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Fellini's Casanova (1976)

Il Casanova di Federico Fellini (original title)
Casanova is a libertine, collecting seductions and sexual feats. But he is really interested in someone, and is he really an interesting person ? Is he really alive ?

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Writers:

(autobiography "Storia della mia vita"), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Tina Aumont ...
Henriette
Cicely Browne ...
Madame D'Urfé
Carmen Scarpitta ...
Madame Charpillon
Clara Algranti ...
Marcolina
Daniela Gatti ...
Giselda
Margareth Clémenti ...
Sister Maddalena (as Margareth Clementi)
Mario Cencelli ...
Moebius
Olimpia Carlisi ...
Isabella
Silvana Fusacchia ...
Isabella's sister
Leda Lojodice ...
Rosalba the Mechanical doll (as Adele Angela Lojodice)
Sandra Elaine Allen ...
Angelina the Giantess
Clarissa Mary Roll ...
Anna Maria
Alessandra Belloni ...
Princess
Dudley Sutton ...
Duke of Wuertemberg
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Storyline

Casanova is a libertine, collecting seductions and sexual feats. But he is really interested in someone, and is he really an interesting person ? Is he really alive ? Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

And Now...after four years of preparation and production...


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

11 February 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fellini's Casanova  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Donald Sutherland, who wore a prosthetic nose and chin, shaved off the front part of his hair, once telling a laughing crowd "When Fellini says get a hair cut, you get a hair cut." See more »

Quotes

Giacomo Casanova: A man who never speaks ill of women does not love them. For to understand them and to love them one must suffer at their hands. Then and only then can you find happiness at the lips of your beloved.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Red Dead Revolver (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

 
La Dolce Vita...yet again.
3 August 1999 | by (Dublin, Ireland) – See all my reviews

Casanova is bawdy historical speculation, metaphysical farce, sensual overload, ironic critique of Enlightenment values. It has everything you expect from Fellini - visual clutter; dislocated tonal shifts; childish slapstick in an epic framework; Dionysian outbursts; gaudy sets; ludicrous costumes; messy gags; philosophical ruminations; European picaresque; unforgiving seas; dwarves; arm-wrestling giant princesses; aristocratic orgies; butlers and their catamites; mechanical dolls; hunchbacks and nuns in heat; mocking, otherworldly Nino Rota music; squalid grandeur; sex contests; mists of abyss; noise; the terrifying silences behind the noise. The defiance of realism is total. Just because a film isn't very original, doesn't mean it isn't worthy. Or, more importantly, great fun.

Anyone expecting, from the title, Tinto Brass 70s-style Euro-art-porn, will be very disappointed. There is precious little nudity, and the sex is ludicrous. This farcical treatment is in keeping with one of Fellini's main themes. Casanova is among the most famous names in history, a readily recognisable identity, the epitome of male endeavour and virility. And yet Fellini's concern is with the dissolution of identity, the loss of power in masculinity, the subsuming of the (usually artistic) individual in the crowd and chaos. From I Vitelloni on, and especially in the Mastroianni films, the male hero is passive, powerless, a pinball to fate. Many Fellini films burst into confusing crowd activity, the audience lost without a point of identification.

Unlike Mosjoukine's amiable and active 1928 Casanova, Donald Sutherland's is not the stud of reputation, but a pompous, long-winded bore, whose sexual technique is uninventive and monotonous. Like Don Giovanni, another legend who fails to live up to it, Casanova uses sex to ward off death, only to realise that the two are terminally linked. Forever hoping to dine with great men of letters, he is always caught in the straitjacket of his myth, and of history's sexual representations. He is the embodiment of the Enlightenment, a multifaceted Renaissance man - poet, philosopher, chemist, inventor etc - but Fellini profoundly mistrusts Enlightment values. His 18th century is not that of Diderot and Voltaire, but a continuation of Satyricon - a bestial murk where appetite, confusion and cruelty reign. History doesn't change: there is no progress, man is unimprovable - the Enlightenment was wrong.

Casanova, despite his idealistic assertions, is not a being ruled by mind, controlling his destiny, but a puppet tossed about by whim and chance. There is very little light here, much shadow and fog. Casanova's accomplishments are mocked - his poetry is ridiculous; his aphorisms banal. His intellect cannot triumph over the age so he must go mad. And, appropriately, he finds a little happiness in insanity.

Casanova is a very messy film - frustrating, sloppy, continually denying momentum. Scenes often seem not to fit, actors in key moments lack synchronicity. Yet this confusion fits the film's theme, which rejects Casanova's ironical asceticism in favour of life in all its repulsive, topsy-turvy variety. It is a melancholy film, but also very, very funny.


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