Three directors each adapt a Poe short story to the screen: "Toby Dammit" features a disheveled drugged and drunk English movie star who nods acceptance in the Italian press and his ... See full summary »
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 a Medieval Roman chapel, now an oratorio, an elderly factotum sets up for rehearsal. The musicians arrive, joking and teasing. A union shop steward explains that a TV crew is there, talking to them is optional, and there will be no extra compensation. Musicians talk about their instruments. The German conductor arrives and puts them through their paces. He yells, he insults. The shop steward calls a 20 minute break. The conductor retreats to his dressing room and talks about how the world of music has changed, moving away from respect for the conductor. He returns to the rehearsal to find the orchestra in full revolt. What can bring them back to the music? Written by
Very interesting Fellini, but for me not one of his best
I do say this as a great admirer of Fellini's films in general. Prova D'Orchestra perhaps could have had more time to breathe for the audience, sometimes we do get the sense that we are told so much that by the next bit of information we are still trying to take in the previous. The conductor did have potential to be insightful and interesting, in most documentaries on orchestras or a certain composition or composer the conductor usually is that, but I personally did find him underdeveloped. However there are some undeniably great things about Prova D'Orchestra. It looks gorgeous, filled with shots that are distinctively Fellini(see the long-takes) and lovely scenery. Fellini's direction is as ever great, his style is definitely all over the film and it's quite nostalgic and diligent. The orchestra members' interviews are much more interesting than those of the conductor's, they do have much to say, you can tell they love it and there are bits of humour as well. I didn't quite get that sense with the conductor's monologue in the dressing room really. The basic story is not exactly new, with the whole idea of rebelling against someone, but much is done with it to make it fresh and accessible also to mainly those who take an interest in orchestral music. Which brings me to the music. The best asset of the movie for me. Maybe I'm biased as music has always held a big place in my heart and I will be doing it professionally after my degree, and I have always since The Godfather loved Nino Rota's compositions. Not only is the music beautiful but there are also some subtle humorous injections, which I found pleasing. So all in all, a very interesting Fellini film, but not one of my absolute favourites of his. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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