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Movie Review: Amacord

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Experience the fantasia of Amarcord! | Photo courtesy of Criterion

Amacord, one of Federico Fellini's most personally telling films, opens at the Landmark Nuart Theater in Santa Monica today for a limited engagement. Told through a series of narratives from each of the main character's perspectives, the film follows some of Fellini's childhood experiences in the seaside village of Rimini, set against the peak of Fascism in Italy in the 1930s. For those who may be unfamiliar with Fellini, his style is boldly unique and is considered by some to be an acquired taste. Personally, we find the boldness refreshing. There is a surreal quality in his storytelling that begs us to take a step back in time, both in the physical world and in the intangible depths of memory. His use of imagery is often stunningly vivid and unforgettable and sets the tone for a lengthy, dreamlike memoir.

The townspeople of Rimini are larger than life, going about their daily lives with the kind of zest and passion to be envied. Most of them fit a common stereotype that is laughable, from the boisterous, blue-collar brick workers to the guilt-laden, confessing Catholics, to the flirtatious corner cat callers. Somewhere in the middle is the dysfunctional Biondi family. Each family member represents a part of Fellini’s childhood, helping to paint a picture that illustrates his undying love for his country.