EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|VARIETY LIGHTS (LIGHTS OF VARIETY) (LUCI DEL VARIETA) (directors/writers: Federico Fellini/Albert Lattuada/story by Federico Fellini; screenwriter: Tullio Pinneli; cinematographer: Otello Martelli; editor: Mario Bonotti; music: Felice Lattuada; cast: Carlo Romano (Enzo La Rosa), Dante Maggio (Remo), Franca Valeri (Mitzy-Hungarian designer), Folco Lulli (Adelmo Conti), John Kitzmiller (Trumpet Player Johnny), Giulietta Masina (Melina Amour), Peppino de Filippo (Checco Dal Monte), Carla Del Poggio (Liliana 'Lily' Antonelli), Gina Mascetti (Valeria del Sole), Silvio Bagolini (Bruno Antonini), Enrico Piergentili (Business Manager), Checco Durante (Theater Owner); Runtime: 93; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Federico Fellini/Albert Lattuada; The Criterion Collection; 1950-Italy-in Italian with English subtitles)|
|"It's a refreshingly
evocative backstage showbiz pic, that tells a
familiar story with much compassion for human
by Dennis Schwartz
first film of Federico Fellini ("Amarcord"/"The White
Sheik"/"La Strada") is a black and white shot
lighthearted showbiz comedy he co-directed with the
more experienced Albert Lattuada, that shows theater
life isn't as glamorous as one might believe. The pic
followers a traveling troupe of squabbling loser Italian vaudevillians, who
go by rail to small-towns all over Italy. Supposedly
the more experienced Lattuada handled the
film's camera and action scenes,while Fellini handled
the actors and gave the film its humanity with his
usual grotesque characters and by creating an artful
atmosphere. It's a refreshingly evocative backstage
showbiz pic, that tells a familiar story with much
compassion for human frailty.
young redheaded beauty Lily (Carla Del Poggio, Lattuada's wife) joins a struggling
close-knit second-rate vaudeville troupe and casts a
spell on the hammy dancer/comic Checco (Peppino De Felippo), the troupe's star, even
though she seems to lack talent and showbiz
experience. Checco's girlfriend is the bossy Melina
Masina, Fellini's wife), saving their money in a joint bank account
so that in ten years they can open a deli together.
The troupe has lame acts such as obese chorus dancers
in bikinis and a hack magician working with a goose
and a routine where he eats crushed glass. When the
ambitious self-centered Lily, now the star, is offered
better gigs in the big cities, she abandons the troupe
to better herself.
REVIEWED ON 3/31/2013 GRADE: B
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