Thursday, December 18, 2008

Movies: Amarcord

Do not watch foreign movies without plots when you are sleepy. Nothing lulls one so gently as a gravelly voice, reminiscing in Italian, even in technicolor. You will find yourself battling your eyelids, and you will lose. You will demonstrate "basketball head," that bouncing effect one sometimes sees on the subway at four in the morning, when one is vivacious and drunk, but the basketball heads, bouncing, are exhausted from the night shift. You will miss parts of the movie.

Indeed I saw enough to know that it's better than the other Fellini movie I've seen (La Dolce Vita), but not enough to warrant the director's reputation. Certainly, it's funny, in that particularly Italian way—families that fight over dinner, children that misbehave at school, hairy-backed men that leer at big-bosomed women, and men that climb trees and cry out for hours "Voglio una donna!" (I want a woman!). But, without much more than a wandering narrator to bind all the vignettes together, Fellini risks putting his less dedicated viewers to sleep.

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