middle class, mother’s pets. They shine during the holiday season, and waiting for it takes up the rest of the year". Ennio Flaiano: Vitellone= "a young man from a modest family, perhaps a student, but one who had either already gone beyond the progammed schedule for his coursework, or one who did nothing all the time[...]. The family son who only ate but never 'produced'".
Fellini's third feature tells an universal story of five men and lifelong friends whose lives seem to have stagnated before they've really begun. The roles may fit stereotypes but Fellini's script has an authenticity and understanding of his characters that hits home. Casting is exceptional as these men/children at least attempt to mature. ' In the end only one of us left...'
8 1/2's liveliness makes it my favorite Fellini, but I Vitelloni is the more touching and tender film. Just as Marcello in La Dolce Vita wanted art and journalism and Guido in 8 1/2 wanted success and honesty, Moraldo, who's name is clearly a stupid pun, is envious of a lifestyle he doesn't want to lose yet and respectful towards another one he'll have to eventually embrace which all leads into a bittersweet ending.