La voce della luna (The Voice of the Moon). 1990. Italy. Directed by Federico Fellini. Screenplay by Fellini, Tullio Pinelli, Ermanno Cavazzoni. With Roberto Benigni, Paolo Villaggio, Nadia Ottaviani. 4K digital restoration. In Italian; English subtitles. 120 min.
The director’s final film is a homecoming of sorts, set in Emilia-Romagna, the region where Fellini is from. Two of Italy’s great comedians, Roberto Benigni and Paolo Villaggio, headline this moonstruck fantasy, which strings together a series of surreal and bizarre scenarios. Benigni’s Ivo has just been released from a mental hospital but is still hearing haunting voices. Villaggio’s Adolfo is an unstable ex-prefect obsessed with conspiracy theories. The two semi-madmen wander around and encounter far madder situations in a film that delivers a penetrating critique of mass culture and contemporary life.