Fellini’s “Roma”

Fellini’s “Roma”

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

As I got reacquainted with my local library I one day looked over the movie section. Of course since I have such an interest in things Italian I was very curious about the DVD labeled only “ROMA” on the spine. When I looked further and found that it was a Fellini movie that’s all that I needed to take it home with me. I hadn’t seen many Fellini movies. I do remember “La Strada” because it was so stark, had “Zorba” (Anthony Quinn) in it and seemed so allegorical. Of course the big movie for Fellini that made him so well known was “La Dolce Vita”. I had seen that in the past and frankly was not that taken with it even though it was a breakthrough movie in terms of the craft of movie making. I had never even heard of “Roma”. I was absolutely stunned by this movie. Maybe this is for the same reason that I prefer visiting supermarkets and hardware store to churches when traveling – it’s more about everyday life than art. This movie combines both for me. It struck me that Fellini was as much a poet as a film maker. Who’d have thought to outfit a truck and car with movie making gear and set out on the autostrada just to see what would happen like the film clip below. Be forewarned that it is almost 10 minutes long but I recommend it for the apparently serendipitous events. Staged? Who knows but it doesn’t really seem like it.

There are also great scenes in Rome that show such vitality and exuberance. A theater scene with rude comments from the audience, a visit to a house of prostitution are some of the others. The one below also has a food element so of course I like it.

Then there is the one about the ecclesiastical fashion show which like the autostrada sequence is a bit long but hilarious. Priests on roller skates, nuns with winged headgear? Not to mention fantastic colors, flashing lights and mirrors – well, you just have to see it to believe it.

So I don’t know what the critics thought of this film but it worked for me and I highly recommend it. Are you a Fellini fan and what films would you recommend? What about other Italian directors?

6 Responses to “Fellini’s “Roma””

  1. Jamie P. Says:

    Oh my god! There’ll NEVER be another Fellini! I watched these at noon… not the best time to watch Fellini, because now I’m going to have these crazy, fantastic, lurid, hilarious images in my mind all day! How can I go to work NOW? Oh well.. time for a double cappudcino. Ciao, Joseppi.

  2. Joe Says:


    Isn’t the eccliastic show crazy! If you really want crazy you should try Satyricon. I really didn’t like it at all but Fellini really goes wild on that one. Thanks for leaving a comment. It’s nice to know that someone is reading this stuff. I’ll do another review of a Fellini movie that I like sometime later.


  3. Abby Says:

    Try 8 1/2, which is as famous as (if not more than) La Dolce Vita.
    I remember seeing Roma when it first came out. I was living in Paris and the movie theater was mobbed w/ normally rather sedate French people. It was so cutting-edge then but you’ve tempted me to watch it again, if only to see how it holds up. (Pretty well, I’d imagine!) In any case, Fellini’s always been one of my Top Five writer/directors. (If you want to continue the Film Series, try Antonioni’s trilogy L’avventura, La notte, and L’eclisse, with Jeanne Moreau, Alain Delon, Mastroianni. Also Il deserto rosso, w/ Monica Vitti. Blow-Up is his most famous …

  4. Joe Says:


    As part of my new enthusiasm for Fellini after Roma I did watch 8 1/2 and liked it better than La Dolce Vita. I would say that Roma has held up extremely well. When I watched it just a couple of months ago I was really very surprised to know that it was made in 1972. Of course the cars on the roads are at least that old but of course old cars on Italian roads is nothing new :^). I really like some others as well, at least one of which I will write a post about later. I have seen Red Desert and a couple of others by Antonioni (including Blowup and Zabriskie Point) but it as has been a LONG time. I guess it’s time to refresh my memory of those – what’s your favorite?


  5. Dana Says:

    I have seen this one! It’s been awhile, but I remember the scenes you include. I liked it. I also liked La Dolce Vita, but I remember thinking it really wasn’t as good as a friend of mine seemed to think it was. I need to get time to watch more of these – I just don’t do much TV or movies any more… (SIGH) 🙂

    Thanks for the movie reminder!


  6. Joe Says:


    I also really like Amarcord. I will do a post on that one at some time in the future. My Italian teacher agreed with me that she didn’t like La Dolce Vita so much either but she likes the “Le notti di Cabiria” so I want to see that one. Just not enough time for that plus Antonioni, etc.


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