Four directors tell tales of Eros fit for a 1970s Decameron. Working-class lovers, Renzo and Luciana, marry but must hide it from her employer; plus, they need a room of their own. A ... See full summary »
Juliet lives in a beautiful house by the ocean. Her sisters, and especially her Mother overshadow her with their beauty. She is a spiritual, superstitious and naive woman. She visits a psychic seer who tells her she must follow the sex trade in order to be happy. Not long after she meets her eccentric and sexy neighbour, Suzy, who, by all counts appears to be a high class prostitute and encourages Juilet into sexual acts which make her guilty and nervous. A rare night when her husband is at home she wakes up to catch him talking to another woman on the phone. He calls out the name "Gabriella" while sleeping, but when she questions him he lies his way out of it. She finds out who Gabriella is and fears her husband will leave her. Juliet begins having visions who accuse and terrorize her. The pinnacle of the visions comes at the end where it is implied she realizes she would be better off without her husband and is ultimately emotionally emancipated. Written by
One of Fellini's most accessible films (his use of color really helps), he once again plays reality against an active fantasy life... fantasies that combine memory, fears, fleeting desires and the way we imagine the lives of others. For me, one of the things that makes a film 10 star is that it provides something that only film can provide, and this is it; while the presentation is very theatrical, this quick intercutting of time/memory/mood can only be done in film.
While the overall message is a very conservative (pre/anti-feminist) one of it's day, Fellini DOES liberate a woman's fantasy life, and this is the essence of his leading "little woman." The predominant action of the film is in her imagination.
This was the day when middle/upper class Italian women did not work, and Masina represents the "good little woman." Rich enough to have servants, there was little to occupy her time or mind, other than similar friends who have veered to the outre and weird just to have something to do. Masina's character searches more internally, and her fantasies color her vision of the lives of others. (Note that her usual circle of friends are equated with a fantasy of death, and you'll be clued into her psyche as these begin.)
I think you have to have lived a bit to "get" Fillini - I didn't like his work when I was younger - I love this. Also note his use of color as "percieved color" not literal color and this is worth many viewings.
And finally, if you are a larger woman... nothing makes you feel so great about being a large woman as watching Fellini's glorious Amazons!
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