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Review: ‘Amarcord’

San Diego Italian Film Festival Screens Fellini Film

Above: "Amarcord"

The title of Federico Fellini's 1973 film "Amarcord" (playing Friday April 16 at 7:00pm at the Museum of Photographic Arts) is translated as "I Remember." And what I remember of this film -- which came out when I was thirteen -- are the two images I've posted. I can't remember if my parents, who took me to a lot of foreign films, actually took me to see "Amarcord" at that time or if these images along with my parents' love for Fellini and constant recounting of passages from his film have just led me to believe I had seen the film when it opened. Either way these two images are so iconic of the film and of Fellini's work in general.

The first image of a grossly proportioned woman (yet lovingly rendered by Fellini's camera) giving the young protagonist an early sexual encounter; and the second of the young man combining the pleasures of cinema and sex. Seeing "Amarcord" again reminded me that this is not Fellini at his best but it is Fellini at his most charming. "La Strada" and "8 1/2" are far superior films both in terms of content and artistry but "Amarcord" is Fellini's scrapbook of memories culled from his own life, and it is completely engaging and delightful. The film takes us through a year in a small coastal Italian village in the 1930s mixing memories of adolescent pranks, young love, crazy relatives and Mussolini. Considering what's currently in theaters now, "Amarcord" provides an oasis of cinematic delights even if it's not the master at his best.

"Amarcord" is presented by the San Diego Italian Film Festival.

"Amarcord"

Janus Films

Above: "Amarcord"

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