Amarcord

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Amarcord is Federico Fellini’s funny, nostalgic and frequently bawdy fantasy vision of his own boyhood growing up in a small Italian village during the reign of Mussolini. Perhaps Fellini’s most personal film (the title is a tongue-in-cheek play on Italian slang for “I remember”), Amarcord captures a tumultuous, joyful and often surreal year of life in the director’s hometown of Rimini. The film follows the comical (and sometimes heartbreaking) coming-of-age adventures of Titta, a teenaged Fellini surrogate making his way through the minefields of religion, love, sex, politics, puberty and family life. As the year passes by, the young man grows up, his father lashes out against the Fascists, the town beauty gets married, and the entire village celebrates and mourns, in scenes that veer between magical beauty and signature Fellini-esque excess. A masterfully constructed and highly entertaining ode to the glory of youth, Fellini’s dreamlike masterpiece lovingly pays tribute to village life, and to the wonderful embellishments that cloud our memories. Set to an unforgettable score by Nino Rota, Amarcord was the fourth of the legendary filmmaker’s works to win the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. (Dir. Federico Fellini, 1973, Italy, in Italian with subtitles, 123 mins., Rated R) 35mm