Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Juliet of the Spirits

You thought I was joking didn't you.

Could Mike be so self-important that he would write film reviews on his blog? We'll....yes, hes talking in the third person isn't he? You see the reason I sleep in so late in the mornings is because it takes a lot of energy to lift such a swollen head out off the pillow not to mention fit it out the bedroom door, where it meets with the real world and slowly deflates. And so I must run back here to the internet and nurse it back to disproportionate size.

Or maybe its just because I like you and I want to share things of beauty with you.

Anywhooo..."Juliet of the Spirits"

The first of Federico Fellini's films in color. Starts us out with Juliet, a faithful servant of a wife, preparing a anniversary dinner for her husband. Fellini prepares for us this intimate scene and then immediately undercuts the tension with the introduction of an ensemble of chatty sycophants in the sort of piecemeal roam-about style of which he is so popular. The seeds of the story are planted: The husband Giorgio has a mistress, and a guiding spirit "Iris" is introduced to Juliet. As the film progresses Giorgio's infidelity becomes more and more apparent, and Juliet is forced to confront him and then inevitably face her own confused feelings of loyalty, trust, sexuality, freedom, and guilt.

Lead actress Guilletta Masina of one of Fellini's earlier and ultimately more popular films the oscar winning "La Strada" plays the part with a lot of depth. Appropriate, considering she had been married to Fellini for over 20 years.

In many ways Juliet is an extension of many of the same devices Fellini invents in 8 1/2 and La Dolce Vita. Symbolic characters form the past are reintroduced into the present to represent Juliet's conflicting ideas. New characters are introduced which may or may not be real. In the end all of the characters must confront each other, like when you're at the grocery store with your mother and your teacher is there buying toilet paper. A serendipitous meeting for them sure, but for you a explosively frightening occasion that begins to warp and bleed your carefully constructed and segregated worlds into each other. Fellini goes ahead and puts your mom, your teacher, your first kiss, your naked grandfather, and a sexy horse all into the same frame and demands that though this is going to be hard for you to accept and consolidate, this cacophonous parade of separated realities may be the only way for you to transcend the subtle ways in which these distinctions tyrannize your freedom.

So this film if you have the chance to, especially if you're fond of 8 1/2.

On an unrelated note, stay the fuck away from Wizards that animated piece of garbage from the makers of "Fritz the Cat"...Don't get sucked in by the attractive cover art. This movie, the last thing I got from Netflix, was a disaster from wobbly start to oversimplified finish.

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