Amarcord (1973, Federico Fellini)

Set over one year in the mid-to-late 30’s, mostly follows high-school-aged Titta and his family but leaves breathing room for the rest of the town and its inhabitants. The rare ensemble movie that gives everyone a memorably distinct identity without resorting to stereotyping.

On one hand, it would be worth renting the Criterion DVD and poring over the hours of extras. On the other hand, there’s no outside explanation needed for Amarcord. Need to watch this again and again… I’m pretty sure Katy would like it.

The title is slangy for “I Remember.”

I can’t account for why this won an oscar one year (best foreign film) and was nominated for more oscars (writing, directing) the following year.

I always think of “fascism” as a bad word, an insult thrown at your government by foreigners, forgetting that once Italians were screaming their support of fascism in the streets. Nutty buggers.

I don’t think this was packed with movie stars. Red temptress Magali Noël had been in Satyricon, Titta’s mom would appear in Cinema Paradiso 15 years later, and mad uncle Teo would direct a parody of The Exorcist.

So, another great Fellini film, combining the circus-film group atmosphere of 8 1/2 with touches of the tragedy of La Strada, with fortunately no La Dolce Vita influence to be found. I didn’t let the dubbing get me down, but I’d thought a new print of a new restoration of an only 30-year-old film would have more vibrant color than it did.