Juliet Of The Spirits (1965)


Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB

Original title:  Giulietta Degli Spiriti

Italy/France, 1965.  , .  Story and Screenplay by Federico Fellini, , Screenplay by Federico Fellini, Tullio Pinelli, , .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , , .  Music by . Production Design by , , .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

More magical wonder from Federico Fellini, this time making his first feature film in colour (he had directed a short in Boccaccio 70 a few years earlier). Starring (the real Mrs. Fellini) as a fictionalized version of herself, Juliet of the Spirits can be considered a female companion piece to 8 1/2.  Whereas that film was about a filmmaker who is, among other things, stepping out on his wife, this one is about an Italian housewife who suspects that her public relations genius husband is cheating on her. A seance early in the film opens up her mind to a whole slew of spiritual possibilities that have been lying dormant in her for so long; they also give her the freedom to explore her own feelings while also trying to figure out the truth behind her husband’s reticence to talk about the gap in their relationship. Filmed with the usual florid camera moves and wry characters that populate all of Fellini’s films, this gem is eye popping in its splendour and honest in its depiction of a woman whose psyche is laid out flat for us to explore. Upon its initial release the film was a huge bomb that nearly bankrupted Fellini, who didn’t make another grand feature again until Fellini Satyricon five years later.

The Criterion Collection:  #149

Academy Award Nominations:  Best Art Direction-Colour; Best Costume Design-Colour

Golden Globe Award Nomination:  Best Foreign Language Foreign Film

Venice Film Festival:  In Competition

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