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Amarcord

Movie Information

In Brief: Federico Fellini's most warm-hearted film is also possibly his most colorful and well-judged. It's basically a phantasmagoria of Fellini's childhood memories and the village he grew up in — memories presented in terms that can only be described as, yes, Felliniesque. If you don't know what that means, you definitely need to see this.
Score:

Genre: Drama
Director: Federico Fellini
Starring: Pupella Maggio, Armando Brancia, Bruno Zanin, Luigi Rossi, Maria Antonietta Beluzzi
Rated: R

Back in 2006, I wrote in part: “Like the wondrous peacock that arrives late in the film in an unexpected manner, Fellini’s Amarcord is a thing of breathtaking beauty — and, along with 8 1/2, represents the filmmaker at his very best. For all his genius, Fellini was an artist who often seemed not to know when he’d gotten the good out of an idea. This often resulted in scenes that went on long past their value, but nothing like that happens in this deceptively meandering work. Amarcord— the title means, ‘I remember’ — is a reminiscence on Fellini’s childhood in the town of Rimini. The narrative covers a year of life there in an often quirky manner (as befits a quirky town), but in an always affectionate tone. Whether dealing with the discoveries of adolescence, the simple delights of an earlier era, local myths, the rise of Mussolini and fascism, the impact of the priest, a family outing, an early sexual encounter, assorted eccentric characters, the wonders of a sudden snowfall — what have you — Fellini’s touch is assured and loving. Characters are seen as peculiar, foolish, even ricidulous, but no one — save a fantasy image of Il Duce and the fascists — is observed cruelly. And even Il Duce is presented more as an outrageous absurdity than anything else.”

Full review: http://avl.mx/nu

Classic World Cinema by Courtyard Gallery will present Amarcord Friday, Dec. 7 at 8 p.m. at Phil Mechanic Studios, 109 Roberts St., River Arts District, upstairs in the Railroad Library).  Info: 273-3332, www.ashevillecourtyard.com

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About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress since December 2000. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

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