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Amarcord (The Criterion Collection)

4.6 out of 5 stars 132 customer reviews

Geek Boutique 2016 Geek Boutique HQP

$26.49 & FREE Shipping on orders over $49. Details In stock on July 30, 2016. Order it now. Sold by actcdc and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A young man views life in a 1930s Italian village.


From moment to moment and shot by shot, Amarcord delivers more sheer pleasure than any other Federico Fellini movie. That's not to say it's his greatest film, or that anything in it rivals the emotional, lyrical, or metaphysical wallop of the finest passages in Nights of Cabiria, 8 1/2, La Strada, or even La Dolce Vita, the big early-'60s crossover hit that made the director king of the international film world. But Amarcord was the last clear triumph of Fellini's career, his prodigious gifts for phantasmagoria, amazing fluidity, and gregarious choreography all feeding an emotional core that caught at audiences' heartstrings and carried them away.

The title is supposed to mean "I remember," and the film is ostensibly a memory-dream-diary of life in the director's seaside hometown of Rimini during one year in the 1930s. But Fellini was an irrepressible showman who loved pulling the audience's collective chain, and Amarcord is no more straightforward as a recollection of his real adolescence than "amarcord" is a real word--Fellini made it up as a bit of pretend vernacular. So the strolling town historian who pops up occasionally to supply antiquarian footnotes directly to the camera more often than not gets pelted with snowballs from offscreen. Just as Nino Rota's (wonderful) music score recycles melodies from his scores for earlier Fellini masterworks, Fellini's movie is full of lyric ecstasies--spontaneous parades, comic ceremonies, eye-popping surrealist moments--that exist principally because that is what a Fellini movie is supposed to be like. There's no dominant story line, no individual character or player to be identified as the center of the film's swirling movement. Yet we do get to "know," and begin to cherish, literally dozens of goofy, eccentric, funny/sad creatures who have their distinct places in the continuum of Fellini's made-up town and reimagined Italy of a bygone era.

The era was, of course, that of Facsism. Fellini's take on Fascism here is anything but portentous; the giddy nationalism given voice occasionally by delirious crowds of townsfolk is no more sinister than the same crowd might have been in cheering on the local football team. In the movie's most famous set-piece, dozens of locals put out to sea in small boats to witness the passage of a fabulous ocean liner, the Rex, "the greatest construction of the regime." Waiting, they sleep--till suddenly the luminous (and entirely unreal) vision is towering above them, threatening to swamp them all. The moment is both ecstatic and terrifying. It's not the only one.

One last memory: In 1975 Amarcord received the Oscar for best foreign-language film of 1974. Since the film went into general U.S. release in '75, it was eligible for the Motion Picture Academy to turn around and nominate Fellini again, in '76, for best director and best original screenplay of 1975. He didn't win any further awards, but his repeat appearance in that year's Oscar derby occasioned an exquisite cultural moment: the young Steven Spielberg, realizing that he had not been cited for his direction of Jaws, gasping, "They gave my nomination to Fellini?!" --Richard T. Jameson

Special Features

  • Commentary by scholars Peter Brunette and Frank Burke
  • A deleted scene
  • "Fellini’s Homecoming," a new 45-minute documentary on the complicated relationship between Fellini, his hometown, and his past
  • Video interview with star Magali Noël
  • Fellini’s drawings
  • "Felliniana," a presentation of Amarcord ephemera
  • Audio interviews with Fellini, his friends, and family by Gideon Bachmann
  • Trailers
  • A booklet featuring a new essay by Sam Rohdie and Fellini’s 1968 memoir, “La mia Rimini”

Product Details

  • Actors: Magali Noël, Bruno Zanin, Pupella Maggio, Armando Brancia, Ciccio Ingrassia
  • Directors: Federico Fellini
  • Writers: Federico Fellini, Gene Luotto, Tonino Guerra
  • Producers: Franco Cristaldi
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Italian (Dolby Digital 1.0), English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: September 5, 2006
  • Run Time: 123 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000G8NXYQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,423 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Amarcord (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Fellini's theme of coming of age memoir works as a beautiful nostalgic piece. The film resonates from an earlier film of his 8 1/2 showing the director's flashes to his seaside hometown. I've watched this film several times and on every occassion find something new. Here's a tip to enjoy watching a foreign film - Do NOT watch the English dubbed version if there is any - so much is lost in the film. Fellini's films work with subtitles because they make you forget you're reading them at all and as always, Fellini pleases both eye and ear and subsequently the heart. The musical score by Nino Rota is something one looks forward to in every scene. His music perfectly sets the tempo of each image, and I mean each and every one. What a duo of artistic genius these two men are! Watching the film on its excellent Criterion-restored DVD version, one can only wonder what the cinema world would be without Fellini.
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The theme of this story is the compassion that allows close-knit, small-town Italians in the 1930's to lead a meaningful existence in the context of Fascist oppression and economic hardship.

