Variety Lights (The Criterion Collection)
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With VARIETY LIGHTS, you are going to join, before LA STRADA, the peculiar world of the artists with no name, the world of the Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire look-alikes performing in the 1950 Italy. The camera of Federico Fellini is always tender with these artists and doesn't judge them. Even the ambitious girl who will cheat on the man who has discovered her is depicted as a naive girl blinded by the lights of show-business.
The copy presented by Criterion is far from being perfect but nonetheless is above-average. No bonus features except for a scene access, an interesting booklet, color bars and english subtitles.
A DVD for Giulietta Masina.
Fellini, a true visionary, is known for filling the screen with vivid images born of his own imagination, especially in his later films. But beyond the sometimes bizarre appearances, there is always an engaging story to be found at the heart of his films, and this one (his first) is no exception. And, though devoid of the surrealism he would use later on, in Checco's company there is something of the carnival motif present that Fellini would return to time and again during the course of his career, and of course, there's the story, presented with that unique Fellini touch and laced with his insight into the human condition, which at it's core is the real strength of the film.
No matter what the subject matter, Fellini always had his finger on the emotional pulse of the material and had the innate ability to transfer what he felt to the screen.Read more ›
The story is about a leader and director of a third-rate itinerant traveling vaudeville group. The guy falls for a younger wannabe with stars in her eyes and leaves his companion for her. Going to the big city to find the girl fame leads to humor and heartbreak. Everything is presented in a realistic gritty style that portends the films like "La Strada" that came after this one.
I particularly like the stage scenes of the performances of the troupe. They were comical, but very believable. The scenes of the audiences brought to my mind the theater scenes of "Roma" and "Amarcord".
It's an interesting film from the historical perspective and a curiosity of its time. Not a great film, but a good one for fans of Fellini and the neo-realism style. The acting is very nicely done and all other aspects are entertaining. Short, sweet, and fun to see.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This movie holds up well even today. Human nature really doesn't change. The cinematography is excellent. Read morePublished on February 24, 2014 by Stan57
I love the simplicity and straightforwardness of the Italian films of the 1950's. This early Fellini and Lattuada collaboration "luci del varietà" ("Variety... Read morePublished on February 1, 2012 by Carlos Romero natural cinephile
Ambitious dancer uses the horny goat leader of a 4th-rate vaudeville troupe to further her career, but ends up a small fish in a bigger pond. Read morePublished on August 19, 2011 by Charles D. Fulton
If you have ever wondered why Federico Fellini's film 8½ was called 8½, the reason is simple. It was the eighth full film he had directed, till that point, along with a ½ film... Read morePublished on September 23, 2008 by Cosmoetica
Not entirely Fellini's, but containing much of his essence. I think it's a great, wonderous film and one of his most enjoyable. There's real magic in here. Read morePublished on November 19, 2007 by Scott McFarland
Variety Lights is Fellini's debut film. The film consists of ideas and motifs that would succeedingly appear in movies like 8 1/2 and The Clowns. Read morePublished on April 4, 2002 by Rayv
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