Saturday, July 12, 2008
Roma (Federico Fellini, 1972) C-
Fellini, along with Bergman, Lynch and Coppola after The Godfather, is one of those directors who I probably should like a lot more than I actually do. True, he's done some very inventive things as a director and I respect him greatly. But, more often than not, I just don't understand what the fuck Fellini is doing or trying to say half the time. In Roma, I was with Fellini during the first half hour- a nice recollection of his younger years and what Rome meant to him at the time which is an obvious precursor to his well-received Amarcord two years later- but after that I was totally confused. Out of nowhere, Fellini turns the cameras on the people shooting the movie, narrating his various discussions with random people who told him what they wanted Roma to say about Rome, and it just goes downhill from there. There's a scene involving rowdy people in a low-end vaudeville hall that was meant to contrast with a section about current music, but that section never appears. Then there's a random scene involving people digging a subway and coming across a lost mural in a hidden catacomb that left me scratching my head. The ultimate in weirdness has to be that fashion show with priests and nuns modeling the latest habits and robes. I have no idea what was going on there. It wouldn't have been so bad, but it just went on and on for at least 10 minutes. The scene could have been interesting in a different film, but what exactly is saying about Rome? All in all, a potentially good film is ruined by Fellini's desire to go so overboard that no one knows what the hell his point is anymore.