HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
It Happened Here
Giant from the Unknown
211
Top of the Bill
Set It Off
No Way Out
Traffik
Pitch Perfect 3
Insidious: The Last Key
Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick, The
Dirty Carnival, A
King of Hearts
Crowhurst
And the Same to You
Racer and the Jailbird
Superman and the Mole-Men
Phantom Thread
Sweet Country
Loophole
Irma La Douce
Brigsby Bear
Wish Upon
Gringo
Finding Vivian Maier
Shape of Water, The
Lady Bird
Endless, The
Universal Soldier: The Return
Lean on Pete
Carnival in Flanders
   
 
Newest Articles
ITC What You Did There: Retro-Action on Blu-ray
And It Was the Dirtiest Harry We Have Seen in a Very Long Time: The Dirty Harry Series
Manor On Movies: The Astounding She Monster
Manor On Movies: Don't be a dolt. That's not a cult (movie)
Wes Anderson's Big Daddies: Steve Zissou and Others
Bad Taste from Outer Space: Galaxy of Terror and Xtro
A Yen for the 1990s: Iron Monkey and Satan Returns
Hey, Punk: Jubilee and Rock 'n' Roll High School
Help! with The Knack: Richard Lester in 1965
Roll Up, Get Yer Free Cinema: The Shorts on the BFI Woodfall Blu-rays
Time for Heroes: The Dam Busters and How I Won the War
Hell is a City: Midnight Cowboy and Taxi Driver
Boris Goes Bonkers, Bela Goes Bats: The Old Dark House and Mark of the Vampire
Charles Bronson's Mid-70s: Breakheart Pass and Others
Kids in America: The Breakfast Club vs Metropolitan
   
 
  And the Ship Sails On The Love And War BoatBuy this film here.
Year: 1983
Director: Federico Fellini
Stars: Freddie Jones, Barbara Jefford, Victor Poletti, Peter Cellier, Elisa Mainardi, Norma West, Paolo Paolini, Sarah-Jane Varley, Fiorenza Serra, Pina Bausch, Pasquale Zito, Linda Polan, Philip Locke, Jonathan Cecil, Maurice Barrier, Janet Suzman
Genre: Comedy, Drama, War, Historical
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: A great opera singer has died, and it was her wish for her ashes to be scattered at sea, so this day a collection of her fellow stars and performers, along with many dignitaries, board a ship, singing out an excerpt from an opera as they do. Among them are the Archduke and his entourage, a fine tenor or two, a famed comedian and a certain journalist, Orlando (Freddie Jones) who will be our guide to this adventure. He does his best to keep us up to speed on who everyone is and what their relationships are to each other, but there are dark rumblings of greater events ahead, for the year is 1914...

Celebrated filmmaker Federico Fellini was nearly at the end of his glittering career when he made And the Ship Sails On, or E la nave va if you were Italian, which is perhaps the reason for its elegiac and valedictory mood. Strikingly filmed on vast and elaborate sets, the film would list into surrealism, and the whole work with its canvas seas and robot seagulls took on a life of its own that was at once typical of its creator and not quite like anything else. Apparently we were supposed to regard the ship and its passengers and crew as a metaphor for this big old world we're travelling through, but this was a little too obvious in practice.

Better not to saddle oneself with the analogies that the film might conjure up and enjoy its more incidental pleasures. For a story that pays tribute to artists, specifically here musicians and singers, it's fitting that its best stretches are concerned with music. Never mind that seagull that breaks into the restaurant (they should be glad it only left a feather behind), concentrate on fine sequences such as the entertainers playing a tune on glasses of water and bottles - a delight - or the opera performers venturing down to the boiler room to visit the workers there and engaging in a singing competition over the roar of the engines.

Characters here are less satisfying, either full of longing that may well go unrequited or a bluff self-centredness. Even Jones is robbed of much of his inimitable screen personality by having him hopelessly dubbed, though fortunately his trademark quirks are not entirely lost. No one actor makes a stronger impression over another, and you're in no doubt that it is Fellini in charge and his vision we are seeing, so there is a lack of a single defining lead to guide us through the tales, with Orlando the best we've got even if he is sidelined or simply offscreen for too much of the time. No matter if you have those handsome visuals to enjoy.

But then international politics rears its head when some Serbian refugees make their presence felt. The passsengers were hoping for a respectful service for the deceased, but they now find the larger world encroaching on their insular one when a Austro-Hungarian warship looms on the horizon, a remarkable item of ominous model work, bristling with guns and with its own glowering cloud hanging over it, all in shades of menacing grey. The warship wants those Serbians and is willing to fire upon the vessel carrying them. This representation of the approaching war causing untold dispruption to previously peaceful and civilised lives is more dreamlike than anything else, but such a strikingly fashioned experience can't fail to impress, even at a purely technical level. If the ending is predictable and portentous, then that's only fitting.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3308 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Stately Wayne Manor
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Jamie Nichols
Andrew Pragasam
George White
   

 

Last Updated: