IFF: Amarcord

(Italy, 1973, 123 mins, 35mm)
In Italian with English subtitles
CAST Bruno Zanin, Pupella Maggio, Armando Brancia


Shortly after turning 50 and at the height of his career, Federico Fellini returned to the seaside town of Rimini, where he grew up, to make Amarcord (a neologism that suggests "mi ricordo" in the Emiliano-Romagnolo dialect: I remember).

Set in the 1930s, the film has the free-wheeling form that became one of Fellini’s hallmarks. It allows him to swing back and forth between ribald comedy, fantasy and melancholy.

"Amarcord is the least grandiose and most immediate of the maestro’s later films and deserves to be rated among the finest screen memoirs of the 20th century. It offers an extraordinarily lyrical and vivid succession of vignettes, inside the most subtly rigorous narrative structure of Fellini’s career. […] Although the figure of the boy Titta is obviously his alter ego, Fellini builds a generously fractured mosaic that belongs to no one central character or even the on-screen narrator… Like many autobiographical tales written or filmed, this one weaves the innocent, limited viewpoint of children into its wider social context, which here heralds the reign of fascism in Italy in the 30s. Poignant indeed is the gap, gradually revealed to the viewer, between the hints of violence and social exclusion to come (especially in relation to the Jewish population), and the life-affirming antics of youth. […] Fellini’s comedy, refreshingly, goes to the outer limits of vulgarity in a number of hilarious scenes. His style is streamlined here into a pure, exalted poetry of mist, flowing camera movements, pastel colours, and lightly artificial set design. A triumph of artistic form, its emotions are direct and affecting." Adrian Martin

With: Federico of the Spirits

DIR Antonello Sarno / Italy, 2013, 20 min.

Federico Fellini died on October 31, 1993. After two days of lying in state in “his” Theater 5 at Cinecittà, crowded with friends from cinema and ordinary people, his solemn funeral was celebrated in the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels in Rome, by Cardinal Achille Silvestrini.

It was November 3. Just a little over 20 years ago. Three intense, extraordinary days transformed into the first great media event (approximately one hundred television networks present) centered on the demise of an Italian show business figure. A particularly moving event in which Italy, and the world, gave a last affectionate farewell to one of the greatest, universally recognized geniuses in its history (Fellini is the only Italian director to have 5 Oscars) through images filmed between Cinecittà, airports (to interview the great names in cinema in arrival from abroad like Mastroianni, Chabrol and many others) and, lastly Piazza della Republica in Rome, where the funeral rites were held before a veritable ocean of people while the church was packed with all the great stars of Italian filmmaking. But beyond its images, the documentary narrates those three incredible days which by now have become movie history, through the memories of those who were there: Vincenzo Mollica, Pupi Avati, Paolo Villaggio, Sergio Rubini, Sandra Milo, Ettore Scola, Lina Wertmuller, Dante Ferretti, Giuseppe Tornatore, Carlo Verdone, Claudio Amendola as well as many other friends and colleagues of the deceased director.