Federico Fillini's I Vitelloni

  photo 220px-Vitelloni_psoter_zps7382becf.jpg

Federico Fellini, "I Vitelloni-"1953. This a great film, it's a fine film and it occupies an important place in the history of art cinema. It's not like I've said before, of the Bresan film, eat your vegetables (watch a tedious film) so you can grow up to be a strong cinefile, this is more pleasurable to watch than that.

The major achievement of post war European cinema was Italian Neo-realism. This was the European answer to American film Noir. It preceded French "New Cinema." It's hall mark was the squalor of post war Italy, the dark earthy sets and dark earthy  women and degradation (such "the Bicycle Theif."  Fellini was to emerge from the 50's as one of Italy's most important film makers and one of the greats of world cenima. But in the early 50's he was still struggling with one  bomb after another. This film was no exception. It was a failure at the box office, but I think with it people began to notice him. It a mature attempt one upon which he worked very hard.

from Benny Thomas Weblog:
I Vitelloni or the young bulls is the third cinematic essay of Federico Fellini and it was a mature work as far as it reconstructed the trends of neorealism in his own personal idiom. At a time when critics tended to look at films dealing with postwar Italy from a Marxian point of view he was neither conservative nor reactionary. He was far too individualistic to look at social reality with labels. His mature films showed his heart was fully engaged in the creative process whether it dealt with social issues or his interior life.
In emerging to greatness Fillini would forsake Neo-realism  putting in place his own highly individualistic style. That would be both his glory and the greatest criticism of the critics. That process began with this film.

from IMBd page:


Cast overview, first billed only:
Franco Interlenghi ...
Moraldo Rubini
Alberto Sordi ...
Franco Fabrizi ...
Fausto Moretti
Leopoldo Trieste ...
Leopoldo Vannucci
Riccardo Fellini ...
Leonora Ruffo ...
Sandra Rubini (as Eleonora Ruffo)
Jean Brochard ...
Francesco Moretti
Claude Farell ...
Carlo Romano ...
Michele Curti
Enrico Viarisio ...
Signor Rubini
Paola Borboni ...
Signora Rubini
Lída Baarová ...
Giulia Curti (as Lida Baarowa)
Arlette Sauvage ...
La sconosciuta del cinema
Vira Silenti ...
Maja Niles ...
Caterina (as Maja Nipora)

My Original Review:

The title means "the young bulls" it's a slang term they used in Itally at that time for what we might call "a red neck" or a "Yahoo." Young rural guys with noting better to do than cause trouble. they are not really mean but they just have noting better to do. They are basically rural working class play boys. They are from a small town in Italy. The film is autobiographical in that the one guy who actually get's up the guts to leave town is really based upon Fillini himself. He leaves in the last scene of this movie, headed for Rome.years latter in the 70s he did another film Called "Roma" that has that same guy (himself) getting off the train then it takes up with his early days in Rome trying to get established and make it.

The whole film revolves around a domestic problem between one of these young men and his new wife, who is expecting a child,and the child would have been born out of wedlock if the young man had not been forced to Marry her by his father. The father essentially beats him up because he was going to skip town. Most of the movie is not what you would call a comedy but it ends happily when the young guy realizes he loves the girl. The last quarter of the film is  about a mad dash around town trying to find her as she had gone missing, with the baby. He's desperate to find her, he spends all day looking, she seems to have vanished. I wont spoil it.

One funny situation in the film which was a true story from Fillini's life, they were driving along the road and saw men working. one of them sticks his head up through the sun roof and shout's "Hey workers," then something obscene, reinforced with a gesture. He does this for no real reason, he's like a big kid who doesn't work, parties all the time and has nothing better to do than make mischief. Just as he does this the car breaks down. they coast to a stop like 50 yards form the workers, who chase them down the road on foot trying to beat them up. They no match for working muscles.

This is a fine film if you watch films just for feeling it will leave a good feeling. If you watch films to be part of film history this one occuplies an important postion in film history. Italian Neo-realism is one of the great aspects that made films art and made the art film magic in this era (the silver age of the silver screen). Rules are meant to be broken, Fillini's departure from the genre is one of the triumphs of that era. We see the writing on the wall with this film. It's his first baby step toward his own highly individualistic style.


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