+ The film’s title is a neologism for "I remember" in local Romagnolo dialect. It won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, and was nominated for two Academy Awards: Best Director and Best Writing, Original Screenplay.
It goes from early spring 1932 to spring 1933, in a dream Rimini rebuilt in Cinecittà, exaclty as Fellini remembered it in one of his dreams.
In the first scenes a young woman hanging clothes on a line happily points out the arrival of manine (puffballs floating on the wind). The old man pottering beside her replies, "When puffballs come, cold winter’s done." In the village main square, schoolboys jump around trying to pluck puffballs out of the air. The town idiot looks into the camera and recites a poem to spring and the swirling, drifting manine.
The film is simply about life in the village with his festivals, the "Fashist Saturday" gatherings, and most of all its special inhabitants. All characters are unique and unforgettable but some are particularly special and had entered the immaginary.
Here just a few of my favorite ones:
+ Titta Biondi [Bruno Zanin], the rosy-cheeked adolescent protagonist based on Fellini's childhood friend
+ the stout and buxom tobacconist [Maria Antonietta Beluzzi], who fires the desires of the young guys of the village, not least Titta who tries to seduce her in a rimarcably unforgettable scene
+ Gradisca [Magali Noël], the village beauty ageing but still yearning for eternal love.
+ the teenagers of the village taken from a bully sexual explosion. Memorable the scene where they observe in trepidation women sitting on their bikes
+ professors, students and their school life. Memorable the math teacher, "fierce like a lioness" who occupies the forbidden dreams of many boys in their lust discovery
+ Volpina, the girl that goes with everyone
+ Titta's uncle locked up in a mental institution. On a day-out with his family in the country side he climbs up a tree and scream all day long "I want a woman" until the nurses from hospital wil resque him.
These are just few of the many unique characters Fellini was able to portray in the film. Among these particular emphasis was laid on Titta and his entire family, also worth notice. Through the events of his childhood, the young man will begin a journey that will take him, slowly, to maturity.
I love the scene where the village inhabitants go with little boats at sea to salute the cruise liner Rex, floating illuminated in the middle of the night like in a dream.
It's magical and breathtaking.
++ Though the film has no specific plot, one finds out that a lot can happen in this small town in a year. Love is lost, love is found, the fascists come to town, families change, people die and everyone seems to be engaged in tales nearly glamorous dreams.
+++ The film ends with Gradisca's wedding dinner in open countryside. You see Titta observe everything from afar, the blind accordionist whispering the title of the film, the seller of seeds, with incomprehensible diction apparently greeting the public. The time fails, the bride and groom depart and an ending music for accordion fades.
+++ Amarcord is very autobiographical. Probably is what Fellini recalled of his own youth, of his country, his youth, his friends and all the other orbiting around it- everything shown then through the eyes of his alter ego Titta.
Perhaps he so acutely captures the mysterious moments of adolescents on the verge of manhood because he set it in the time and place where he himself made this transition.
Amarcord is in my opinion truly one of his most enjoyable work.