Cinematic Heaven: Amarcord

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Amarcord | Federico Fellini, 1973

I had heard of this movie before but I never thought of finding out what it was about before seeing it. All I knew was that it was a satire on Fellini’s life as a child. Also, having only seen 8 1/2 from Fellini before this (I’ve not seen more because his films aren’t easily available where I live), I didn’t know what to expect. So, imagine my surprise when I found my self laughing the hardest I have laughed with a movie in some time and when I became engrossed with every single character in the movie.

Amarcord doesn’t have a linear plot with a single story as we are used to. Rather, it takes a look in the lives of various residents in a small Italian village, from spring to the next spring. The people that we see the most of are the member of a family. The father is the manager of a brick factory, the mom stays at home, there’s a charming uncle, quirky grandpa, a young kid, and an older son who, along with his friends, seems to only be lusting after just about every woman in the village. Through them we get to meet the most beautiful woman in the village that every man wants, the town’s prostitute, the teachers, the priest, just about everyone.

I loved this movie so much. I got to care for all of the character that were focused on becuase they were completely developed. And even though I was watching it in a small screen I became truly submerged in the world that Fellini created. When someone dies you can truly feels what everyone in the town was feeling. When they are excited for seeing a ship, you can also feel the excitement. Also, there are many hilarious scenes, my favorite one being the church confessions.

Aesthetically, it is one of the most beautiful films I’ve ever seen. The cinematography is beautiful and it captures the feeling of living in a small town, and the art direction and the costumes bring the time period to life. Also, the score is among the best I’ve heard. Rounding up the production are the actors, each one of them given a different task, and all of them delivering quality work.

I need to see this again before I make any decisions, but this just might be in my top three of all time. I hope this comes out on Blu-Ray soon so that I can get as close to a theatrical viewing of this as I can get.

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