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Fellini Satyricon

95 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Encolpius is a Roman student who begins by arguing with his friend Ascyltus over the affections of androgynous youth Giton. Ascyltus wins, whereupon Encolpius embarks upon an odyssey, partaking in a drunken orgy and being kidnapped by a bisexual sea captain and his concubine. Encolpius eventually rejoins Ascyltus to visit a suicidal Roman couple, join in a plot to kidnap a "sacred" hermaphrodite, and much more. Loosely based on the book "Satyricon" by Gaius Petronius, the "Arbiter of Elegance" in the court of Nero, Federico Fellini wrote and directed this tongue-in-cheek hymn to the "glories" of pagan times via a bizarre journey through the decadence and debauchery of Nero's Rome.


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Product Details

  • Actors: Martin Potter, Hiram Keller, Max Born, Salvo Randone, Mario Romagnoli
  • Directors: Federico Fellini
  • Writers: Federico Fellini, Bernardino Zapponi, Brunello Rondi, Petronius
  • Producers: Alberto Grimaldi
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: MGM Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: April 10, 2001
  • Run Time: 128 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000059H9C
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,040 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Fellini Satyricon" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

66 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Stephen McLeod on April 30, 2001
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
*Fellini-Satyricon* was the Maestro's first movie in which his name appears as part of the title. It is also one of the most fascinating and origninal films of the 20th century. Every Fellini movie is unique. He had no peers. *Fellini-Satyricon*, however, is a cardinal enry in Fellini canon (not to mention the canon of Italian cinema) because it is the perfection of the new style announced in *8 1/2* and the innauguration of a new visual extravagance that would inform all of Fellini's subsequent films.
The subject, 1st century Rome in all its florid, tumescent decadence, is lovingly transformed through Fellini's comic vision. The self-contained sequences, vignettes really, are not only fair translations into cinema of what is probably the first "novel" in Western literature, they also serve to reflect the fragmentary nature of the surviving evidence of antiquity. Scenes are fitted together like pieces in a puzzle where some of the picture is ultimately lost. This is emphasized by the visual references to broken frescoes, from which the characters seem to emerge and revert back into.
The DVD provides a sparkling, lush, diamond-sharp transfer with a choice of English or Italian soundtracks and English, French, Spanish subtitles.
A word about the dubbing: The English version is much better than the Italian version, for a number of reasons. 1) Fellini dubbed all his actors anyway because he used international casts. There is no such thing as a Fellini movie where the actors are actually speaking their lines in real time. For the most part, different actors were used for the dubbing. 2) The Italian actors used in the Italian dub are horribly miscast. There is just no way that those voices could come out of those people. Physically. The English actors are better.
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49 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Gary F. Taylor HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 10, 2003
Format: DVD
If one rates a film on visuals alone, Fellini's SATYRICON would surely be completely off the scale: a phantasmagorical mixture of sensual beauty and the distasteful but evocative grotesque set in an ancient Rome that never was, never could have been, and yet which plays up to every extreme concept we secretly harbor about Roman decadence. The leading men are incredibly beautiful; the women are generally seductively depraved; and the broad vision that Fellini offers is easily one of the visually stunning creations ever put to film.
And yet, oddly, the film is sterile. The story is impossible to describe, a series of largely unrelated events in the lives of two impossibly handsome youths (Martin Potter and Hiram Keller) who begin the film by battling over the sexual favors of a slave boy (Max Born) who alternately unites and divides them until all three find themselves sold into slavery and flung from adventure to adventure, most often with sexual (and frequently homosexual) connotations. Clearly, Fellini is making a statement about the triviality and emptiness of a life lived for physical pleasures alone. But the film is jumpy, disjointed, disconnected; the sequences do not always arise from each other in any consistent way, leaving viewers with a sort of "what the ..." reaction when the film unexpectedly shifts without explanation. In consequence, SATYRICON is ultimately less about any philosophical statement Fellini may have had in mind than it is about sheer pictorial splendor and deliberate weirdness.
Whatever its failings, it is an astonishing film, and one that would have tremendous influence on a host of directors who followed in Fellini's wake--although all to often without his style and vision.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Maximiliano F Yofre on June 14, 2005
Format: VHS Tape
Director Federico Fellini was undoubtedly a film maker genius!
Since his earlier works "La Strada" (1954) and "La Dolce Vita" (1960) thru "Fellini Satyricon" (1969) and "Amarcord" (1973) till his lasts "Ginger and Fred" (1986) and "The Voice of the Moon" (1990) he has left a legacy treasure for film lovers and film makers.
Most of his films combine fantasy and reality in a rich mixture with no fixed boundaries. The viewer will be attracted and repelled alternatively (especially by the present one) and at the end of each of his movies will go out of the theater (or the bedroom or living-room) knowing that he/she has assisted to a unique piece of art show.

"Satyricon" (1969) is not an easy film to see or to follow due to its shocking images and to its fragmented sequences.
This last is not a Fellinian scheme but the consequence of following Petronius' book as we know it. The original story was never recovered as a whole, beginning and ending are missing, some parts of the text are mutilated in mid-sentence and the action continues at leaps.
Fellini has transported this structure to his film. Sequences starts as from suspense points or end abruptly. Action jumps without clues of what's up in the middle.
The Maestro takes advantage of these disruptions and creates a chaotic collage full of amazing pictures. Each photogram is a canvas that deserves being treasured.
Action has the distinctiveness of dream-stuff and as in dreams anything may occur.

The anecdote in itself is almost irrelevant: two friends compete for the favors of a young slave-boy that alternatively yields to one or the other. The three of them run thru different scenarios: a banquet, public baths, theatrical representation, bordello and many more.
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