City of Women
Director: Federico Fellini Run Time: 139 min. Format: DCP Rating: R Release Year: 1980 Language: Italian with English Subtitles
Starring: Anna Prucnal, Bernice Stegers, Marcello Mastroianni
Marcello Mastroianni falls into a place of the female gaze in Fellini’s surreal film, THE CITY OF WOMEN (La città delle donne).
“City of Women mimics what it would be like for man to be finally looked at by a woman’s gaze and the consequent loss of power that this experience might generate.” – Masculinity & Italian Cinema
Federico Fellini’s epic 1980 fantasia introduced the start of the Maestro’s delirious late period. A surrealist tour-de-force filmed on soundstages and locations alike, and overflowing with the same sensory (and sensual) invention heretofore found only in the classic movie-musicals (and Fellini’s own oeuvre), City of Women/La città delle donne taps into the era’s restless youth culture, coalescing into nothing less than Fellini’s post-punk opus.
Marcello Mastroianni appears as Fellini’s alter ego in a semi-reprise of his character from 8 1/2, Snàporaz. As though passing into a dream, the charismatic avatar finds himself initiated into a phantasmagoric world where women–or an idea of women–have taken power, and which is structured like an array of psychosexual set-pieces, culminating in a bravura hot-air balloon that decisively sticks the “anti” up into “climax.”