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Showing 1-10 of 28 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 73 reviews
on November 9, 2015
An empathic journey into the psyche of a woman and her escape from a loveless marriage. Perhaps autobiographical (the actress is played by Fellini's wife), it is a mark of both Fellini's insight and imagination that marks the uniqueness of this film. The film also contains all the gothic, surrealist elements of his oeuvre painted, this time, in reverse, that is, from the standpoint of the person dearest to him, his wife. In this sense, it is a bookend to 8 1/2, the exploration of Fellini's own fragmentation.
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on September 22, 2010
There have been many attempts to explore the layers of shackles that inhibit, cage, strangle the wondrous, unique God-created self that is meant to be fully alive in all its human dimensions. Juliet, played by Fellini's actual wife, Gullietta Masina, is this beautiful, good, woman - wife, mother, etc. who has many forces battering her true self from all sides. Fellini takes us on a journey of the many ersatz freedom trails and explosive experiences that today's world will offer to "set one free" - all proving false, fake, empty, desperate, rip-offs if one seeks the real thing, junk food if one is seeking soul-food. All of it done in gaspable color, bizarre settings and imagery, in what has led to the very word, "Fellini-esque". Her cheating husband is leaving her. Her physical, mental world is crumbling. Little glimpses of sanity flash here and there in quick scenes of a grandfather, crazily bearded and wickedly playful who is running away with a beautiful, very buxomy showgirl in a bi-wing plane; and the sanity of a father roaring onto the stage during the performance of a school play to extract his daughter Juliet who is portraying a martyr on a bed of flames. The father is shouting against the horror and cruelty of such things being presented as part of religion. The "carpe diem" grandfather, the "protect them from fire and brimstone" father - veritable salvation images. Fellini's delightful comedic spirit linked to his at times melodramatic, and justifiably critical attitude towards religion. WE watch as Juliet teeter-totters on the brink of insanity and suicide. But it all stops as she says NO to an inner voice command her mother gives her, then NO to other forces "do this, should do that" in her life ....... and then nods she begins to nod YES to Juliet, to one thing, then another .... and with stronger and more deliberate steps, walks out of the country house, which looks very much like an "everything-in-its-place" doll house. Juliet walks serenely in the grove of tall pine trees - in the truth of her own life .... in the only truth that sets us free. In the background is the jaunty music of Nino Rota, Fellini's most frequently used composer. Life is once again affirmed. Life with a serenity, a peace, a strength.
After La Dolce Vita, Fellini's big success, he made 81/2, which entered Fellini's own torment as director with creative block. [The musical Nine is based on the movie 81/2.} Juliet of the Spirits, followed 81/2, and is Fellini's first movie in color. It is the exploration of a woman's soul. But also a commentary on the shaping of one's self - which applies to man or woman. There are truths here that are of a depth that may well be further than Fellini's own awareness. But like in all true art - the resonances - the frissons that result, are the fruits of true art. And of these fruits we are all invited to partake and stretch our spirits and thus become ever more embrasive of all that is human ......
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on September 8, 2013
When this film came out in the sixties I was so taken with it I saw it about seven times while in the local theater on it's first run. I took my girl friend to see it after i saw it, I took my mother to see it. I saw it alone again, I went with other friends. This is one of Fellinis's finest films, it is not as meandering as Eight and a Half which is such a classic but more potent for me anyway, and has a delightful sound track that is worth owning on its own. I have since watched it many more times after long passages of time and it always holds up for me. Every time I see it I see something new or think of it in a new way. This film is a total gem.
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on July 4, 2014
It's been called Fellini's best, a stream of consciousness movie like Easy Rider or many others made in the sixties. It has no real plot, but instead ties together many diverse themes and is a delight to audio and visual senses in addition to being a muse for the imagination with the dream scenes, seances and flamboyant minor characters who drift in and out of the lives of the central character, Juliet; married to a movie executive she suspects of having an extra-marital affair-- the kind of problem that winds up being kind of a rabbit she winds up chasing down a hole into a netherworld of mysteries.
I love it. I've watched it many times.
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on July 7, 2014
One of the many films by Fellini that are intriguing by his unique style and has a direct line to the heart. This film is about a woman who finds herself, has an epiphany. The great Giulietta Masina, Fellini's wife in real life, stars.
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on December 18, 2016
I saw this movie as a teen, didn't get the plot but loved the beautiful scenes. And one of the characters has a slide from the bedroom to the pool, fabulous!! This Criterion collection has printed material and interview that explained the plot and made it even more enjoyable!
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on December 10, 2001
i really love this film (it's pointless to argue whether or not it's fellini's best), and it's a nice complement to the recently rereleased "8 1/2": in that film an alienated male protagonist discovers his deep connection to other people, while in "juliet" a housebound female discovers her uniqueness, and separateness from other people. masina is splendid in the title role, attractive yet mousy, yielding yet strong, and she captures the stages of disillusionment, denial, pain, wandering and final clarity with incredible directness. her final liberation, as she walks alone out of her prim garden and into a stately mysterious forest, is a beautiful affirmation. this is also a film where fellini's elliptical, dreamlike techniques work extremely well to increase rather than diffuse the mood of tension and pain. the ample sandra milo is amusingly sexy as the free spirited neighbor, and some of the cut footage mentioned by other viewers include her "over the top" costume scenes. i hope the new theatrical release restores the original version (which i saw as a teenager in the late '60s), as this often precedes an authoritative dvd release. but despite the cuts and the annoying white on white subtitles, this is a film to treasure in any format you can find it.
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on August 30, 2016
Always a treat to revisit this film. Donated it to my local library afterwards for others who may not have seen it.
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on December 9, 2014
Fellini is quite amazing; this is a good film to contrast with 8 1/2.
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on February 23, 2002
This is a film about a woman in her 30s--a well-to-do Italian housewife--and the inner changes she experiences through several events in her life including, most prominently, the infidelity of the husband she loves. But it's much more too.
Fellini's stunning visuals--the colors and settings, the outrageous dress, and the fantastic score of Nino Rota, makes it seem as if Italy is the most exotic place on earth.
The first time I watched this film I was a bit put off by some of the events that didn't always make sense, as well as the annoying white subtitles that are difficult to read. But there was something about it that compelled me to watch again. I'm still not sure I understand the ending, or the role of the tall Spaniard, but there are many subtle and wonderful things happening.
The music of Rota is simply captivating. Most of it is carried by a lilting, swinging clarinet and a quirky organ in an unlikely but very rich marriage. I'm disappointed to find there is apparently no film score available on CD.
The viewer is treated to the whole litany and range of emotions of a woman suspecting her husband of cheating--and Guilietta Masina, in a great performance, tells it all in her face.
Guilietta also has visions. Her penchant for the spirts, along with the urging of her kooky friends, ("S/he only comes every seven years!") leads her to visit a spiritual charlatan, a phony guru, in a memorable and hilarious scene. "
"Isn't it an apple?"
"No dear, you must see beyond material form."
Guilietta's friends also try to persuade her to experience love beyond her marriage. I shan't tell the result but, again, Fellini treats the viewer to many, many exotic and unexpected scenes.
Finally, this film also explores the relationships of Guilietta to her husband, her mother and sisters, her friends, her husband's friends and her maids. In a sense, this is very much a woman's film. But it's more; it's surreal; it's certainly one for those tired of boring, contemporary films.
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