Fellini’s Casanova (1976)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5

Original title:  Il Casanova Di Federico Fellini

Italy/USA, 1976.  .  Screenplay by Federico Fellini, , based on the autobiography Storia della mia Vita by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by Danilo Donati, Federico Fellini.  Film Editing by .  Academy Awards 1976.

Even fans of Fellini’s films will have a tough time getting through this laborious biopic of the famous lover. Instead of playing into myth and directing a Harlequin romance-inspired tale of debauched sexual bawd, Fellini finds the more poetic and lamentable aspects of Giacomo Casanova’s life to exploit. Using a melancholy pace that every audience member feels without question, Fellini seeks to describe the man’s mundane life by purposely making a boring film:  this is very impressive and daring, but doesn’t make it any more fun to sit through. It benefits from beautiful period detail (especially Danilo Donati’s Oscar-winning costumes) and a fantastic performance in the lead by (whom Fellini chose because he said he had the big, bulging eyes of a rampant masturbator). The screenplay, based on Casanova’s own writings, is thought-provoking and intelligent, but the overall experience will appeal to only a select group of film lovers.

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