Thoughts on Amarcord

AmarcordPoster472.jpgI don't want to call this a formal review, but just some thoughts about Amarcord (which I saw last night for the first time!).

Firstly, almost any film that is this old or older has to "hold up" for me - meaning - it has to remain relevant and believable, and not come across as corny or dated (or have such outdated production values that you are constantly aware you are watching a movie). For the most part Amarcord, although containing some melodramatic flourishes and cartoon character personalities, does this - with just a bit of the opening sequences around the bonfire seeming "forced".

Once the film gets rolling, it can be hysterically funny, and the acting is quite good. Formally it really is a series of vignettes, with some working better than others. The school sequence and the shenanigans of the boys, their confessions and their "sins" are all very well brought to life, as are the much later scenes of the family visiting their crazy uncle and a meal in the countryside upset by his taking to a tree. Conversely I found the hotel sequence with the concubines and the town "liar" one of the misses, while the ending scenes in the field with the celebration of Gradisca's wedding are lyrical and poignant.

The stand out actor in this film is Armando Brancia as Titta's father. He over boils with anger, is duly frightened by the fascists, doesn't quite know how to react to the declining health of his wife (remarking at the hospital on how nice their garden is) and loathes his mooching brother-in-law viscerally, without ever saying a word. Powerful acting.

comments powered by Disqus