Federico Fellini’s first feature in color shows his interest in psychotherapy even more clearly than 8½ (1963), as we follow a middle-aged woman (Giulietta Masina) who’s married to an unfaithful man (Mario Pisu) and now tries to achieve independence and freedom through a series of memories, visions and spiritual sessions. Obviously, this provides Fellini and his crack team of collaborators with an opportunity to shower the film with colorful settings, costumes and characters. It’s a thin line between what’s beautiful, erotic, ugly and frightening. This circus may go on too long, and may in fact be an obstacle to any deeper insights, but Masina is touching in the lead.
1965-Italy. 148 min. Color. Produced by Angelo Rizzoli, Clemente Fracassi, Henry Deutschmeister. Directed by Federico Fellini. Screenplay: Federico Fellini, Tullio Pinelli, Ennio Flaiano, Brunello Rondi. Cinematography: Gianni Di Venanzo. Music: Nino Rota. Art Direction, Costume Direction: Piero Gherardi. Cast: Giulietta Masina (Giulietta Boldrini), Sandra Milo (Suzy/Iris/Fanny), Mario Pisu (Giorgio Boldrini), Valentina Cortese, Lou Gilbert, Sylva Koscina.
Trivia: Original title: Giulietta degli spiriti.
Golden Globe: Best Foreign Language Film.
Last word: “The film is a big dream, and color is part of the language of dreams. Dreams are concepts… they are not accessories… or the memory of a sensory reality… the dream is expressed through the colors in order to convey ideas. ‘Giulietta’ had to be done in color because it is truly a dreamlike film. It was a fascinating experience regardless of the regret, the fear, and the difficulties.” (Fellini, Film Comment)