Amarcord (1972)

Federico Fellini returned for inspiration to his own childhood in 1930s Rimini for this colourful comedy-drama about life in a small seaside town under Fascist rule.

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  • Federico Fellini Amarcord Alternative


“A brilliant look back at the generation that produced the vitelloni of the 1950s, the Italians of his childhood, it is also one of Fellini’s greatest poetic creations.”
Peter Bondanella, A History of Italian Cinema, 2009

With a title that translates as “I remember”, Federico Fellini takes us back to his youth in this rich and bawdy evocation of small town life. Inventively structured, the film is a patchwork of eccentric episodes and characters, at the centre of which is Titta (Bruno Zanin), a teenage boy going through the lustful misadventures of puberty.

The coming-of-age narrative links back to I vitelloni (1953), one of Fellini’s earliest successes, but Amarcord is typical of his later style in its carnivalesque show of oddities and wonders – none more enchanting than the sequence in which the townsfolk take boats out to witness a gigantic liner passing by in the moonlight. The film won the 1974 Academy Award for best foreign film.

Woody Allen’s Radio Days (1987) is a similarly nostalgic comedy-drama about growing up in the 1930s. Oscar-winning Cinema Paradiso (1988) is another coming-of-age tale set in Fascist Italy.

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