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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

Satyricon (1969)

(aka: Fellini Satyricon)



Reviews and Comments

During the 1960s, Federico Fellini transitioned from making some of the best character studies the cinema has ever seen to indulgences in psycho-surrealism. His imagery is unmistakeable -- certainly his visual styles and imagery are entirely his own. They practically explode with religious and psychological import. In 8 1/2, they expose the obsessions and inner turmoil of the main character with unprecedented power and precision. Here, Fellini loses all narrative sense and is content to let his nightmares run about unleashed.

Admittedly, Satyricon is unique. To be sure, it demonstrates Fellini's talent for capturing compelling imagery. In this case, it is grotesquely unpleasant imagery, the visual equivalent of fingernails on a chalkboard. And what's it all for? Nothing worthwhile as far as I'm concerned. Watching this movie is like being beaten, drowned, and thrown around by a mighty hurricane and then asked to treasure the experience, because, hey, what a hurricane!