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Another classic by the great Federico Felini.
Almost unstructured, like a succession of dreams or an assemblage of childhood memories and of early youth, which, in fact, is, Amarcord captures the viewer with characters that are at the limit of caricature (or charged excessively in the rendering of their personality and characters). Amarcord highlights for the first time the fact that for Fellini cinema is above all magic, evocation, perhaps even exorcism.
In one of the key sequences, placed almost at the end, lost in the fog the actors wonder "but where did they all go? Where did they go?" the surprise that everything goes away, passes, disappears. Fellini offers an exhilarating, free, surprising and elegant look at the Human Comedy by telling its vulgar, humorous, dramatic and poetic sides. Amarcord is also denouncing the censoring and "normative" power of totalitarianism, of the church, of adults against the anarchist freedom of childhood. A masterpiece that, like all masterpieces, has different levels of reading and asks the viewer to let himself go completely, to let himself be taken by the carousel of memories, so personal and at the same time so sharable.
Fellini's brilliant interweaving of fantasy and reality perfectly captures the childhood memory, the way we see our past through a romanticized lens. Highlighted by odd, bittersweet moments and spots of unexpected humor, this film is fascinating.
Fellini gives us a series of memories, fantasies, and dreams in the vignettes which make up his semi-autobiographical film 'Amarcord' ('I Remember'). The message which comes through is loving, and about the gaiety of life, embracing its madcap characters and moments - moments which will someday live in our memories, hazy though they grow, as little diamonds of light. I loved the scenes satirizing the Fascists and the Catholic Church, and they're all the more powerful in this context, where they are reduced in significance, and just another zany thing Italians dealt with (or deal with) in life. The film doesn't strike any major philosophical chords, briefly coming close as men peer up into the heavens, but the lines uttered as a poem by a construction worker are powerful ("My grandfather made bricks / My father made bricks / I make bricks, too / but where's my house?"). I may be in the minority here, but the film didn't strike me as particularly beautiful, though it was a pleasure to see Magali Noël (Rififi, La Dolce Vita, and many others). It held my interest, but lacked a big punch, even in its sentimentality, though I was always pulling for it, and loved the many references to Hollywood actors from the 1930's. Unfortunately, there is not enough depth here to consider it a great film, and Fellini too often indulged in caricatures and juvenile humor. Net, a mixed bag.
Good acting, awesome style, and beautiful cinematography. I just wish the themes didn't go over my head. I couldn't tell what the point of the movie was.
Surely fascinating but not a masterpiece. It is highly overrated
Amarcord is another one of the director's overrated films. It isn't funny, it isn't smart and its characters aren't colorful or interesting. They are just super annoying and unlikable with all the yelling. The film was just an excuse for the director to put his sexual fantasies and experiences on screen and when you really think about it, Fellini was just a very immature, horny teenager who never grew up.
I'm not sure what to make of this movie. It surely is a grand picture with light humor showcasing the period of the 30s in fascist Italy, and the style is very familiar. But I can't come to a definite conclusion of what was the aim of Fellini beside of making a nostalgic movie about his childhood.
I smile at some critics who can't see the sarcasm of this movie towards the fascist regime, because they allegedly don't see that they are bad. In their view the showcase of it ought to be violent, bloody and disgusting only. Poor liberal people.
Amarcord is such an enjoyable, fun, and sweet-hearted movie to watch. I couldn't help but notice how cartoony and interesting all of the characters were. It was almost like watching a Disney animation movie or a 90's cartoon, it was so nostalgic.
It was also so nice to see how Fellini's childhood home and life were like. I'll be watching this one again.
With more bawdy humor than one may expect from Fellini, this eccentric and breathless work of sheer genius has you in its talons from the word go.
With few exceptions, Fellini tends to prefer the truth of a moment rather than simply calling attention to the craft with flashy camera work. As such, "Amarcord" is not a flashy film, but it is bright, fun, well-intentioned, and gentle of spirit.
I've noticed that Federico Fellini's work tended to be more about finding detail and intimacy in the midst of a grand design. Every moment feels like a lavish set piece of costuming, subtext, writing, directing, and performance.
It's about fascism, young love, education, family, and the daily goings-on in a very specific Italian town. But you never feel the weight of those ideas unless he wants you to, because he's a master craftsman, and this is as confident a work as one is likely to see from him.