Fellini Satyricon. 1969. Italy. Directed by Federico Fellini. Screenplay by Fellini, Bernardino Zapponi. With Martin Potter, Hiram Keller, Max Born. 4K digital restoration. In Italian; English subtitles. 128 min.
When Gian Luigi Polidoro’s Satyricon —based on the same novel, attributed to first-century Roman writer Petronius—went into production at the same time as Fellini’s adaptation, Fellini opted to name his version Fellini Satyricon. As it turns out, the decision couldn’t be more perfect: this very liberal adaptation is thoroughly Felliniesque. The ancient world appears as a decadent, bizarre, carnivalesque circus straight out of Fellini’s dreams. Described by the director as a science-fiction version of the past, Fellini Satyricon serves up a visual feast of fervent colors and surreal spectacle that only the boldest mind could imagine.