I Vitelloni

I Vitelloni (1953) movie poster

(1953) dir. Federico Fellini
viewed: 12/15/03 at Castro Theater, SF, CA

I’ve said it before, and I will say it again, largely because I tend to repeat myself ad nauseum, but despite having been a film studies student, there are a multitude of significant directors of whom I have seen little or nothing. Of Federico Fellini’s films, I have seen one, The Clowns (1971), which was made for television, I believe and might cheapen it as an entry. I did see it in film class, though.

For the Monday Night Movie Club, this is the kind of thing that gets us out to the theater, seeing the art cinema stuff and classics and whatnot.

I Vitelloni, I don’t think, is utterly typical Fellini, though I am obviously not one to be able to say that with absoulte self-assurance. It’s an earlier film for Fellini, one that is less “fantastic” or “surreal”, but is more a sort of naturalistic tale of a group of young Italian men and their carousing misadventures. Not a great summary there, but it gets the gist across. This film, I have read, insired Martin Scorsese’s Mean Streets (1973), which potentially adds something to it.

Overall, I wasn’t overly excited about the film, though it was mostly fairly pleasing throughout. There is interesting camerawork and engaging storylines, and certain scenes are particularly nice. Some of the party scenes have a fun aesthetic. And the post-carnival scenes, with the deserted streets and all of the giant clown heads in fountains and lying on the ground make for a strange, almost post-apocalyptic world.

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