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JULIET OF THE SPIRITS: DVD

SYNOPSIS:
Bored Italian housewife Juliet (Giulietta Masina ) seeks relief from the mundane - and her cheating husband (Mario Pisu) - through sensual escapades in the spirit realm. After a seance, Juliet gets closer to her subconscious desires and is encouraged by neighbour Suzy (Sandra Milo), a hedonistic pleasure-seeker living in a sensual playhouse, to embrace her sexual freedom.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
This is Fellini's first feature in colour and there is plenty of it, too. His real life wife Giulietta Masina again (as she does in La Strada) stars as the central character, but this is perhaps the direct opposite of the simple, Chaplinesque Gelsomina from that film: here, she's a chain smoking, dull sort of wife who suspects her husband is cheating with flamboyant women.

Yet some of Fellini's trademarks, including characters in a parade line, the circus, imaginings and fantasies, horses and grotesque characters, are still in evidence. Indeed, as the title suggests, there are spirits at large here. But there is less of Fellini's whimsy, his lightness of touch seems less ...well, light.

Said to be having real life marital problems at the time, reflected in Fellini's portrayal of his wife as a straightlaced frump; this notion certainly adds piquancy to the film, but it doesn't change the underlying well of talent from which Fellini draws his often exotic inspiration. The humour and the slightly surreal imagery is now given life in colour, and Nino Rota is once more on hand to provide the score - and one which has a just a few notable differences and variations to his signature style. And in the end, whether Giulietta is liberated or abandoned is a matter for personal interpretation. Tellingly perhaps, Fellini and his wife apparently disagreed about that.

Published December 13, 2007

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

JULIET OF THE SPIRITS: DVD (M)
(Italy, 1965)

CAST: Valentina Cortese, Sandra Milo, Guilietta Masina, Mario Pisu, Valeska Gert

PRODUCER: Angelo Rizzolli

DIRECTOR: Federico Fellini

SCRIPT: Federico Fellini, Tullio Pinelli

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Gianni De Venanzo

EDITOR: Ruggero Mastroianni

MUSIC: Nino Rota

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Giantito Burchiellaro, Lucian Ricceri, E. Benazzi Taglietti

RUNNING TIME: 130 minutes

PRESENTATION: 16:9; DD 2.0

SPECIAL FEATURES: None

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Umbrella

DVD RELEASE: April 15, 2005







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