Amarcord (1973)

In Film on January 6, 2005 at 7:56 am


Fellini‘s whimsical recollection of his youth in a little sea-side town during the days of Italy’s Fascism in 30s. There’s not much of a story, just different episodic accounts of the colorful town folks’ simple lives and their fantasies. Their lives are weaved by ritualistic highlights: the flower that blew all over town indicating the end of winter, bonfire party to welcome spring, boat-greeting to passing-by giant ship, the Fascist Parade, etc. Fellini got a flamboyant style that’s just so beautiful like poetry, and this film is not that bizarre nor pretentious (by his standard ^^;;). The camera works and scenery are just pure pleasure to look at. The first thing I noticed are the soundtrack by Nino Rota, I LOVE the theme music. The music got a festive parade sound that sound very fitting.

This got to be my most favorite sequence of the entire film. Everyone in town, old and young, rich and poor, paddle their boat all day to the open ocean and waited all night in the cold just to wave to the biggest ship Italy ever built to pass by…it’s just so magical. It is more emotional than any other scene. Like many sequences in the film, it is reminiscence of the very nature of extreme national pride. The only straightforward and conventional ‘dark’ scene that illustrated the effect of Fascism was when someone played the Communist song from a gramophone on the bell tower (which was shoot down ferociously by the Fascist soldiers) and every male in town got inquired and ridiculed. A lot of town folks welcome the Fascist officials, though most are indifferent.

For some reason the most memorable sequence for me was the part where grandpa got completely lost in the thick morning fog, who was just steps away from the house’s front door. It was mesmerizing, magical, frightening…and so simple.

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