In 1914, a luxury ship leaves Italy in order to scatter the ashes of a famous opera singer. A lovable bumbling journalist chronicles the voyage and meets the singer's many eccentric friends and admirers.
One year in a small northern Italian coastal town in the late 1930s is presented. The slightly off-kilter cast of characters are affected by time and location, the social mores dictated largely by Catholicism and the national fervor surrounding Il Duce aka Benito Mussolini and Fascism. The stories loosely center on a mid-teen named Titta and his household including his adolescent brother, his ever supportive mother who is always defending him against his father, his freeloading maternal Uncle Lallo, and his paternal grandfather who slyly has eyes and hands for the household maid. Other townsfolk include: Gradisca, the town beauty, who can probably have any man she wants, but generally has no one as most think she out of their league; Volpina, the prostitute; Giudizio, the historian; a blind accordionist; and an extremely buxom tobacconist. The several vignettes presented include: the town bonfire in celebration of spring; life at Titta's school with his classmates and teachers; ...Written by
Giacomo Leopardi (1798 -1837) was an Italian poet who came in touch with the main ideas of Enlightenment, and created poetic works, related to the Romantic movement, making him regarded as the greatest poet of modern Italy. See more »
When the carriage is hidden behind the farmhouse, its position in relation to the shadow changes between shots. As it is driven behind the building, it is in shadow; when next shown it is out of the shadow. See more »
An exclusive digital restoration of the film was done by Criterion in 1995 for their laserdisc. The disc contains a before-and-after demonstration of the restoration process and has the option of either the original Italian soundtrack or the English-dubbed soundtrack. See more »
While this film certainly has some poignant points about life, it is mostly the work of a great artist who has reached an age where he can view his childhood memories from a detached, nostalgic point of view. Visual splendour and humor abound, and it is a thoroughly delightful watch but I still like Fellini more, when he is more personally invested in the problems of his characters, as in Dolce Vita or 8 1/2.
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