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Amarcord

Amarcord (1973)

There are several great posters out there for Fellini’s movies, and while some of them have a caché that can’t be beat – I’m talking I vitelloni (1953) for one – this particular poster appeals to me in ways that have crept up on me over the years. (Some historical background: I saw the majority of Fellini’s movies over a period of four months back in 2002, and while learning more about them, saw the variety of designs allocated to the posters for his movies; most of them are really expressive and charming.)

Here it’s the breadth of the design, coupled with the number of references to characters, places and events in the movie that impresses the most, along with the clever way in which the eye is drawn to each component of the poster in a way that allows one to focus on one aspect without losing sight of the whole. The dark-hued sky with its portentous colouring is wonderfully dramatic, hinting at some of the conflict contained within the movie, and then there’s the space between the characters and the sea, sparingly dotted with images, a brighter stretch of colour that looks more optimistic.

It also serves as the backdrop for one of the most incredible assemblies of characters from a movie you’re ever likely to see. They’re all there: from Ciccio Ingrassia’s mad uncle, to Magali Noël’s beautiful Gradisca, to Maria Antonietta Beluzzi’s impossibly bosomed tobacconist – an intimate series of representations that border on good-natured caricature yet retain the essence of that character, allowing their personalities to be hinted at or confirmed (to find out which you have to see the movie). It’s like a rogues gallery except that these are all people you’d be intrigued to meet.

And then there’s the bold, swirling script used for the director’s name and the title, a magnificently cursive grouping of letters that maintains its own identity and oversees the image like a proud, protective parent. It all adds up to an audacious, striking movie poster that perfectly reflects the movie it represents.

Agree? Disagree? Feel free to let me know.