In 1914, a luxury ship leaves Italy in order to scatter the ashes of a famous opera singer. A lovable bumbling journalist chronicles the voyage and meets the singer's many eccentric friends and admirers.
Amelia and Pippo are reunited after several decades to perform their old music-hall act (imitating Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers) on a TV variety show. It's both a touchingly nostalgic ... See full summary »
Cinecitta, the huge movie studio outside Rome, is 50 years old and Fellini is interviewed by a Japanese TV crew about the films he has made there over the years as he begins production on ... See full summary »
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>
"Satyricon" is among the weirdest and most colorful, larger-than-life movies I've ever seen, along with Erasurehead, Erendira, Santa sangre, Naked lunch... If you don't like these, don't even try "Satyricon".
On one hand, its many flaws are rather upsetting. The out-of-sync lipping (bad post-sync), the fact that the movie neither really tells a story nor evocates sensible moral or philosophical concepts... so one may say it's actually a dull movie. The violence in this movie doesn't seem to make real sense, neither does the homosexuality, neither does the "romanian decadence" portrait.
On the other hand, the scenography, the sets, the costumes and makup are among the most dazzling ones you'll ever see in cinema, and the cinematography... well... maybe the BEST one you'll ever see. I can't think of any another movie able to compete with "Satyricon"'s mindblowing cinematography. Each scene is a terrific picture, with several visual layers, extraordinary lights and focuses, a lot of invention, of visual flair, and the overall technical mastery is stunning.
The result is something mesmerizing for some, totally disgusting for others. I have to say I'm more on the mesmerized side, because I was mainly focused on the visual/meditative aspects of the movie, not on the narrative ones.
If you're really into cinema, I mean as an artistic media more than as entertainment, you MUST see "Satyricon", as it's to my sense the most *visually* outstanding movie ever made. Be prepared for some disappointment about the movie as a whole, though...
57 of 93 people found this review helpful.
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