Wednesday, December 28, 2005
I slacked off for a while, but having a week off is helping me catch up on Netflix DVDs lying around the house.
Strange that the queue delivered this Fellini gem on the heels of Bergman's Hour of the Wolf, because the two films have a lot in common thematically and it's interesting to compare Bergman's dour specters with Fellini's three-ring circus of fun-loving ghouls.
Juliet (the incomparable Giulietta Masina) is the well-to-do wife of a successful PR man who occasionally comes home to sleep or eat a snack before leaving for "work." Soon enough Juliet begins to suspect that "work" is often a euphemism for fucking someone else. She's got some innate leanings as a medium, and after a seance is in steady contact with several spirits who advise her and keep her company, and some of the spirits seem to be warning her that hubby is hiding the sausage elsewhere. A guru advises her to become a whore, a PI tells her to reconcile with her man, and a shrink tells her she doesn't need him. At the end she achieves emancipation from everyone, including the spiritual tormentors. The plot in this Fellini joyride is throw-away; it's loosely structured like 8 1/2 and La Dolce Vita, and the characters and the sets and the whirlwind conversations and party scenes make it a classic. Imagine it as a bridge between Satyricon and Amarcord, with a bit of Barbarella Queen of the Galaxy thrown in for good measure. I can't help but think however that Masina was wasted in this role--her energy,lively humor, and depth aren't tapped once in 2.5 hours.
for Xmas (it was the only thing I asked Santa for), as well as
I'll be busy for a few days...