Demons and desires from the past are teasing poor Giulietta, (again) she is tormented by her man and will be left alone. But for the viewer it’s a surreal psychic trip with symbolism and young sexy neighbours, filled with luscious images painted in blazing colours, a felliniesque chaos of Mediterranean insanity into which the whole European heritage is squeezed.
2.1 stars. Feels super mean-spirited. I feel like Fellini only loves women while they're young. Normally I don't like authorial insertion, but I think in this case some self-effacement would have made me more able to take the film in good faith. As it is, I feel that all of the production's heart has been poured into the (admittedly sumptuous) set and costumes and none into the characters. Faintly anti-human, imho.
I've just watched 5 mins of it before they pull it.. It is 5 stars worth just for the set, the costumes, the colour, the wonderful balletic camerawork. I don't always like Fellini's excesses and kitsch grotesqueries but Masina, as always, is charming and one of Rota's finest scores. Must watch it again when I have more time! Pronto!
Some spectacular images, especially the early dream sequence at the beach. However it's hard to get away from the fact that Fellini's "gift" to his wife was essentially 2+ hours of him fantasising about her being somebody else. Much like Amarcord there are some bits I'll remember forever, but ultimately it's overlong and far less than the sum of its parts.
Whilst elements of the storyline may feel a little dated to some, the brilliance of a master such as Fellini is timeless. Only he could have made this picture with its combination of humour, strangeness and distinctive, dreamlike sequences. Composer Nino Rota is on exhilarating form too; this film yet another example of the greatest director-composer partnership in the history of cinema.
Feverish, hallucinatory journey through a woman's experience of uncertainty and betrayal. Giulietta Masina has the weight of history and the present on her shoulders, and must learn to live in a world in which she doesn't know her place. And all of those fabulous clothes are to die for.
For the colours, costumes and theatre alone it warrants four stars. I have very fond memories of watching this, even if at the time I found it a bit contrived. The on/off narrative with scumbag, hypersexualised characters and phantoms reminded me at times of William Burrough's, The Naked Lunch. The real, true predecessor to 'La Grande Bellezza'.
I don't think this is one of Fellini's absolute masterpieces. It's filmed with his usual style, but something was missing for me. Of course, Giulietta Massina is always watchable, but here she seems swamped by the visuals and the events happening around her. There are individually memorable scenes, but it doesn't come together as a whole. If I could give it 3.5 stars, I would. www.thedeepfocus.com