Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB. Italy/France, 1972. Ultra Film, Les Productions Artistes Associes. Story and Screenplay by Federico Fellini, Bernardino Zapponi. Cinematography by Giuseppe Rotunno. Produced by Turi Vasile. Music by Nino Rota. Production Design by Danilo Donati. Costume Design by Danilo Donati. Film Editing by Ruggero Mastroianni.
Fellini’s tribute to his adopted home is a plotless, sometimes metaphysical odyssey through the Eternal City. There are Papal fashion shows, trips through brothels, archaeological excavations and even glimpses of popular Italian movie stars (Anna Magnani and Marcello Mastroianni among them). It’s visually splendid, but some viewers will find it frustrating and eventually boring, while Fellini fans will find much to enjoy about it even if La Dolce Vita did a better job of exploring Roman culture while employing a stronger narrative.
The Criterion Collection: #848