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Fellini Satyricon (Widescreen)

Martin Potter , Hiram Keller , Federico Fellini    R (Restricted)   DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 59.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Description


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

Product Description

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.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Greatest Movies Feb. 1 2004
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. I remember as a teenager seeing this movie for the first time, and being astounded that all that people seemed to see were shocking depictions of Roman decadence. I had sat through the movie amazed at its extraordinary cinematography, and overwhelmed by a moral story of epic proportions. Like most great art, the meaning of Satyricon is multi-layered, and reflects against itself enough to hold a richness of ambiguity that unfolds more for me each time I see it. I was also incredulous to read reviews accusing the movie of being formless. On the contrary, Fellini had created a beautifully structured work out Petronius' rather episodic tales.
Satyricon is a powerful portrayal of a young man's quest to rediscover the potency he has lost in a corrupt world (our world being no less corrupt than that of Fellini's Rome), both sexually and aesthetically. The events and characters in the movie resonate deeply with mythic archetypes, all playing a part in Encolpio's quest.
If you want a key for delving into the structural and metaphysical meaning of this movie, consider the two legacies of Eumolpus: the first he offers to Encolpius as they lie in the fallow fields after being evicted from Trimalchio's Feast, just as the dawning sun begins to lighten the sky. The second he leaves at the end of the movie to those who will consume his body. The first is the wealth of poetry, of the heavens, the earth, the air, of life itself. The second is worldly wealth and its corruptions.
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5.0 out of 5 stars roasted pigs in space! Jan. 25 2004
By Lao Che
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 my jaw gaping like a little kid watching cartoons; I was on the edge of my seat. I walked out and spent an hour or so trying to figure out what the hell it was I just saw? Favorite scenes: Vernacchio, marriage at sea, minotaur. I later read that Fellini had always wanted to make a science fiction picture, and SATYRICON was the closest he would come to that goal.
Petronious Arbiter was a Roman scholar and poet who mixed with the courtesans of the emperor Nero. The remains of his writings are his observations of the world he lived; ultimately, he was "asked" by Nero to end his own life for various insults to the emperor. A strange, distant world is painted in the fractured remains of the Satyricon. Fellini used the text as a jumping off point to attempt to imagine a world completely alien to our own (images, sound, everything). Fueling this tour-de-force of invention is the period of the film's creation - the late sixties. If not directly quoted in its scenes, the spirit and free form of the late sixties definitely influenced Fellini and company.
BARBARELLA comes to mind as a comparison, in terms of color pallet, bizarre situations and a comic book quality - psychedelia at its finest. Fellini's interpretation of the Satyricon seems to capture that weird pulse of chaos and the "climate" of revolution; stripping away a mere "classic literature travelogue" approach - and presenting a libidinal sideshow of monsters, perverts, politicians, artists, and other variations of the human condition.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate Freak Show, done by the Master Aug. 6 2003
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. When the movie was being cast, there were long, long lines of the most unusual and the most freakish people in Italy; this made for a fascinating spectacle and was in itself, a show. No one has Fellini's eye, and this is most evident in Satyricon, IMHO his best movie. The most striking and unusual image presented is the albino hermaphrodite; the fact that Fellini was even able to find this extreme human oddity is a feat in itself, and presents a truly unique and unforgettable image on the big screen. You literally cannot take you eyes off the screen for one second; you cannot afford to miss anything, all is pertinent, all is fascinating and all is integral to the "show" Fellini wanted to present and succeeds brilliantly. No circus, no sideshow in history can hold a candle to the ultimate showman and visual storyteller. Don't try to analyze; don't try to "read" into anything, just sit back and enjoy and allow the images to take you on an unforgettable journey. P.T. Barnum would be green with envy...or applaud wildly, or both. His images remain in your mind's eye for years afterwards, and that is the mark of the true artist and visionary.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Art of Storytelling Feb. 18 2003
I could rave, as so many have, about Fellini's Satyricon, but the reason I write has to do with some background about the story itself. Satyricon is actually an ancient text, one of the oldest we have in the West. The author is Greek. (I have a copy of the original Satyricon in a box somewhere, or I would give you the author's name.) Satyricon - the original, not written by Fellini - is not complete. Time and abuse have erased a large portion of the document. Sometimes lines are interrupted. Sometimes chapters, scholars think, have been erased. This might make wild sense to those who have seen Fellini's Satyricon - as one reviewer points out, the story seems to jump from place to place, from the unexpected to the unexpected. I hope this may appease a few complaints about this classic piece of cinema - Fellini has simply illustrated a marvelous, earthy, classical text that reveals itself only in fragments.
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Most recent customer reviews
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 Satire of the Satyr
Some movies you just have to see -- forget about plot synopses or snippets of dialogue, you just have to see it to understand. Read more
Published on March 16 2004 by Wendy C. Darling
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
2.0 out of 5 stars The Emperor's New Clothes
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. Read more
Published on Jan. 6 2004 by E. Dolnack
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 All too timely
Satyricon is a movie that illustrates the moral depravity that results from a decadent culture. Both its framework (nonlinear) and its cinematography (striking, sensual visual... Read more
Published on July 5 2003
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