21 March 2005 | pppalermo73
A must see for anyone who loves Naples
At the beginning of this unforgettable display of creative genius, we see Renzo Arbore and Luciano De Crescenzo driving around the Coliseum, trying to get an idea for their next movie, but to no avail. They start arguing and calling each other names (pure Italian style)...and then the miracle happens: San Gennaro (the patron saint of Naples) makes a traffic light go red for what feels like forever; that makes the car stop right under the window of none other than the great Federico Fellini! He opens it, and a gust of wind makes his script fly out of it, and into the car...that's the beginning of an incredible journey through Italy, its people, their humanity and their prejudices, in the company of some of this country's greatest actors and showbiz people. A young and barely recognizable Benigni features in this quest for glory of a Neapolitan singer and her agent, this Odissey in which Naples is Ulysses, the outcast trying to get back home, and Italy the perilous sea of prejudice and disparity in which many a southern emigrant has found their demise. The finale, in which even an uncredited Massimo Troisi (virtually unknown at the time) sings with a large group of southerners on the stage of the Sanremo Festival (an important singing contest in Italy) will drive any Italian expat on the brink of tears. And the telling of this journey is pure genius. Epic: there is no other word for it.