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Fellini Satyricon (Widescreen)

Martin Potter , Hiram Keller , Federico Fellini    R (Restricted)   DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 53.92
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Fellini Satyricon (Widescreen) + Fellinis Roma [Import anglais]
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Encolpius is a Roman student who begins by arguing with his friend Ascyltus over the affections of androgynous youth Giton. Ascyltus wins, whereupon Encolpius embarks upon an odyssey, partaking in a drunken orgy and being kidnapped by a bisexual sea captain and his concubine. Encolpius eventually rejoins Ascyltus to visit a suicidal Roman couple, join in a plot to kidnap a "sacred" hermaphrodite, and much more. Loosely based on the book "Satyricon" by Gaius Petronius, the "Arbiter of Elegance" in the court of Nero, Federico Fellini wrote and directed this tongue-in-cheek hymn to the "glories" of pagan times via a bizarre journey through the decadence and debauchery of Nero's Rome.


Trippy is as trippy does, even when you're talking about a movie set in ancient Rome. This 1969 Fellini opus was among the most visually arresting entries in a year when the psychedelic experience was trying to claw its way into every movie coming down the pike. But Fellini, in telling a negligible story about two young men tasting the various pleasures of Nero's hedonistic and priapic reign, aimed for images that jarred as well as seduced. He found humor in freakishness, contrasting beauty and ugliness while effortlessly passing judgment on the emptiness of a life devoted to sensation and personal freedom. More of a fever dream than a linear story, Fellini Satyricon crystallized the director's reputation as a visionary--but may have trapped him into spending the rest of his career (with the exception of Amarcord) trying to top himself in reaching new levels of outrageousness. --Marshall Fine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Satire of the Satyr March 16 2004
Some movies you just have to see -- forget about plot synopses or snippets of dialogue, you just have to see it to understand. For these movies, there's no way to answer that most natural and inevitable of questions: What's it about? Satyricon is one of these movies.
I've been a fan of Satyricon for about four years, when I first took it out of the public library. I'd heard it was weird and had also seem some stills in movie books like LIFE Goes to the Movies. Something about freaks, absurdity, ancient Rome, I gathered. Maybe that was actually as much as I needed to know since that's what it all boils down to, at its essence.
I probably would have had more of an idea what to expect that first if I'd simply known about the director, Federico Fellini. At that time, I didn't, and so when I first sat down with Satyricon it struck me not just as an anomaly but as a major shock. Sure, I'd heard of Fellini, but this? This was Fellini? Why hadn't anyone told me? They should have shown this movie to me while I was in the crib, it was so cool.
Later on, through watching another great and bizarre film of his, Roma, I figured out what some of the Fellini motifs were and how strongly his personality and taste come through, but at the time, it was a bit of a mind-blower. This guy had survived making this film? Nobody put him in an insane asylum? He was considered great? Certainly I thought he was great, watching the movie, but I tend not to give fellow humans that much credit.
Knowing a bit more about Fellini at this point, I can say that while Satyricon isn't the anomaly I once thought -- Roma is pretty similar and I've heard other of his films also follow along in a similar style -- it is certainly in a class of its own. What's it about?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Emperor's New Clothes Jan. 6 2004
Remember the old analogy of the Emperor's New Clothes? The joke was, he wasn't wearing any but no one had the courage to be the first to stand up and say as much. So consequently, everyone in town is praising the Emperor as he parades down the street in the nude.
Such is this film. It makes little sense. It makes me recall the infamous scene in Woody Allen's 1977 classic "Annie Hall", where the main character is standing in a movie line behind a pompous film professor from Columbia University. In the film, the pontificating professor berates Fellini as an "indulgent" filmmaker. After seeing Satyricon, I would have to agree with this judgement.
"Indulgent" is a great word to sum up this movie-going experience. It's what happens when an aging director who's word never gets questioned tries too hard to make a really psychedelic, sexy, disturbing, extravagant film that will hopefully break all bariers. Unfortunately, that's all giving Satyricon far too much credit.
