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.
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>
The earth has not managed to swallow me into the abyss nor has the sea engulfed me with its raging storms. I have fled from the law and escaped the arena. I've even stained my hands with blood only to end up here, destitute, exiled from my country, abandoned!
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The Drums for the Niegpadouda Dance
From Anthology of Music of Black Africa
Recorded by Everest Records
Arranged by Bernard C. Salomon
Published by Arvon Music See more »
"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...
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