The Flowers of St Francis (Francesco, giullare di Dio) (Francis, God's Jester) Reviews

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Super Reviewer
March 25, 2013
more vignettes from rossellini; i'd like to watch this again sometime as it may have suffered in comparison with bu˝uel's towering film. it's certainly lovely
Super Reviewer
January 23, 2013
There's more than one moment of humor here, as Rossellini takes the opposite approach to religious storytelling (rather than Hollywood's overblown, over pious pandering) showing ordinary men struggling to live as their faith instructs: simply, and with faith. Episodic and cheerful.
Super Reviewer
½ December 18, 2010
More of a visual book than a movie, this film discusses episodes in the life of St. Francis of Assisi by means of "chapters", each of which is subtitled by a description of what will happen in this section. It's a gentle film in many ways, following the priests as they live their rural lives -- cooking, ministering, gardening, and praying. There is a substory about one of Francis' followers who has more devotion to his calling than common sense, and there is some comedy (not to a mention a couple of scenes a little tough to watch) in his mistakes and misinterpretations of Francis' teachings. Since I'm not very religious, let alone Catholic, I probably didn't get as much out of it as someone more devout would have. But I still feel that Rossellini did a lovely job with this film.
September 23, 2012
Apparently atheists make the best religious movies. Rossellini's masterpiece feels like a product of another time--simple as an icon painting, comic as a Canterbury tale, it's a film full of wonder and full of humility, both sparse and abundant, a sweet, sincere, seemingly ancient celebration of the spirit and the flesh. It's pretty perfect.
Super Reviewer
January 30, 2008
This is something special. A light but deep film, realistic in style and exuberant in its spirituality. Told in a series of allegories, St. Francis and his followers are played by real Franciscan monks, adding to the realism.
½ May 20, 2007
This was a pretty good movie. it was shot pretty simply and pretty consistent with St. Francis... Francis and his followers were all recruited from a Franciscan monastery by Rossellini.
½ October 31, 2012
Fellini can do no wrong.
½ October 20, 2012
Fellini incrivelmente simpático com os católicos... agradável surpresa. :-)
½ July 8, 2012
Roberto Rossellini applies the techniques of neo-realism (location and outdoor shooting, non-professional actors) to a series of parables or anecdotes about St Francis of Assisi. The film opens with a bunch of monks walking in pouring rain and progresses to show this same group of monks (in reality, real monks for the most part) having adventures (some comical, some more serious) -- often in long shot. There are such a lot of long shots I wondered whether this was Rossellini's way of depicting these simple faithful souls in their environmental context, with rugged terrain and hardship all around (a la the 13th century). Indeed, Francis and his followers earn their divinity through hands on assistance to the poor and by maintaining humility in doing so. The film's direction echoes this simple graceful style.
½ June 30, 2012
The Cahiers critics in the 50s praised Rossellini to the sky and I'm not going to pretend that it's easy for me to see why. ROME OPEN CITY is the only other Rossellini film I have seen so far, and the torture to sit through was no worse than the torture that the resistance fighters went through in the film. ST. FRANCIS, however, is a surprisingly delightful that has no historical or storyline complication - it's about unconditional faith, and the filmmaker seems to be as simple and faithful as St. Francis - he doesn't offer any psychological explanation to why the people do what they do, nor is their an immediate purpose that we may see perhaps at the climax of the film. It's faith for its own sake, with no expectation and no question. It sounds like an overly serious and religious film, but Rossellini takes care to inject so much humor into it. The mob scene is astonishing in its depiction of people being worse than beasts; the ending is so sweet that it lingers a long while after the film is over... the one thing I find particularly funny is when Guinero persuades the pig into giving up its trotter for a sickly brother, "Just think how many times do you have a chance to do good."
½ February 3, 2010
Simple film if you consider it was cheap but complicated and very spiritual if you explore the content of the screenplay and the scenes depicted in the picture. I liked it in general terms but there were some characters and situations that happened to be odd and hard to stand, the film is not very entertaining but I gotta admit it is a masterwork.
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