Wednesday, January 6, 2010

#246: I Vitelloni

(Federico Fellini, 1953)

This is relatively early Fellini, before his famous classics La Dolce Vita, 8 1/2, and Nights of Cabiria. The film is about a group of friends who hang around their small town doing nothing, barely scraping by on the support of their parents. The name literally means "large young calves," and that basically sums it up.

The movie in particular reminded me of the difficulties Italy still faces as a country which has seen its best days come and go. There may still be a moment for Italy to once again find a thriving economy, but its localized regions and difficult to navigate villages are the opposite of ideal in a globalized world. While the movie made me think of some people I know, and would certainly be notable throughout most of this country at the moment, I would imagine that I Vitelloni still has a significant impact on the Italian psyche to this day.

8/10 Update: The more I think about this movie, the more I like it, and it's one of the movies I've watched during this project that's been most difficult to get out of my head. I think it's because I never really had a similar experience to these men in the sense that I was never stuck in a small town trying to make a life for myself (similar, I guess, to a movie like Breaking Away), and yet despite that I am still moved by the more general feelings of moving into maturity that this film depicts. The movie is a beautiful and subtle look at these feelings, and I think it works far more than I initially gave it credit for. As Fellini's third film, it represents a different approach from the filmmaker, yet a very personal take on a specific point in a man's life. It's a great film.

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