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I Vitelloni

Before Federico Fellini began deconstructing narrative structure with "8 ½" in 1963 he made nine traditional narrative films of which "I Vitelloni" (1953) was the third. Fellini draws on the days of his youth by returning to his hometown to play a kind of trick on the friends he left behind by making a movie about their rudderless ways of passing time. A group of four Italian men in their late '20s, and still living at home, dream of escaping their provincial '50s era Italian seacoast town. As the indolent men drink, carouse and lay about in a daze of postwar ennui we see the war's stark effects on the men's moral barometers. "I Vitelloni" is a visually and emotionally eloquent example of neo-realist filmmaking that captures a timeless quality of male experience in a very specific and pure way. It is a masterpiece of seamless cinematic storytelling. Special features include high-definition digital transfer, a making-of documentary, a collection of stills and posters, original theatrical trailer and more. Aspect ratio is 1.33:1, with monaural sound processed in Dolby Digital. (Movie - Five Stars, DVD features - Four Stars) Not Rated, 107 mins. (Criterion)

September 25, 2005 | Permalink