I Vitelloni

June 9, 20208:30pm

With his third film, 33-year old Fellini made his name and found his voice: evolving from Italian Neo-Realism into a freer, more poetic and episodic style.The narrative is sprinkled with many of his recurrent motifs: variété and carneval; storms and windswept beaches, the Catholic Church; the happy fool and the wise child – all bound with intregral musicality, the second of many collaborations with the composer Nino Rota.

Fellini’s life flowed freely into his works; more than half were autobiographical, pursuits of memory in quest of identity, meaning and direction. Although filmed itinerantly in other locations, I Vitelloni plays in a sleepy seaside town distinctly like his native Rimini. Five mates while away their days, bored with acting forever young, yet reluctant to become like their parents. With gentle irony, an unseen narrator presents them typologically. ʺThe youngestʺ is Moraldo (Interlenghi), the cineaste’s alter ego.

Like the town, the characters were so recognisable that local families took offence; but the mood, chemistry, predicaments are transferable. The film has been cited as inspiration for Scorsese’s Mean Streets, Lucas’ American Graffiti (both 1973), and many more. Stanley Kubrick said I Vitelloni was his favourite film.

“Probably no one since Chaplin has so well revealed the moments of simultaneous humor and tragedy which underscore human life.” Merl Edelman, Los Angeles Free Press

“It shows all of Fellini’s unrivaled virtues — his lyrical sense of place, his abiding affection for even the most hapless of his characters, his effortless knack for limpid, bustling composition — and very few of his putative vices.” A.O. Scott, The New York Times

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Film Information
Release year: 1953
Running time:   104 mins
Directed by: Federico Fellini
Language: Italian
Country: Italy
Classification: PG
Genre: Drama
Starring: Alberto Sordi,
Franco Fabrizi,
Franco Interlenghi Venice Silver Lion winner (Federico Fellini);

Venice Silver Lion winner (Federico Fellini)
More info:

Rotten Tomatoes

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