“Amarcord”- A Fantasy Of Sound And Screen Images!

August 28, 2009 by  
Filed under Music

Paramount ii“But… Fellini well, movie making for him seems almost effortless, like breathing, and he can orchestrate the most complicated scenes with purity and ease. He`s the Willie Mays of movies.” Roger EbertSeptember 19, 1974

I experienced Amarcord in the historic Paramount Theatre last night. Built in 1915, it has the kind of grandeur and spectacle of a bygone era. I was looking up at the ceiling at an angel with a harp. Perfect to view Federico Fellini`s look back at his life in 1930s Italy. These are impressions of his growing up in Rimini in the newly emerging Fascist culture of Mussolini. I had an epiphany as I watched. I have been listening to the soundtrack to Amarcord, with the music composed by Nino Rota, for some time. When watching, I could see the perfect marriage of Rota`s notes with the zany screen images of Fellini.Amarcord

I saw this more as an afternoon fantasy or a fairytale, than any kind of serious autobiography. Especially with Nito Rota`s music, it`s life in real time in a small town, just at the very moment when its innocence is taken away. One scene has the Fascist soldiers shooting a chimmering gramophone off a church bell tower. Surely symbolic of the suppression of the arts. The theme of the blind accordion player, a sort of village fool,  Le Manine Di Primavera, is interjected periodically to comic effect. Nino Rota`s brilliant medley, Lo Struscio, which morphs such familiar songs as Stormy Weather and La Cucaracha together, is clipped into street scenes that are robust with life, its randomness, full of surprises. The Amarcord theme itself is pure fantasy-we are incapable, in our times, of understanding the romance being projected here by Fellini & his capable partner, Nino Rota. This texture of life is gone, yet preserved by Fellini!

Please support KOOP 91.7 FM Radio in their pledge drive over the next few weeks!