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:: City Of Women

In City Of Women, great Italian director Federico Fellini makes no secret of his obsession with women. Cast again as Felllini's favorite alter-ego, Marcello Mastroianni is brilliant as a modern-day Don Juan set adrift on the stormy seas of middle-age and feminism. The film opens with a train entering a leaf-framed tunnel - Fellini's first homage to the erotic metaphors of American movies that have become landmarks of our romantic fantasies. This is the first of many allusions marking City Of Women as another great work from the master.

Fellini's obsession with the female sex has stretched from La Dolce Vita to 8 ½ to Juliet of the Spirits to City of Women. But his real interest is ideas about women and that is what this movie is about. She is mother, wife or whore, or Dante's Beatrice or the muse. Man through the ages has continued to cover woman's face with masks that to his subconscious, probably, represent the unknown part of himself."

For Fellini, the movies are a source and a pretext for self-exploration. Although City of Women is poorly paced and a bit repetitive, it does give viewers a chance to mediate upon women and perhaps come to grips with an unknown part of themselves. It's worth seeing because it's a bedazzling collection of images, because at times it's a graceful and fluid celebration of pure filmmaking skill, and because Fellini doesn't make boring movies.

DVD Extras

- Marcello Mastroianni: the Discreet Charm Of Normality, a 60 minute portrait of the actor;
- promotional short Behind The Scenes.
- Umbrella trailers