Fellini's Roma (1972)

Genres - Comedy Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Satire, Ensemble Film, Urban Comedy  |   Run Time - 120 min.  |   Countries - France, Italy  |   MPAA Rating - R
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Fellini's Roma is precisely the kind of cinematic valentine to the Eternal City that only Federico Fellini could create. Fellini's personal journey through the city of his 1930s youth and the freak show, traffic-clogged 1970s present, Roma fondly lingers over the Felliniesque carnival of characters populating family dinners, theater audiences, brothels, and street parties. Fellini himself appears on film orchestrating the contemporary crew. Accurately summed up on camera by Gore Vidal as "the city of illusions," Fellini turns Rome's Catholic ritualism into an opulent ecclesiastical fashion show, while the subway construction sequence and the final, nocturnal tour of the ruins via motorcycle find surreal beauty in the potentially destructive juxtaposition of ancient and modern Rome. Reportedly disdained by Romans, Roma was nevertheless greeted by critics as a welcome return to the nostalgia and astute commentary of such early masterworks as I Vitelloniand La Dolce Vita. Fellini would merge nostalgia and surrealist fantasy even more fruitfully in Amarcord. Anna Magnani's cameo as herself, urging Fellini to go home and go to sleep, was her final screen appearance. Cameos by Marcello Mastroianni and Alberto Sordi were cut from the English language version.