zarafa film & media review blogosphere
film & media reviews
Wednesday, 20 April 2011
Wednesday, 28 March 2007
"The White Sheik" Lo Sceicco Bianco, 1952 was Federico Fellini's solo-directing debut and Fellini's second film, it failed with movie goers, critically and a commercial flop to boot. In an ethereal world through a window of poetic imagination and a boisterous romp, a farce grounded in the grimy black and white reality of post war Rome, Lo Sceicco Bianco, is a slapstick comedy of belly laugh proportions, a slapstick comedy worthy of Chaplin, Ben Turpin and a Mack Sennett production.
Ivan Cavalli (Leopoldo Trieste) an ambitious bureaucratic small town clerk along with his naive small town bride Wanda (Brunella Bovo) make a honeymoon/pilgrimage to Rome to meet Ivan's socially respectable family and they expect to meet Ivan's new bride, there is a rigid schedule of family meetings planned, culminating with an audiences with the Pope. Wanda infatuated with "The White Sheik" the hero of the popular photographic comic books, called fumetti, finds an opening to leave the "Honeymoon Suite" of the seedy hotel. The adventure starts full throttle once Wanda leaves the hotel and finds her way into Rome, she soon finds herself in the world of her favorite fantasy-figure. Wanda has already sent three fan letters to Fernando Rivoli (Alberto Sordi), the fumetti star who plays the White Sheik, and received an amorous invitation to look him up if she comes to Rome and so she is bent on meeting her idol. Ivan is left to explain to his family Wanda's inability to come down and meet them as they sit and wait in the hotels foyer.
Its bitter sweet moment when Wanda and Ivan finally find one another once again after they each have wandered through the maze of Rome's many seamy characters in the world of the fumentti, and the characters that make-up the night life of the city including a short cameo appearance of the brilliant Giulietta Masina, Fellini's wife, long-time collaborator and star, Masina, shines in an indelible moment on the screen, trying to cheer up Ivan with the aid of a fire eater, which summarizes the Fellini extravaganzas to come. Alberto Sordi's larger than life fantasy-figure and the Mack Sennett-like production methods of the fumetti company--the music of another long time collaborator the brilliant Nino Roti's circus-like strains accompanying this farce, further helping to define the essence of Fellin's directions make this one of the maestros most charming funny and winsome films -- and begs to be seen ---
Screen writer, Michelangelo Antonioni proposed the fumetti as a subject, and was planning to direct it himself, as his own first feature.In the late 40s, he had already made a short documentary about the subject of the fumetti photographed comic strips with their romantic stories appearing in weekly magazines, satisfying a yearning in the hearts of Italian women and were quite popular in Italy at the time. But an illness prevented Antonioni from proceeding, and he sold the story to Carlo Ponti, who turned it over to Fellini
Posted by zarafa at 13:27
film reviews for the Tri-beca Film Festival is going to be my new job
so I created a zarafa -film blog to do a few test runs ----
Posted by zarafa at 12:20