Joe, whilst I am mostly in agreement with your well-written article and I especially REJOICED upon reading that you too hated Pan's Labyrinth (EMPTY COKE BOTTLE TO THE FACE indeed), I am afraid I must respectfully disagree with your views on Federico Fellini. I understand you uncultured American buffoons believe Sergio Leone to be the only Italian director of repute simply as he only mimicked the great John Ford but claiming that Fellini's masterpieces are "hard to understand" only betrays your hapless Hollywood-praising ignorance and no doubt you are completely clueless that your North American homeland was discovered by several Italians!
Does a PAINTING need a PLOT to somehow make sense to your boorish American tastes? Fellini was not overly concerned about the opening weekend figures or the overall gross or $100 million CGI for Lo Sceicco Bianco. Yes, I understand that is difficult for you Hollywood mogul types to grasp. I pity the fact that the symbolism of a child refusing to take a bath and later wetting her bed was over your head in 8-and-a-half. It was clearly intended to be an introspective satire of the Italian society of the post-WW2 era. His movies make perfect sense if you understand that he intended them to be works of ART!
In a work of art, the plot is not meant to be carefully explained to the audience as you find in Hollywood as that ruins the very essence. It is like a painter writing notes describing the gradients and textures he used and what have you. You are meant to BEHOLD the picture and EXPERIENCE the plot taking place before you, not have it spoonfed to appease your provincial American imagination! Maybe next time you should try watching La Dolce Vita with subtitles, lol?
Anyway, a director with the repute of Fellini really does not deserve to be pegged in the same group as gut-wrenching Japanese anime horrors and the sickening Pan's Labyrinth. I expect a formal apology to the Italian film industry.
HARUMPH. Well, he was only a runner-up. And as I said, I don't dislike his films. I actually remember kind of enjoying 8 1/2 at parts even though it was mostly just a bunch of weird shit.
Your explanation makes perfect sense, really. The fact is I rarely have any appreciation for art. I have no idea what makes art good and I also know that oh nothing makes art good because it's all subjective, which is why I don't appreciate art.
To that end, it makes sense that Fellini just befuddles me. I'm not a very deep man and most symbolism flies right over my head so I need to grasp whatever semblance of a conventional narrative I can find and when there isn't one I am full of sad.
I recognize that film can just be art, but for me personally, I still think of it first and foremost as a medium for entertainment, by which I guess I mean anything that elicits an emotional response, not just action movies and comedies. Confusion doesn't strike me as an emotion so much as a state so I have trouble reacting to something like a Fellini movie with much more than "Well, that was odd."
The funny thing is that I like some symbolism and unanswered questions, but stuff like Fellini movies and Blow Up just dump that on you without any respite. Stupid as this might sound, I like movies that have a basic narrative, but have aspects that you can read into. As an example, Jacob's Ladder is my favorite movie (though I don't think it's perfect). I just like to have a narrative because if all the metaphorical hootenanny is lost on me, I can at least understand the junk what went down.
In other words, I want my symbolism and meaningfulness candy-coated.
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