It surprises me that some of the films by storied director Federico Fellini have not been given their time in the sun. The Criterion Collection has presented viewers with a stunningly sharp transfer of Amarcord, eir 1973 film about life in fascist Italy, presenting it on the Blu-Ray format. Amarcord is an interesting movie for those in current (and even then-current) United States, as it provides so many similarities and differences from what viewers will be familiar.
This is the glory of Fellini’s work here, and despite the presence of the authoritarian Italian government at all points during the movie, the same human experience presents itself through interactions such as the coming of the puffballs, dancing to a deft accordion composition, and having one’s class photograph taken. The musical score, crafted by Nina Rota has been polished up the most, tying together the distinct elements of the film with ease.
This 2011 Criterion release contains a tremendous amount of bonus features, beginning with a 45-minute look (Fellini’s Homecoming) into Fellini’s early days and in particular eir previous stomping grounds. Perhaps most interesting to those that have not seen the process before would have to be the intricate look taken into the restoration process along with the presenting of the original American trailer for the film. An essay by Sam Rohdie (University of Central Florida) fills in any gaps that viewers may have after watching Amarcord, and the essay dovetails nicely with a number of audio interviews captured with Fellini eirself and different members of eir family. This is by far the definitive version of Amarcord to have, even if one dips their toes in with criterion.com’s $5 watch online option (which allows for viewers to put the money spent towards the purchase of either the Blu-Ray or DVD of the film).
Amarcord (Blu-Ray) / 2011 Criterion Collection / 123 Minutes / http://www.criterion.com