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Review: Frederico Fellini's Amacord

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Review: Frederico Fellini's Amacord

Old 07-24-00, 05:25 PM
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Anyone & everyone, feel free to voice your opinions on both "Amacord" and Fellini in general. The information is truly appreciated!
Old 07-24-00, 11:04 PM
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As far as the movie goes, I thought it okay. It tells about Fellini's life growing up. Not one of my favorite Criterions, but parts of the film were enjoyable. Criterion did a great job of transfering the film and doing some restoration so it looks great. Word of caution, make sure to watch the film subtitled and not dubbed. The dubbing leaves out and changes too much of the story. Fellini is not one of my favorite foreign directors, but I do see things in his work that are quite great. The movie is worth seeing for the experience alone.

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Old 07-25-00, 02:19 AM
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My imprression of Amarcord:

A few months back, I purchased the entire Criterion Collection - all 74 volumes (including Killer, Spinal Tap, and Hard Boiled... but minus Salo, which I'll get this Fall) with the intention of expanding my cinematic-experience horizons.

Since then, I've watched about 15 Criterion titles (I'm making progress, but it's been a busy summer.) Many - like Picnic at Hanging Rock - are rather obscure and unusual, but they're real gems.

My upcoming review of Amarcord could be summarized thus:

<big>What the f*ck was that?</big>

Skip this one. The Criterion Collection is full of great movies. This is not one of them.

- David Stein


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Old 07-25-00, 04:18 AM
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Well I did try to sugarcoat my dislike for the film, but David is more to the point. One thing about the film I had forgotten was the ending. The movie just kind of stops without leaving you with a feeling that anything was resolved. One minute its going and the next its over leaving you saying, as was said above, What the F**k was that? I will stick with Kurosawa for my foreign film fix.
Old 07-26-00, 02:07 AM
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Amarcord is basically comprised of a bunch of vignettes. The film is not exactly plot driven, but it's mildly entertaining, if overlong. Fellini isn't one of my favorite directors, but his other films, such as Nights of Cabiria and 8 and 1/2, are much better IMO. If you're a big Fellini fan you'll naturally want this disc, but if not, I'd recommend renting it. Good luck!

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Old 07-26-00, 04:07 AM
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quote:<HR>Originally posted by Justin Doring:
The film is not exactly plot driven...<HR>


That's like saying Armageddon is not exactly realistic.

Amarcord has absolutely no plot. It just presents a bunch of people wandering around doing everyday things. The film just starts, runs for 127 minutes, and ends - without any real story or anything! ARGH! How frustrating.

The best way I can describe it is this: Take a typical "ordinary life" sorta movie - say, A Christmas Story. Now take out the Red Rider air rifle part of the movie. What do you have? Nothing. There is no plot - just people doing things.

- David Stein


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Old 07-26-00, 04:15 AM
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For all the pants-creaming that gets done over Fellini, I haven't really heard any unanimous raves or anything. I've also never seen any of his stuff. It seems like the only way you're going to see a Fellini movie is to buy the DVD (barring renting the VHS).

I really like Kubrick, Scorsese, Coppola, etc. People usually also put Fellini and Kurosawa in this group as well as being great directors. Did any of these more obscure people produce something that kicks your ass like ACO, 2001, Taxi Driver, Apocalypse Now, etc., or is it just major snore-fest type stuff?
Old 07-26-00, 07:39 AM
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Kurosawa is a man worthy of his legend. Films like Seven Samurai and Ran are anything but snore fests. If it wasn't for Kurosawa we would not have had hit films like Magnificent Seven, Fistful of Dollars, and Star Wars just to name a few. His influence is far reaching. Fellini on the other hand is different. Though some of his films like Nights of Cabiria are enjoyable I feel he is greatly overrated.

[This message has been edited by Topgun94 (edited July 26, 2000).]
Old 07-26-00, 11:44 AM
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Most everyone agrees that Kurosawa rocks. I've seen Seven Samurai, Samurai I-III, Yojimbo, and Sanjuro, and they're all excellent.

And it looks like we're reaching a consensus that Fellini is a bunch of hype.

- David Stein


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Old 07-26-00, 03:48 PM
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While Samurai I-III do rock, Kurosawa has nothing to do with them .
As for Fellini, he was great in developing and pushing the language of cinema. That is why not all of his films are easy to digest. You might want to read his books to better understand the man. I have no idea why Amarcord doesn't have a commentary track: this is the film that would greatly benefit from it. On the other hand, whether a film is plot driven or not have nothing to do with its impact on the viewer. Koyaanisqatsi, for instance has no plot to speak of, but many people who have seen it would agree that it's a great film.
Old 07-26-00, 04:34 PM
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MANNNN!!! I can't take it any longer!