One reviewer puts it best by simply stating that this film is boring. It is. For such "scandalous" scenes, scenarios, and settings, the story is almost non-existant, and as a result, the viewer is left wondering why they should even bother to pay attention. Without the premise of a believable linear story plot, there's little to focus on. The visuals and world music score get very old very quickly as the user acclimates to this strange new world. An hour and a half later, you're wondering if you should have popped a few pills or smoked a bit more of the old bong in order for anything to make sense.
This is a ridiculous and completely a-historical drama about nothing at all. It's too over the top without any real main characters, and certainly none that the viewer can identify with.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Singular Disaster May 19 2001
"Fellini Satyricon" is the kind of truly awful movie that only a virtuoso of the first rank could make. Visually astounding, it is a must-have for anyone interested in film design or cinematography, which makes it pleasant to look at, not a good movie. I have now seen it three times. My reaction has remained remarkably constant, despite the fact that the screenings were separated by several years. For a while, the film's unique style leaves me stunned into silence. Say what you will against it, "Satyricon" looks like no other film, except those that have imitated it. (The film's real stars are cinematographer Guiseppe Rotunno and designer Danilo Donati.) After about a half hour, though, that astonishment, even admiration, starts to give way to tedium, then irritation, and eventually, outright hostility.
For it is possible to take just so much salacious tongue licking, rear ends wiggling at the camera, frantic sexual athletics and sweaty pointlessness, no matter how superbly lit, framed and cut, before the whole thing begins to pall. Based on Petronius's fragmentary novel of the same name, "Satyricon" makes no effort to tie events together, much less make us care what is going on. The film cuts from tableau to tableau, each conceived to stun, shock, overwhelm, not involve. Sometimes these scenes work. Often the film seems more a teenage romp through the costume shop after the high school pageant has finished. People are always shouting, gesturing lewdly, threatening the protagonist with death, rape or worse, throwing things at the camera, slobbering over unappetizing food before tearing into it, jumping about in hysterical abandon or lolling around like grotesque, over-sized slugs.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great Feliini film!
Published 5 days ago by Luis Rincon R
1.0 out of 5 stars Two half-naked roman dudes fight over a half-naked male brat.
Fellini brings light on space instead of space on light.
He brings mysticism to the movie not the movie to mysticism. Read more
Published on March 15 2006 by bernie
1.0 out of 5 stars This movie is terrible
This was the first and the last Fellini movie I will ever purchase. The movie is totally incoherant. I do not see what is so compelling about this movie. It was a waste of my time.
Published on April 10 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars You don't get it? You may be the one being taunted,friend.
I firmly believe that if one does not "get" this film, then they are the type of person this film is satirizing. Read more
Published on April 6 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Greatest Movies
Occasionally a movie comes along in which a simplistic, mono-dimensional meaning isn't laid out in such a way that even the laziest minds just couldn't miss it. Read more
Published on Feb. 1 2004 by Rex Halliday
5.0 out of 5 stars roasted pigs in space!
FELLINI SATYRICON - the first film I experienced directed by Federico Fellini. I was with two or three other people in a small theater, and remember sitting through the movie with... Read more
Published on Jan. 25 2004 by Lao Che
1.0 out of 5 stars Very abstract
I could not get "into" the movie. I've heard of this director before and I find it had to believe that his work is any good BASED ON THIS MOVIE. Read more
Published on Jan. 20 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars As classic as the original
Fellini's Satyricon is a loosely based adaptation of Petronius' work of the same title; a classical author who lived a life of hedonism during Nero's reign. Read more
Published on Jan. 6 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Visually Stunning But Disjointed and Sterile
If one rates a film on visuals alone, Fellini's SATYRICON would surely be completely off the scale: a phantasmagorical mixture of sensual beauty and the distasteful but evocative... Read more
Published on Aug. 10 2003 by Gary F. Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate Freak Show, done by the Master
Fellini has a unique gift for visuals, and uses the human oddities the way a great master painter uses his paints; lavishly and always to great effect. Read more
Published on Aug. 6 2003 by Schuyler V. Johnson
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