A nostalgic reflection on life in a small Italian coastal town over a period of one year in the 1930s as told in a series of vignettes by director Federico Fellini (La dolce vita, La strada).

Centred primarily around the young Titta (Bruno Zanin – The Good Soldier, City Under Siege) and his family, snapshots of the everyday are interspersed with teenage fantasies and scenes highlighting the national fervour stoked by Mussolini. The visit by Il Duce to the town is balanced by Titta’s father, Aurelio (Armando Brancia – Mogliamante, Il gatto) being questioned by the authorities for his anti-fascist opinions. Town beauty Gradisca (Magali Noël – Rififi, La dolce vita) attracts attention from more than just the authorities whilst the annual spring bonfire and the Mille Miglia car race passing through the town provide celebrations for all.

Loosely autobiographical, Amarcord is a fragmentary world of memory and imagination, with characters lacking any real substance, created for the viewers cinematic entertainment. Italian tropes abound as the family fight over the pasta, the buxom Gradisca stops (male) traffic, the Blackshirts march through the town. It’s all a little unnerving and superficial, a bloated circus of emptiness.

Winner of the 1975 film in a foreign language Oscar, nominated for best director and original script Oscars in 1976.

Rating: 50%


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