Fellini's Satyricon (1969) from Tuna

Satyricon (1969) is widely considered Fellini's best. 
It is very loosely based on the classic of the same name by Petronius. It is about the decadence and debauchery that would eventually lead to the decline of the Roman civilization, and it is often thought that Fellini saw this as a parallel to society at the end of the 60's. Like any Fellini film, it is all about images and symbolism. In this case, some of the imagery is superlative. The film is full of assorted breasts and buns, but I was only able to identify one actress, Hylette Adolphe, who had a very lengthy topless scene. 


see the main commentary
The film is really a series of vignettes, with some common characters. 

In one of the stranger segments, two characters kidnap a Hermaphrodite child demi-god, so they can get rich on his powers to heal. Might have worked had they not sun-dried him to death. There is a great deal of male homosexuality in the film, and ample hetero action, but no girl/girl. Maltin awards 3 stars, admitting that it is not a film for everyone, but is a visual treat. If you want to see exactly what Fellini could do with a camera, this is one to rent.

DVD info from Amazon.

  • Widescreen anamorphic, 2.35:1

  • no significant features

Scoop's notes.

I'm not sure what Tuna means above, but most people consider Satyricon to be one of Fellini's worst films, if not his very worst. He disappointed a lot of fans when he went into his highly visual psychedelic stage, starting with Juliet of the Spirits. Many purists only like the films he did before 1964. Satyricon is considered to include some of his most beautiful visuals. 

Incidentally, Fellini and his occasional leading lady, Giuletta Masina, were married for fifty years. Fellini died one day after his 50th wedding anniversary.

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+. Definitely a genre art film, I doubt that it has a lot of crossover appeal, and will give it a C+

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