This story is culturally valuable because it shows the beauty of meaningfully existing, unchanged, amid destructive and oppressive forces. When a peacock lands in the snow with its beautiful, vibrant blue and green feathers, it exemplifies beauty, simply existing, within harsh conditions. The point of the story is not that the characters of this small Italian town make any world-altering advances, but rather that they maintain what they already have and admire--their sense of community and individual compassion--despite oppressive odds. Fellini gives his audience mischievous adolescents, oblivious teachers, a "crazy" uncle, a humorous grandfather, an idealistic and extremely feminine beauty, a generous but sickly mother and her easily-angered husband, dissatisfied workers, a story-telling lawyer, a prince, and a lying snack vendor. And none of these characters is ever treated inhumanely, or as being of any less value than any other. The uncle has an episode in which he climbs a tree and throws rocks at people who try to get him down, all the while yelling, "I want a woman!" Hours pass and the doctor who eventually comes to get him down remarks, "He has normal days, and he has not normal days...Just like us." Through the interaction of these characters, Fellini allows his audiences to encounter a town, the families, a community, and the simple life that exists within it. This film is powerful because it is saying that one does not have to defeat oppression to be worthy of being a model, seen and honored. You have only to live, to be yourself--which means to create--to be something powerful and moving.
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Format: DVD
Like 8 1/2 before it, Amarcord marks an extremely personal film for Fellini. Like his relationship to Guido in 8 1/2, the character of Titta serves as an extension of Fellini on film. Whereas Guido served as an extension of Fellini's state of mind, Titta serves as an extension of Fellini's childhood memories.
Through the retelling of emotional stories that deal with Titta and his family, Amarcord (which translates into "I Remember") presents a cyclical collage of wondrous nostalgia for the Italy of Fellini's childhood. Starting in the spring and ending their one year later with the return of the yearly "puffballs", we are presented with and touched by the many experiences that Titta comes face to face with.
At the same time, the film is much more than a mere visual presentation of Fellini's own nostalgia, for it also questions the true validity of one's own memories. This questioning of memory by Fellini is made apparent in the manner in which single scenes can go from "reality" based to fantasy-like parody back to "reality" based in a manner of moments.
One of the more noteworthy examples of this technique is the scene in which El Duce visits the local town square. In the scene the serious yet joyous procession of El Duce eventually turns into a comedic/fantasy experience in which schoolchildren are shown happily carrying guns in the imagined wedding of two schoolchildren in front of a giant talking Mussolini head. Moments later the film cuts to nightfall, in which the local Fascists soldiers wreak havoc on the town and afterwards interrogate and beat Titta's father. Depending on Fellini's own presentation of the Italian Fascists, (and just as importantly, the view in Italy towards the Fascists at that time) very different interpretations can be read of them.
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Format: DVD
May I confess something? Fellini is one of my favorite directors-I really could live in a Fellini film and be quite happy. I love the people, the places. Ok, sometimes not-so-nice things happen, but that's true of anybody's life, no? If I could live in Amarcord, I would go there like a shot.

Here's the confession-this is the Fellini film closest to my heart. I know we're supposed to like 8 1/2 better, or even La Dolce Vita, but Amarcord has all the bitter sweet quality of a memory told by a good friend and great storyteller, intimately, over a glass of red wine.

Hear the one about the about the old, irascible Grampa? Gramps stepped out of the house and got lost in the fog...just steps away from the front gate. Frightened and disoriented, Gramps wonders if he is alive or if he has passed over into death. Suddenly, he stops and gives a rude gesture to death, and claims, "If this is death, I don't think much of it."

Hear the one about Uncle in the looney bin? Took him out for a ride in the country, and he peed his pants. Just forgot to unzip! Then, at the farm, he climbed a tree and threw rocks at people, staying up there all day, screaming, "I want a woman!" It took a miniature nun from the asylum to get him down.

There are so many scenes of such distilled beauty, it is as if Fellini had boiled down the sauce until only the most precious elixir was left-that which was a distillation of his own life, most potent, most true.

The town beauty, the town historian, the town idiot, the town "playboy" (loser) the mother, the father, the govenment, Mussolini, Fascism, the sea, the prostitute, the boys, the fantasies of the boys, the church, the snow, the rain, the fog. I love this film truly.

The boys dancing in dreams in the fog.
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