You guys need to recognize! Fellini is awesome! I liked Amarcord a lot!

-OK, I see where you guys are coming from... almost. If I try really hard, I can almost imagine why some might not like this film so much. But don't judge him on this one film! Try 8&1/2 or La Dolce Vita! [But any plot-hounds out there should avoid Satyrycon (mispelled)]

-To be honest, Fellini does sometimes have problems with plot... He's too focused on lyricism and cinematic poetics. He's too eccentric sometimes, and his passions (emotional-hang-ups) often muscle out any clarity in his films. But these reasons are precisely why he's one of my favorite directors.

-As a matter of fact, saying that Fellini's movies have obscured plots is like saying that Bob Dylan (or Kurt Cobain) had no vocal range. Its like saying that Picasso's paintings were unrealistic. Its like saying that Pamela Anderson is naturally a brunnette, and that Andy Kaufman didn't write punchlines. (You're absolutely
right.)

-Try 8&1/2 (VHS only, but criterion edition on the way) Its my favorite Fellini and its often considered one of his best works.

ps 8&1/2 was my first Fellini. It starts off slow, and at first I thought that it was going to be horrible. Ahh, but then I fell in love...



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Old 07-26-00, 04:37 PM
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Amarcord (which translates to "I Remember"), is a pastiche of memories, based on Fellini's childhood. To all of those who have criticized Fellini's technique, I ask: how many of you can clearly remember, say, around the time you were 8 years old? Now if you can remember certain things, can you honestly formulate your memories of that period into one linear thought? I suppose that the quality of recollections is relative to how old you are, and how good your memory is... My memories of any given year of my childhood consist of significant events and impressions, and I surmise that this was the same for Fellini (and probably how most people remember things as well). Now, perhaps he could have woven his tale in a conventional, linear manner, but how trite is that? Why condemn him for being honest about how he feels memories work?

As for plot, I believe that this is not the only way to convey a message via film... a more recent example of this would be Hurlyburly which has no plot at all, yet is, IMHO quite insightful. Another example: The Last Picture Show.

In these cases, the films are character studies, which are not story driven, but examine how people react, and deal with internal struggles, and external stimuli... though Fellini's approach can be somewhat light-hearted, and fanciful.

As for Fellini in general, the few films of his I've seen I've mostly loved: 8 1/2, La Dolce Vita, Nights of Cabiria, and Amarcord all rank highly, in my opinion. And the Ship Sails On I found to be weaker than the others, but it has style to spare.

8 1/2 is probably my all time favorite film. I could watch that film once a week, and probably discover something new with each viewing! While I'd have to see more of his films to come to a final conclusion, Fellini is a strong candidate for my favorite director as well.

I can see that Fellini is not for everyone... however, if you can free your mind from the hackneyed, recycled dreck that Hollywood insists on feeding the masses, and are willing to explore alternative forms of creative expression, Fellini should be worth a try.
Old 07-26-00, 05:50 PM
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Hmmmm... I may just have to order the Criterion Seven Samurai with the next Firstlook GC I get. I doubt Ballsbuster has the DVD. Is it an early action film, or drama, or a bit of both?

Kurosawa sounds like a surer bet than Fellini in my film-discovering exploits to me.
Old 09-06-00, 05:29 AM
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Y'know, Jad, all of my grandparents are dead (pretty sad, considering the last passed on when I was only 18.) But if I had a doddering old grandfather, I'm sure he'd be one of the "Did I ever tell you about the time that I went fishing, I was in the boat with whatsisname, oh by the way whatsisname died last year, he had a heart attack in a bus shelter, and he still owed me $20 from the time that we went to Dallas to see the auto show, and that was a great auto show because it had the car with the wheels, but I couldn't enjoy it because my arthritis was acting up, just like it was today, and I can't even open my prescription bottle that the druggist charged me $3 for, even after my Medicare coverage, and me with a bad back too" variety.

Were such grandfather to exist, I'd respectfully listen to him (or at least give him the impression I was listening, when in fact I was daydreaming about breasts.) But were he to suggest making a movie about such memories, I'd have his medication dosages increased.

Yes, I realize that not all movies need to tell a story or feature a "plot." Some benefit just from sheer action or visceral experience, and others succeed by presenting an original and immersive atmosphere. These facts notwithstanding, I still don't get Amarcord. It's really very pointless.

- David Stein


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Old 09-06-00, 05:38 AM
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quote:<HR>I still don't get Amarcord.<HR>


On that, at least, we agree.
Old 09-06-00, 03:50 PM
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Most of the post pretty much explain the movie. I liked it, but it has no reply value at all. Once was enough.
Old 09-07-00, 03:29 AM
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I'm holding out for Fellini's "City of Women: Criterion Collection".

[This message has been edited by sracer (edited September 07, 2000).]

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