Sunday, March 25, 2018

Movie Review - 'In Search of Fellini' (2017)

'You have to live spherically - in many directions. Never lose your childish enthusiasm - and things will come your way.' ~ Federico Fellini

In the movie, Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart Simpson on the long-running animated television series, has made her first movie as a screenwriter and producer. 'In Search of Fellini' (2017) reimagines a whirlwind adventure Ms. Cartwright once had to try to meet Federico Fellini… and so with the help of her longtime collaborator and co-writer, Peter Kjenaas, and first-time director Taron Lexton, she creates a Felliniesque fantasy of her own.
In this coming-of-age adventure, Lucy (Ksenia Solo), is a sheltered, small-town girl from Ohio, who discovers the delightfully bizarre films of the legendary Italian filmmaker and sets off on a journey across Italy to find him, a charming drama about the love of movies and youthful passion, which she inherited from her mother (Maria Bello)'s idealistic view of romance and appreciation of feel-good movies. After her mother falls ill, Lucy finds solace at a festival of Fellini films and discovers movies with dark endings and sexual scenes that she had never seen before. She resolves to find the man of her cinematic dreams in Italy.
Lucy, whose wide-eyed naïveté is modeled after Giulietta Masina's character in 'La Strada' (1954), isn't the only reference to Fellini's movies. 'In Search of Fellini' is overflowing with characters, locations and visual cues to the director's classics, like 'Nights of Cabiria' (1957), 'La Dolce Vita' (1960) and '8 ½' (1963). Fans that refer to Fellini as Il Maestro may delight in these references, but several cues and cameos are followed by a scene or poster of the cited movie, so as not to exclude the rest of the audience.
Fellini used nostalgia to point out something about ourselves; Mr. Lexton uses it to remind us of Fellini's films. The movie can shift from effusive love letter to travel lust to sentimental moment, but it doesn't break the fantasy.

© Frank Borsellino™
© From Where I Sit™
March 25, 2018

* Paolo Bernardini & Ksenia Solo - 'In Search of Fellini' (2017)

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