When the puffballs come, cold winter’s done!

Amarcord is the last in my little Fellini-a-thon; like I’ve said, I can only take so much of a single style or director before I long for a change. Here, Federico Fellini changes his topic from an individual to a whole culture, giving us a dreamy-eyes look into what I suspect are some of his own childhood experiences growing up in whatever town he grew up in.

Where La Dolce Vita and 8 1/2 were character studies, shaped as a series of vignettes focusing on a single character, Amarcord is the study of an entire town, a semi-autobiographical look at how an entire miniature culture thrives and survives day to day. There is no central character here, though there are recurring ones. The film is so effortless in its execution that it is almost stalwart, yet it remains at the least watchable. Fellini knows how to direct his films, that’s for sure; all of them have his whimsical free-spirited style all over them. The cinematography is very voluptuous, almost hedonistic, which ties into the various plots that tend to be going on; Satyricon was an obvious influence on Fellini’s later works.

Amarcord is a delightful romp through a city’s various goings-on, though like Fellini’s other works it can be a bit hard to watch at times just from the lack of coherent plot. The rest of the film is done so well, though, that it saves the film from becoming stagnant, if only slightly and from the viewpoint of a critical watcher. If anything, Amarcord is definitely an experience, but it is a must see before you die? Perhaps, perhaps not; Fellini’s other works give a similar experience. Still, this is a fairly good film in just about any regard.

Arbitrary Rating: 8/10


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