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In first century Rome, two student friends, Encolpio and Ascilto, argue about ownership of the boy Gitone, divide their belongings and split up. The boy, allowed to choose who he goes with, chooses Ascilto. Only a sudden earthquake saves Encolpio from suicide. We follow Encolpio through a series of adventures, where he is eventually reunited with Ascilto, and which culminates in them helping a man kidnap a hermaphrodite demi-god from a temple. The god dies, and as punishment Encolpio becomes impotent. We then follow them in search of a cure. The film is loosely based on the book Satyricon by Gaius Petronius Arbiter, the "Arbiter of Elegance" in the court of Nero. The book has only survived in fragments, and the film reflects this by being very fragmentary itself, even stopping in mid-sentence. Written by
Steven Pemberton <Steven.Pemberton@cwi.nl>
Soldier at Tomb:
They've stolen the hanged man! While I was with you, the thief's family took him away! I know what punishment I'll get... a horrible death. Why should I wait for it? I'd rather die by my own hands.
[pulls his sword out and is about to stab himself]
Wife of Ephesus:
No! No, my dear... To lose the two men in my life, one after the other, would be too much...
Wife of Ephesus:
[looks at the corpse of her husband]
Better to hang a dead husband than to lose a living lover.
[...] See more »
Permeated with hedonism and sexuality, highly theatrical, very bizarre and surrealist while still keeping it on the ground and making it more potent and little coherence storywise; its fragments of Petronius classic (which I haven't read) wrapped in Fellinis incredible imagination.
Scenography, casting and settings are here of the absolutely highest order. Each frame is composed with the utmost care it seems, perhaps inspired by the same artworks found in the movie. Like the old Greeks this movie is made as true art in a non decadent manner contrasted with the decadent Rome we meet in the movie.
There are so much depth to this movie its no use trying to cover them here, but one key theme is, I think, what was described as the flower of youth and the withering of it, that is Encolpio's youth.
Highly recommended if you like a movie out of the ordinary, the images you see here will never be forgotten.
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