Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
Italy/West Germany, 1978. Daimo Cinematografica, RAI Radiotelevisione Italiana, Albatros Filmproduktion. Story by Federico Fellini, Screenplay by Federico Fellini, Brunello Rondi. Cinematography by Giuseppe Rotunno. Produced by Michael Fangler, Renzo Rossellini. Music by Nino Rota. Production Design by Dante Ferretti. Costume Design by Gabriella Pescucci. Film Editing by Ruggero Mastroianni. Toronto International Film Festival 1978.
An Italian orchestra convenes to rehearse a symphony while a television crew films them. Throughout the session, they get into fights with their conductor that threaten to turn into an all-out revolt while they each tell the cameramen their stories and their different ideas of music. Federico Fellini’s politically allegorical story is so very much the opposite of subtle that even those unfamiliar with Italian politics of the seventies will have no trouble deciphering its undertones. Some good performances, but the screenplay isn’t particularly inventive and Fellini’s direction doesn’t compensate for the lack of interesting characters. The only standout is a beautiful score by Nino Rota, who always added the perfect touch to all the Fellini films he worked on.