Welcome to William Schoell's GREAT OLD MOVIES blog. Feel free to leave a comment regardless of the date the review was posted -- I read 'em all. Or if you prefer -- and especially if you have any questions directly for me -- email me at tawses67424@mypacks.net and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. Click on a label link (labels can be found at the bottom of each post) to find other movies from that year, the star, that director or genre and so on. Or enter a title, director, genre, star or supporting player in the small Blogger "search blog" box at the far left up above and click search blog. [NOTE: While this blog mostly reviews films -- and TV shows -- that are at least twenty-five years old, we do cover films up until the present day.] HAVE FUN AND THANKS FOR DROPPING BY. William.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


The ecclesiastical fashion show!

FELLINI'S ROMA (1972). Director: Federico Fellini.

In his love-valentine to the wonders, joys, excesses and beauties of Rome, Fellini has fashioned not a true documentary -- many scenes are staged -- but a mock documentary that expresses his conflicted feelings about the great world capital. The film bounces back and forth in time, with the main 1940's "storyline" involving a young man (Peter Gonzales Falcon, apparently playing a young Fellini) who comes to board with a family and attends a delightfully vulgar variety show with a rowdy audience (one mother just lets her child piss right in the aisle), experiences an air raid, and goes to a brothel or two. In one "low-class" whore house the hookers are almost as old and unattractive as the madames, and the situation in the more expensive brothel isn't much better. In modern sequences an underground chamber with ancient frescoes is uncovered during an excavation for a new subway, but the fresh air destroys them. There is a scene showing busy traffic entering Rome from the airport, and a more memorable sequence showing dozens of motor cyclists zooming all around the city. The highlight of the film, of course, is the ecclesiastical fashion show [see photo], an irreverent look at the clergy in all their popinjay finery.

Verdict: A mixed bag, interesting, but hardly a masterpiece like I vitelloni . ***.

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