HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Whoopee Boys, The
Set, The
Cyrano de Bergerac
Death Walks in Laredo
Gemini Man
End of the Century
If Beale Street Could Talk
Raining in the Mountain
Day Shall Come, The
Scandal
Buzzard
Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown
Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, A
Sons of Denmark
Light of My Life
Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The
Jerky Boys, The
Chambre en Ville, Une
Joker
Relaxer
Mustang, The
Baie des Anges, La
Ready or Not
Seven Days in May
Bliss
Hollywood Shuffle
Uncut Gems
Wilt
Daniel Isn't Real
Presidio, The
Curvature
Puzzle
Farewell, The
Challenge of the Tiger
Ad Astra
Winslow Boy, The
Pain and Glory
Judgment at Nuremberg
Rambo: Last Blood
Sansho the Bailiff
   
 
Newest Articles
Demy-Wave: The Essential Jacques Demy on Blu-ray
The Makings of a Winner: Play It Cool! on Blu-ray
Sony Channel's Before They Were Famous: A Galaxy of Stars
Start Worrying and Hate the Bomb: Fail-Safe on Blu-ray
Completely Different: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 2 on Blu-ray
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
   
 
  City of Women A Man BewilderedBuy this film here.
Year: 1980
Director: Federico Fellini
Stars: Marcello Mastroianni, Anna Prucnal, Bernice Stegers, Donatella Damiani, Jole Silvani, Ettore Manni, Fiametta Barama, Hélène Calzarelli, Isabelle Canto da Maya, Catherine Carrel, Stéphane Emilfork, Marcello Di Falco, Silvana Fusacchia, Gabriella Giorgelli
Genre: Comedy, Weirdo, Fantasy
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: Snàporaz (Marcello Mastroianni) is on a train journey when he nods off thanks to the rhythmic motion of the carriage, but when he wakes up he notices with some interest that an attractive woman (Bernice Stegers) is sitting opposite him, and possibly returning that interest in the occasional glance in his direction. When the carriage jolts and nearly topples a bottle, they both reach for it to steady the receptacle, and before he knows what is happening he is in the bathroom with her and trying to persuade her to have sex with him. She kisses passionately enough, but then the train reaches her stop, frustrating his advances...

Director Federico Fellini was fascinated by women, so much so that if the characters in his films were not actually female then they would often be female-obsessed males, but nowhere was this preoccupation more evident than in this part of his last cycle of movies, City of Women, or La città delle donne if you spoke Italian. It came across as some satire or other, though whether it was sending up the feminist movement of the previous decade which showed no sign of abating, or the men who were left confused in the wake of all these assertive women was not entirely clear; in some scenes, either could be the case, but whichever the work proved controversial.

That would be flak from both sides, with some seeing this as Fellini's tone deaf attempts to make sense of modern woman in general and making a fool of himself. As a result, City of Women is rarely mentioned among the finest efforts of the great director, but over the years a cult developed of audiences who preferred to see it as a sympathetic and wryly - at times ribaldly - funny step back from the social turmoil brought about by the so-called battle of the sexes. Whatever it was, it was one of the strangest films in the maestro's canon, an increasingly surreal meander through various setpieces with the legendary Dante Ferretti on design duties, and for the most part living up to the imagination run riot on display.

Snàporaz follows this dream woman from the carriage and down by the tracks, whereupon the train pulls away without him leaving no option but to continue to follow her. The drive for feminine emancipation often generated one reaction in the men of the day, and that was to soothe its sting for them with humour, which was what Fellini was up to here, but don't go thinking this was a near-two and a half hour long Benny Hill special, as there was a thoughtful quality to this which belied its spoofy surface, which itself grew more serious and even bizarrely nightmarish as it progressed. Snàporaz's first port of call is a hotel where a conference of women is being held, but they are every one a militant, spouting anti-male rhetoric at great length which naturally disturbs him.

All he wanted was a quickie, consequence-free sex with this mystery lady and the further he pursues this the further it is apparent he's participating in an exercise in futility, embroiled in a morass of sexual complications. Having seen himself humiliated by the conference, a sequence which seems shrilly reactionary on Fellini's part though it is quite funny, Snàporaz - who is supposed to be the same character as Mastroianni played in , though he doesn't have to be - embarks on a quest to find the nearest railway station but soon that search transforms into one of those "into the night" movies which came into their own during the eighties, only this was one of the most wandering and picaresque. Our baffled hero, Fellini's stand-in as far as we can tell, moves from a journey with young women who playfully threaten to kill him to a doctor (Ettore Manni) who is even more sexist than he is, leading to an expedition into his own mind which ends in a curiously Charlie Bubbles fashion before a cop out which may not be. Food for thought if you could work it out, a visual feast if not. Music by Luis Bacalov.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3469 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (3)


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 star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Butch Elliot
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
   

 

Last Updated: