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I VITELLONI

Director: FEDERICO FELLINI

ITALY-FRANCE • 1953 • SUBTITLED • BLACK AND WHITE • 103 MIN


‘VITELLONI’ LITERALLY MEANS ‘OVERGROWN CALVES’, A TYPICAL FELLINI COINAGE TO DESCRIBE A GROUP OF PETIT BOURGEOIS, STAY-AT-HOME YOUNG MEN IN A PROVINCIAL SEASIDE TOWN. THEY THINK THEY’RE SOMETHING, AND THE FILM MANAGES TO BE BOTH PITILESS AND SYMPATHETIC IN SHOWING THAT THEY’RE NOT.
Leopoldo (Leopoldo Trieste) thinks he’s a writer but spends his time eyeing the girl next door. Alberto (Alberto Sordi) struts about, unable to see that he’s utterly dependent on his mother and sister. Franco (Franco Fabrizi) has to get married but just can’t stop womanising.
I vitelloni is like the neo-realism that Fellini first worked in, observational and episodic. But it is also distinctly his, capable of being inward with characters and situations and yet also ironic, even critical. Above all, there is everything that makes Fellini Fellini, from the strains of Nino Rota’s insinuating, melancholic music to the seedy imagery of small-town life.

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