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6 reviews in total 
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3 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Is boring an understatement for this film?, 4 March 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I'm a bit surprised to find myself in disagreement with other reviewers but this movie is a) actually boring b) the actress, although a good professional, is actually that: a soulless professional c) the " president" is totally miscast d) even the recipes, in their farfetchedness, are completely uninteresting. The rhythm of the gags is repetitive, no plot, no drama. Just the usual surprised, smiling faces of the ( supposedly) typical Frenchmen when they hear yet another recipe declaimed by a loving, caring chef. One of the few films that I didn't finish watching and that can be easily forgotten. I'm sure that other people might disagree and I accept that but, sorry, that's my opinion.

What a waste of talent!, 7 January 2014

I didn't see this movie when it came out in 1968. And for good reasons, I guess, as it must have had a very short life in theaters. I saw it today and I was intrigued by the opportunity of watching what I was expecting to be a long lost gem. What a disappointment. I couldn't bear myself to endure watching it to the end. Put simply, it's one of the worst films ever made for which no significant use can be found apart from titillating the sexual interest of American teenagers (who nowadays have better options, anyway). The only reason it was made was probably the exploit the physical gimmicks of the main actor, Vittorio Gassman, who at the time was at the peak of his career as a TV personality.

Short Cuts (1993)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Inspired by Fellini?, 4 August 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I saw this movie again last night and, like an old friend with which you had a bit of disagreement long ago but you are happy to see again, I found it most enjoyable. Well, enjoyable by an artistic, cinematic point of view. Certainly not by a human point of view since at the end, the shallowness and downright ugliness of some of the characters, came back to make me feel again that lingering subtle sense of depression at life being sometimes so unpalatable. That same bitterness at the back of your mouth after a not-so-honorable spree the night before. And yet the movie is one that you will never say: I've had enough of this. You do want to follow the different personas, their briefly brushing of self-contained lives, hoping a new story will develop, a redeeming character will appear. But no one enters from the left to shed light. Everyone is self-absorbed.

I looked at the some of the other reviews to see if someone else had my same hunch and did not find any reference to what I think is Altman's inspiration for this canvas of American lives: Federico Fellini. Where La Dolce vita was a large fresco of a certain society at a certain point in time, here Altman wants to represent on a large, spread out mural a number of characters loosely connected or separated by their own materialism, hoping that, in the end, what the viewer sees is the colors and shape of a bustling city that can only be L.A. Where Fellini had a Ulysses-like character (Mastroianni) representing himself and his awe at the confusing life of a cynical old city on the verge of modern materialism, Altman does not have an himself watching and connecting the stories but tries to be more objective, more detached, letting the individual stories develop kind of casually. This is because the script does not come from him, from his own experiences ( as I understand the aging singer character is his only contribution to the plot) but from a number of short stories written by someone else. So, where Fellini is telling us of his own fears, surprises and expectations Altman is recounting someone's else story, a story that he is trying to tell not interpret, hoping that it will speak to the viewers by itself. So, if Fellini's fresco reminds me of The Triumph of Death in the cemetery of Pisa, scary, bigger than life and never to be forgotten, Altman's work reminds me of those many , beautiful murals one can see all over the world: busy, colorful, confusing and devoid of perspective but which one goes away from with a bit of bitter aftertaste for not having told a more decisive, clear message. An 8 nonetheless.

7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
a director steadily evolving, 3 March 2011

Having just seen this movie I'd say that Virzì is seriously working on becoming a major director. His technique is steadily evolving, his stories becoming more and more complex yet intimate, digging in his own youth and background while finding his own voice and style. Not quite Fellini yet but he seems to have a penchant for rolling in wallowing, like the great master, in his own experiences, remembrances and fantasies. It's a great compliment to say no matter what confusion one might find in the plot, one cannot really stop watching it. And like a good book, once finished watching, one feels like going back an looking again at some pages to better savor them. I don't know if this was Oscar material (too intimate, and a bit difficult to read for a general audience) but surely a movie to watch again after a few days, like a good book to leaf through now and again. This is what French movie directors have been trying to convey at their best. Kudos to Virzì.

A modern American Graffiti, 15 December 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I don't really feel like a need to add a summary here. All the people who have seen the movie know the story already but I believe that there is a deeper meaning to it. Much as James Joyce's Ulysses has the same story as the Odyssey but it is adapted to early 20th century Dublin with a more syncopated, modern, staccato style so this modern days American Graffiti is based in Astoria in the '80s. I don't know if anybody read the movie the same way. It is basically the same story: some young boys dreaming of leaving the oppression of a place with no future. But only one will leave, the others will be condemned to a bleak, boring future of drugs and joblessness. Give or take something and allow for changes in time, attitude,culture and place this really is a modern days American Graffiti. Great movie. Intense and absorbing if not technically accomplished. it speaks even to people who don't know where Astoria is because it talks of problems we all are familiar with.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Fellini's films were always only about himself, 27 November 2010

I'm so glad to see so many reviews about this movie. I plan on reading all of them but, after having seen it after so many years ( I first saw it when it came out in 1960 and loved it) I feel the urge to immediately clarify one point: this movie, like all the others he made,is autobiographical. Fellini, like all great artists, is always talking about himself. He is like a pig in his through (no offense intended)who sits in it, taking pleasure in the warmth emanating from his own ejections, all the while trying to give meaning to himself and his feelings. And wondering why other people find interesting what he is saying. The themes are always the same: the need for incestuous maternal love, the adventure of leaving the little provincial town, the reminiscences of his (much idolized) boyhood, an absent father figure that he tries to summon up, a purifying young female figure,etc. etc. This was his greatest success and it is so because he put so much of himself into it while casting a cynical (but not overly harsh) eye on his fellow men. To really understand this movie one needs to think of it not like a series of episodes illustrating a decaying societies but more like a large, very large canvas,or better yet a large fresco, showing, not without some sympathy, the ebullient, multi-language society in which a smart young man from a provincial little town in Italy is trying to find his ways and a meaning for his life. A great movie, not unlike a modern Divine Comedy or Ulysses with an Italian Leopold Bloom navigating and getting lost in a sweet, intoxicating modern days Rome, not dissimilar from the one he later described in Satyricon.