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Elizabeth Lee Miller,
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>
It was well known that in the late 60's, famed Italian director Federico Fellini experiment with LSD. That's why "Juliet of the Spirits" was so bizarre and colorful. But the 1969 head trip "Fellini Satyricon" was even stranger than previous Fellini films. Loosely based on the novel by Petronius, the beginning of the story concerns two men in the B.C. Roman era fighting over the love of one boy. Later they have many strange and colorful misadventures. This film may be to bizarre for some; with its grotesque images, a mild orgy, dwarfs and even a hermaphrodite goddess. The set pieces are out of this world. It's like being caught in a two hour dream. Many times I had no idea what was going on, but that didn't bother me. Satyricon is a visual decadent head trip of color. Fellini considered this film a sci-fi of the past. I consider Fellini a genius; he's designed a film that makes a great substitute for drugs. If you enjoy "Fellini Satyricon" you should also watch Vera Chytilova's "Daisies" (1966), Alejandro Jodorowsky's "The Holy Mountain" (1973), Guy Maddin's "Careful" (1992) and Tsui Hark's "Green Snake". All of these film contain bright colors and surreal images. Enjoy!
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