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1 item from 1997

Film review: 'Marcello Mastroianni'

13 October 1997 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Marcello Mastroianni fans and film buffs in general will rejoice at this final gift from one of cinema's greatest stars.

This lengthy documentary, directed by the actor's longtime companion, is a marvelously reflective summing-up of his life and distinguished career, featuring a copious selection of clips from his movies and even stage appearances. Although the film is a bit long for theatrical release, it will be a permanent mainstay on video and television.

This year's New York Film Festival is mounting a salute to the great actor, with its presentation of both this and his final film, "Voyage to the Beginning of the World" (HR 10/8).

Extremely simple in concept, "I Remember" captures Mastroianni as he stares into the camera and offers mature observations and reflections about his life. Shot at various intervals, mostly while he was making what would be his final film, he is seen sitting on a Park Bench, at the beach, on a boat, etc. Interspersed throughout are clips from the films he is discussing, including many examples of his early work that even the most ardent film buff probably hasn't seen. Frustratingly, though, they are unidentified.

The elderly but still supremely handsome actor reveals himself to be a witty and wise commentator, as self-effacing and modest as he is charming and funny. Deriding the image of the "Latin Lover" that has plagued him throughout his career, he declares, "I've always enjoyed being ironic about my appearance," and a series of clips from films in which he submerged his good looks demonstrates the truth of his assertion.

The discussion ranges from his views on television ("that mini-cinema that I hate") to his habit of smoking 50 cigarettes a day ("It's really bad", he smiles as he takes a deep drag). He reveals that one project he failed to get made would have featured him as an elderly Tarzan (a delicious idea).

Among the rare clips on display are a fascinating screen test with Fellini for a film that never got made. and scenes from several of his stage appearances, including a musical called "Ciao Rudy" in which he sings and dances.

Mastroianni says he had always wanted to be an architect, because they "build things that last." He wonders if his work will have any permanence, dismissing it as "just shadows on the screen." Maybe so, but this film, and many of the 170 or so others he made before it, will last a long time indeed.


First Look Pictures

Director-editor Anna Maria Tato

Producer Mario Di Biase

Photography Giuseppe Rotunno

Music Armando Trovajoli


Running time -- 200 minutes

No MPAA rating


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