Juliet of the Spirits

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The Film Juliet of the Spirit is one of my daughters favorite films and although I go through years without seeing movies, sometimes decades I will have to see it to understand why she is loves it so much….  John Baxter who lives in Paris, makes commentaries on films like this one. He wrote this passage about Juliet of the Spring…

Though Federico Fellini’s 1964 Best Foreign Film Academy Award for 8 1/2 confirmed his place among the world’s greatest filmmakers, he remained as unsure of his ability as when he had arrived in Rome from Rimini in 1939. If the success of the psychoanalytical 8 1/2 persuaded him of anything, it was the need to examine even more thoroughly the sources of his creativity, which lay in dreams, and in his ambiguous sexuality. Giulietta Masina and her husband Federico shared a profound belief in psychic phenomena. Giulietta would halt a conversation in mid-sentence to whisper “We are not alone!” Fellini, who mined his films from a rich dream life: “I go to sleep, and the fête begins,” he said proudly — and often changed plans on the advice of astrologers and readers, whom he cast in his films as an excuse to have them around during his shooting.

Fellini’s dreams and fantasies, which, truly, were his entire life with cryptic images like the two uniformed guards who pace silently past Juliet’s window, rain tapping on slick black waterproof capes, the raft packed with naked men and women that nuzzles up to the sunny beach, and the towering bearded figure of authority that erupts into the house, he puts his signature on Juliet of the Spirits to a greater extent than any other of his films.  Juliet of the Spirits had helped Fellini turn an important corner and the film remains absorbing in its own right, not only as a milestone in the development of a great artist, but as an anthology of visual delights that displays the Fellini team of performers, writers, and designers at full and exhilarating stretch.

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