A flighty yet ordered process that produces a precise and passionate image of places, eras, reality and memory. Fellini's Rome is an indispensable handbook for understanding and empathising with the culture, history and identity of Italy.
Just think back to La Dolce Vita! It feels like a united series of episodes held together by the personality of the protagonist Marcello. Though none of 8½, Satyricon and Amarcord is truly a work of dramaturgy either. On this occasion, Fellini doesn't even try to present this patchwork film as a united whole. He also integrates his usual complexities into the production, yet at the end of the film, when the motorcycle riders rumble into Rome, we understand that these patches are knitted together with a strong thread. While some contemporary critics saw it as straight-up poetry, others reacted against the fact that classic cinematic scenes were mixed with interviews and pseudo-documentary footage. Moreover, these often blend into each other. But hey, these are all layers of Rome. The remains of ancient Rome merge in with interpretations of the glorious past, and the glorious past merges the cult of Il Duce, until we suddenly find ourselves in a Fellini scene where honourable gentlemen hark back to the past as jackbooted policemen impassively observe the hippies. And we continually move from one of these layers to another. At the end of the film, a surreal priestly fashion show brings us into the future, spurred by the past and by memories, before then falling into the funereal dance of Nino Rota's music. Deconstructing this film is no easy matter...
In Italian, with Hungarian subtitles.
The discussions before and after the screening are conducted in Hungarian.