Juliet of the Spirits

"Bad"

Juliet of the Spirits Review


Come near and bear witness to Federico Fellini's biggest fiasco, Juliet of the Spirits. Essentially a 2 1/2 hour dream sequence, Fellini cast sometime-collaborator (and longtime wife) Giulietta Masina (Nights of Cabiria) as a put-upon housewife who summons up the energy to leave her philandering husband.

Along the way, she has nonstop visions and heavily symbolic dreams, which are interrupted only by non-sequitur trips to bizarre locales (such as a basket ride to a treehouse in a nearby forest). I'd love to explain further, but to be perfectly honest, none of this makes a lick of sense, leaving us to stare perplexed at Masina's enormous head (perpetually smirking) atop her waifish body while trying to put the nonstop circus/brass band soundtrack out of our heads.

This is not an easy feat, though, and the film's ridiculous construction only makes it worse. Even the wardrobe -- with Masina in an ever-widening series of hats -- is distracting and inappropriate. Hell, if I was Juliet's husband, I'd look for affection elsewhere, too! The film comes together as nothing short of one unbearable sequence after another, with fleeting glimpses of snake-wrapped ladies, shrouded figures, and fruit.

Huh? It's not that I can't abide fantastic creations -- David Lynch has turned unreality into some fine films (though just as many are anything but) -- it's just that they really ought to have a point of some kind. Masina is neither sympathetic nor even believable in the role -- so why should we care about the Freudian content of her tiresome dreams? If they weren't so obvious I'd be perplexed.

What went wrong in this debacle? Following 8 1/2 and several years before Amarcord, Fellini was hardly washed up in 1965. But this was his first film shot in color as well as the follow-up to what many consider to be his masterpiece. Perhaps expectations were too high, perhaps Fellini was just exorcising the creative detritus left over from 8 1/2. Reportedly, he took LSD to prepare for the movie. He might as well have gotten stoned right there on the set -- it couldn't have hurt this production.

Aka Giulietta degli spiriti.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 137 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 3rd November 1965

Distributed by: Criterion Collection

Production compaines: Rizzoli Film, Francoriz Production

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 86%
Fresh: 18 Rotten: 3

IMDB: 7.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer:

Starring: as Giulietta Boldrini, as Suzy / Iris / Fanny, as Giorgio (Giulietta's husband), as Valentina, Valeska Gert as Pijma, José Luis de Villalonga as Giorgio's friend (as José De Villalonga), Friedrich von Ledebur as Medium (as Fredrich Ledebur)

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

With its fifth feature-length adventure, this franchise continues its preposterous journey at full tilt. As...

Keanu Movie Review

Keanu Movie Review

An entertaining hybrid of satirical comedy and action thriller, this madcap adventure swerves wildly between...

Ghostbusters Movie Review

Ghostbusters Movie Review

It's been more than 30 years since the Ghostbusters first hit the big screen with...

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

While the original 2013 magical caper was a big hit, it's style-over-substance approach didn't exactly...

Advertisement
The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

It's been nearly 30 years since the last live-action Tarzan movie, and yet it still...

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

A New York comedy with vivid characters and a contrived plot, this feels rather a...

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Nearly 25 years after the sitcom debuted, Edina and Patsy arrive on the big screen...

Central Intelligence Movie Review

Central Intelligence Movie Review

After teaming up with Will Ferrell for Get Hard and Ice Cube for two Ride...

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

Based on a true story, this Chilean drama has a chilling edge to it that's...

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Two decades is a long time to wait for a sequel, especially one starring much...

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

This movie is based on a real meeting between Elvis Presley and Richard Nixon in...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.