Suffering from writer's block and eagerly awaiting his writing award, Harry Block remembers events from his past and scenes from his best-selling books as characters, real and fictional, come back to haunt him.
Stephanie Roth Haberle
An Innuit hunter races his sled home with a fresh-caught halibut. This fish pervades the entire film, in real and imaginary form. Meanwhile, Axel tags fish in New York as a naturalist's ... See full summary »
With the help of a talking freeway billboard, a "wacky weatherman" tries to win the heart of an English newspaper reporter, who is struggling to make sense of the strange world of early-90s Los Angeles.
Richard E. Grant
Just after boarding a train, much to the surprise of his fellow passengers, a man pours a bucket of water over a young girl on the platform. Over the next few hours he explains (and we see ... 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
Juliet of the Spirits has become one of my favorite Fellini films. The story involves a woman who discovers that her husband is cheating on her. The forces of family, tradition, the church, and an immoral society all pull at her and force her to make a difficult decision. These forces would be banal in a standard film but Fellini chooses to visualize them as images and dreams. The dream sequences are nearly perfect and create a sharp sense of the hazy logic and unreality of dreams. Other comments (as well as our friend Maltin) have noted that the symbolic nature of the film is a detriment. This is true only if you are constrained by reality and demand that film adhere to the rules you have set down (or more likely had set down for you). Taking the journey with this film is well worth the time and effort. I hesitate to state that a male director has successfully penetrated the inner desires of a woman, but in this case I think Fellini has at least come close to the mark. A film to be looked at, talked about, and enjoyed again and again.
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