Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Fellini's Satyricon

Fellini's Satyricon is my second favorite film of all time (Bergman's lyrical, membrane-red Cries and Whispers is my fave). It is such an astonishingly strange film with disturbing undertones with the rather freakishly Felliniesque innovation of adding film extras staring, creepily, beyond the camera and directly at the film viewer. *The Corsair shudders* Fellini imagined late Rome, scorching in its excesses after the genre of science fiction. Taking the fragments of Petronius Arbiter's ancient Menippean satire -- fragmented -- he inserted his futuristic vibe, scored by Nino Rota with arresting sound effects. We cannot fail to note that no two Roman Maestro's are better suited to engage one another than Petronius Arbiter, Emperor Nero's Master of Ceremonies, and the otherworldish Frederico Fellini.

Fellini was a deep believer in Jungian dream analysis and incorporated some of his own eerie dreams in the movie (the dark grotto of a landscape, into which we are led deeper and deeper, in the above clip is decidedly Fellini).

The story begins in the middle of the scurrilous philosopher Agamemnon's rant about the alarming state of Education of the youths of his Age and ends, densely, in the coils of The Labyrinthe of Knossos in combat with The Minotaur. It is a film scattered with all the great myths from The West's remote antiquity including Niceros' Tale -- the first recorded werewolf story -- and we heartily recommend it this goddam film with all our strength.

No comments: