Week of April 21, 2004

Apr 21, 2004 at 4:00 am
I Vitelloni Federico Fellini. (unrated) Iconic and inimitable, Federico Fellini first achieved international success with his semi-autobiographical I Vitelloni, which is now returning in a restored 35-mm print. Translated colloquially as "overgrown calves" or, even more pejoratively, as "slobs," I Vitelloni unsentimentally depicts five indulgent, irresponsible men still adrift in their mid- to late-20s: the licentious Fausto; the increasingly judgmental Moraldo; the clownish, needy Alberto; the unsophisticated singer Riccardo (played by Fellini's brother); and the naive playwright Leopoldo. Set in co-writer/director Fellini's seaside birthplace of Rimini at approximately the time of its 1953 production, the film and its events reveal the deficit of character through a delicate balance between stinging indictment, nonjudgmental nostalgia and clever irony. Distinctive Fellini features include arresting faces, visual jokes with religious figures, bittersweet revelry (especially a remarkable carnival scene) and Nino Rota's wistful score, including music from Chaplin's Modern Times. In Italian with English subtitles. Screens at 7 p.m. Friday, April 23, through Sunday, April 25, in the Moore Auditorium on the campus of Webster University, 470 E. Lockwood Avenue. Call 314-968-7487 for more information. (Diane Carson)