La Città delle donne (1980) from Tuna

Fellini's The City of Women is 138 minutes of pure Fellini, from his second phase. In other words, there is imagery, nudity, symbolism, and enough of a plot to give some continuity. In all fairness, I was involved in the first half of the story, but was very glad to see it end.
A man on a train (Marcello Mastroianni) tries to pick up a woman in his car, gets off at her stop to get her number, and misses the train. He follows her to a hotel, only to discover that he is nearly the only man in a hotel full of feminists having a convention. He tries to observe, and maybe even learn something about women, but is eventually attacked first verbally then physically by the women. One women helps him to "escape," and he ends up with a large middle aged woman on her motorcycle (Iole Silvani according to the credits, and Jole Silvani according to IMDB). Rather than taking him to the station to catch a train, she takes him to a greenhouse and tries to rape him. 


various actresses in various scenes (see the comments)
He then escapes to a lush mansion owned by a man who is celebrating his 10,000 sexual conquest with a huge party. In my favorite moment from the film, the bride to be squats on small platforms, and inhales coins then pearls from the floor with her pudenda to demonstrate why he chose her. Mastroianni meets his wife at the party, and encounters several other woman.

Spoiler Ahead

He passes some sort of test, is allowed to escape in a hot air balloon in the shape of a naked woman, is shot down, then wakes up in a train car opposite his wife. BARF!!!! The entire 2 minutes and 18 seconds has been a dream.

End Spoiler
 In the film, Fellini is showing his age. He is at the point that most men worry about losing their sexuality and with it their masculinity. Fellini explores every man's deepest fears, and, at the same time, shows how life would be if women were the sexual aggressors. Maltin, in awarding 3 stars put it very well, "Lavish fantasy could only have been made by one filmmaker; a Fellini feast or déjà vu o.d., depending on your mood and stamina."  

The Critics Vote

  • Maltin 3/4.

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 6.4.
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a C+. Worthwhile for the sub-title set, no crossover appeal.

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