Amarcord, a tongue-in-cheek play on the local Italian slang for “I remember,” is Federico Fellini’s attempt to capture the wonder and tension of Italy in his youth. Set in 1930s Fascist Italy, we follow a year in the life of Titta (Bruno Zanin), a school boy learning to navigate his adolescence with a gang of friends. It’s a year filled with festivals, races, girl-chasing, women-watching, snowball fights, ridiculous school teachers, and various attempts to prove he’s man enough for the extremely buxom Gradisca (Magali Noël).
Widely regarded as one of Fellini’s great masterpieces, it’s the 40th anniversary of this winner of the Academy Award for Best foreign Language film. Fellini (La Dolce Vita, Roma) depicts everyday life in a small rural hamlet, while simultaneously forging a satirical, and sometimes surreal, critique of a populace more than happy to bend with the official winds of Church and State. Fellini’s townsfolk are every bit as lovable in their earnestness as they are in the bumbling foolishness.