Fellini Satyricon

1969

Fellini Satyricon

Critics Consensus

Episodic and strange, Satyricon offers a hedonistic tour through an ancient Rome that exists not in history books, but from Federico Fellini's singular imagination.

75%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 28

75%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 9,686
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Movie Info

The fall of ancient Rome was brought about by debauchery and hedonism more so than any foreign invaders. Two students leave school to pursue their ribald sexual fantasies. The Roman togas cannot hide director Fellini's contempt for modern youth as he draws parallels between the moral decay of Rome and the hippies of today who live fort he moment. The two engage in homosexual behavior with an effeminate friend, and take pleasure in a Nubian slave girl. Encolpio (Martin Potter) battles the Minotaur in a confusing labyrinth. Ascilto (Hiram Keller) is his friend as he and Encolpio find themselves kidnapped and made into galley slaves by Tryphaena (Capucine). The two kidnap an albino hermaphrodite thought to have magic powers. Drunken orgies and fabulous banquets are the highlights of events for the morally decadent Romans.

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Critic Reviews for Fellini Satyricon

All Critics (28) | Top Critics (7)

  • Stunning camerawork in deliberately garish colour from Giuseppe Rotunna, incomparable art direction, and some riveting music from Nini Rota aid Fellini in his principal task, which is simply to astonish and to widen the imagination.

    Mar 20, 2018 | Full Review…

    Derek Malcolm

    Guardian
    Top Critic
  • Federico Fellini presents an incredible fresco-like vision of Rome's social structure 2,000 years ago in which survival and pleasure were man's sole motivating forces.

    Sep 13, 2008 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • A shallow, hypocritical film, without a glimmer of genuine creativity.

    Sep 13, 2008 | Full Review…
  • Fellini's characteristic delirium is in fact anchored in a precise, psychological schema: under the matrix of bisexuality, he explores the complexes of castration, impotence, paranoia and libidinal release.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Those who don't weaken and bolt for the door experience a one-of-a-kind visual adventure they are unlikely to forget.

    Jul 21, 2005
  • It is a surreal epic that, I confidently believe, will outlive all its interpretations.

    May 20, 2003 | Rating: 4.5/5

Audience Reviews for Fellini Satyricon

  • Oct 08, 2015
    Satyricon is an adventure and a phantasmagoria unlike any other film (Jodorowsky's El Topo is the closest that comes to mind). The lead actor and co-star bring a (decidedly Italian) youthful vitality and intensity that helps counterbalance the decadence and decay in this portrayal of Rome as a circus that never leaves town. Definitely a view for those wanting a film with some guts to go for it on a grand scale.
    Robert B Super Reviewer
  • Mar 11, 2014
    Fellini misses the mark in his strange tale from Ancient Rome. The images are vulgar without much in the way of redeeming aspects.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 18, 2013
    If an experiment was conducted consisting in submitting a modest cinema connoisseur to this beautiful and decadently disastrous orgy of anarchic cultural aspects of Rome, perhaps the first name that would pop up to his head was Pasolini. Surprisingly, it isn't. More surprisingly, this rebellious piece of art entered the business before Pasolini's Trilogy of Life. Truth is, Satyricon is the turning point for the legend that Fellini already was before autobiographical memoirs and nostalgia invaded his mind with controversial youth moments added here and there for spicing up his love letters to the city that gave him life and an identity forever. 99/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • Apr 11, 2012
    Fellini's fragmented "free adaptation' of Petronius' epic poem (much of which is lost) jumps around depicting adventures in the Roman world, from a decadent orgy/feast to the theft of a hermaphrodite demigod(dess), with a minotaur in between. Almost impossible to follow but always gorgeous to look at, it's a major indulgence from a major director; when extraordinary talent indulges itself, the results are usually worthwhile.
    Greg S Super Reviewer

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