Divining Meaning at the End of the World in Fellini's 'Rome'

Rome, Fellini's surreal portrait of the eponymous city (screens this Sunday at the Museum of the Moving Image), is alive with his signature surreal sense of boredom but as a film, it feels more like an elaborate exhibition than a cinematic pageant. The most striking sequence is the scene in the subway tunnels with the vanishing frescoes. It speaks to an inability to gel together past and present seamlessly without losing something and that something has to be a definitive identity to the city. Audience becomes subject and the boundary between spectator and player becomes blurred to the point where qualifying the two becomes meaningless.

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