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Arthouse Revisited

Il Casanova di Federico Fellini (Fellini’s Casanova)

Dir. Federico Fellini, Italy, 1976, DCP, 155 min., Italian w/ English subtitles

Years before Stanley Kubrick‘s attempt to adapt Carlo Collodi's classic tale Pinocchio, his AI (Artificial Intelligence) ended in Spielberg-ian ruin, director Federico Fellini undertook the epic adventures of this wanton puppet. His efforts ultimately led to Fellini's Casanova, a historical biopic that is at once exactingly authentic and fairy-tale fantastic, with a long-nosed Donald Sutherland cast as the famous libertine.

Casanova journeys across the magic landscapes of Caspar David Friedrich, in-and-out of prison dungeons, outrageous court parties, bizarre fertility rites and Olympic orgies in quest of sexual and political conquest.  With cathedral-scale sets and Academy Award-winning costumes by Danilo Donati, Fellini's stunning images are at their most potent.

Fellini’s Casanova undresses male hubris, reveals self-delusion and exposes the dehumanizing puppetry of a hedonistic culture. This ain’t Disney.