Britta Barnes, Peter Gonzales Falcon, Fiona Florence
Federico Fellini, Bernardino Zapponi
Eureka Entertainment (Blu-ray, "Masters of Cinema")
New High Definition 1080p Presentation; New and Improved English Subtitles; Original Italian Audio Track/Optional English Audio Track; Music and Effects Track; Video piece with Italian Studies scholar Chris Wigstaff; Deleted Scenes; Italian and International Trailers; 32-page booklet
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Fellini's "Roma" Gets Masters of Cinema Release
The remarkable Masters of Cinema series from U.K.-based Eureka Entertainment has done it once again with their lovingly created Masters of Cinema Blu-ray release of Federico Fellini's 1972 Roma, an intentionally disjointed and rather chaotic affair detailing the various people and events of life in Italy's capital with more than a little semi-autobiographical material tossed in for good measure.
Considered one of the greatest of Fellini's 70's films, Roma won the technical grand prize at 1972's Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language film among several other successes. While it has always been a bit maddening when filmmakers choose to place their name above a film's title, and this film is officially known as Fellini's Roma, with Fellini it has always felt like more of an artistic statement than an ego-driven one.
This is, after all, a Fellini film and you can feel and see and experience Fellini's handprint all throughout the technically marvelous and colorful production. The narrative arc for the story is ever so slight, as virtually anyone who has ever bashed the film will tell you. The story is essentially about a young man named Fellini (Peter Gonzales Falcon) who leaves the small Italian town of Rimini and heads off to Rome only to be distracted by its many sights and sounds and people. Fellini, as a filmmaker, has always been as comfortable with the sacred and the sensual and both are in abundance within the images of Roma. It is the fact that he has the audacity and vulnerability to examine all of this through a Fellini lens, both as filmmaker and subject, is part of what makes this such a masterful and mesmerizing film. The images contained within Roma are in some ways typical of Fellini because they project an ordinariness brought extraordinarily to life in ways that are more vivid and larger than life.
In some circles, Roma has been faulted precisely because of Fellini's refusal to follow a more traditional narrative. That feels very much like a vacant and irrelevant argument, because this film is not about narrative but about the bridges and links that take us from one place to another.
As is always the case with the Masters of Cinema series, Roma is beautifully constructed and contains a wealth of high quality extras that will leave Fellini's fans, including myself, breathless and unquestionably happy. For more information on the release, check out the link in the credits.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic