Sunday, October 14, 2012
New York Film Festival: Fellini-Satyricon
Overall, as with this year's 8K Lawrence of Arabia restoration, the film looked dark in many key places. The first reel, in particular, that introduces the Encolpio, Ascilto, Gitone love triangle, and takes place at night, looked dreary, as did the scene with the clown Vernacchio. In addition, very little restoration was done on the sound. It would have been helpful if the restorers would have expanded the audio spectrum. Instead, the film sounded monaural, with the voices sounding particularly flat. Nino Rota's moonscape music, which is a mixture of modern and ancient sounds, suffers the most as a result of the inadequate soundtrack.
Petronius's book survives only in fragments, and Fellini's episodic approach, one of the director's trademarks, echoes this brilliantly. Ultimately, the greatest aspect of this work is the director's uncanny ability to create an ancient world that never quite existed the way he shows it to us.