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La città delle donne(1980)
A businessman finds himself trapped at a hotel and threatened by women en masse.
For more about La città delle donne and the La città delle donne Blu-ray release, see La città delle donne Blu-ray Review published by Dr. Svet Atanasov on February 17, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Starring: Marcello Mastroianni, Donatella Damiani, Bernice Stegers, Silvana Fusacchia, Hélène Calzarelli
Director: Federico Fellini
» See full cast & crew
La città delle donne Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Dr. Svet Atanasov, February 17, 2013
Federico Fellini's "La città delle donne" a.k.a "City of Women" (1980) arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of British distributors Eureka Entertainment. The supplemental features on the disc include French and Italian trailers for the film; video interview with director Tinto Brass; video interview with production designer Dante Ferretti; on-set documentary film; and a new documentary film by Dominique Maillet. The release also arrives with an illustrated booklet containing writing on the film, vintage excerpts, and rare archival imagery. In Italian, with optional English subtitles for the main feature. Region-B "locked".
Snaporaz (Marcello Mastroianni, Marriage Italian Style, 8½) is a middle-aged man obsessed with women. While traveling, he meets one (Bernice Stegers, Quartet, The Girl) that transforms him into an animal. He tries to seduce her in a train's washroom but she runs away. He follows her to a hotel somewhere in the countryside where a massive feminist convention is underway. After the object of his desire disappears, he is confronted by hordes of angry women. With a little bit of luck, he manages to escape them.
On the way back to Rome, Snaporaz is nearly raped by an old farm woman who has not been with a man in years. Soon after, a group of seriously stoned girls give him a ride to the estate of Dr. Xavier Katzone (Ettore Manni, Le Amiche, Mademoiselle), a crazy sex maniac celebrating a major accomplishment - the fact that he has managed to bed 10,000 women. While wandering around the estate, Snaporaz meets his slightly inebriated wife (Anna Prucnal, Bastien, Bastienne, Sweet Movie).
At the end of the celebration, Dr. Katzone invites Snaporaz and his wife to spend the night in one of his many guest bedrooms. Snaporaz's exhausted wife quickly falls asleep but he begins hearing strange noises that drive him crazy. He looks under their bed to see where the noises are coming from and discovers a tunnel leading to a giant amusement park.
City of Women is a beautiful, colorful and intensely erotic film directed by a man with an incredible imagination. It feels rather chaotic at times but it oozes a type of energy that is absolutely impossible not to admire.
The film's greatest strength is its unapologetic depiction of the gender clash in a society in which women have long been denied the right to question men. Though Fellini does not side with them, he acknowledges that their anger is justified because they have been mistreated by men who see them either as servants or passive sexual objects.
In the film, however, Snaporaz, Fellini's alter ego, is driven by the exact same male desires that have inspired the women to unite and rise up. For Snaporaz, these desires are natural because the women in his life have always encouraged them; for the women, they are men's Achilles heel.
Fellini pokes fun at both sides by exposing their weaknesses and ultimately their total dependence on each other. Despite their anger the women enjoy being pursued. When they tease Snaporaz, they feel strong because they are in control. Ironically, or not, Snaporaz also enjoys being denied what he so passionately desires because it prolongs his sexual fantasies, which at his age are a lot more exciting and fulfilling.
To understand how incredibly accurate Fellini's depiction of the gender clash is one must have a good grasp of the unique environment Italian men and women share, as well as the manner in which they interact. In Italy, women's sexuality has long been officially disciplined and controlled, often on religious grounds, yet their objectification as sex symbols is still very much encouraged by men.
Note: In 1980, City of Women was awarded four Silver Ribbons by the Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists: Best Director (Federico Fellini), Best Cinematography (Giuseppe Rotunno), Best Production Design (Dante Ferretti), and Best Costume Design (Gabriella Pescucci).
La città delle donne Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, Federico Fellini's City of Women arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of British distributors Eureka Entertainment.
The foundation for this release is the same remaster which Gaumont produced and used for their Blu-ray release of Fellini's legendary film in France. However, the high-definition transfer is not identical to the one Gaumont used. The exact same traces of mild denoising are present and once again most of them could be spotted during the daylight sequences, but brightness levels appear to have been slightly elevated (compare screencapture #12 with screencapture #1 from our review of the Gaumont release). As a result, there are additional sequences where it becomes even easier to see the effects of the denoising (see screencaptures #8 and 11). Still, in motion the film looks a lot better, especially where light is subdued or restricted. Furthermore, there are no traces of sharpening corrections. Color reproduction is also satisfying, though clearly there is room for improvement. Finally, there are no large damage marks, cuts, warps, or stains. To sum it all up, I was hoping that Eureka Entertainment's release will represent a minor upgrade in quality over the French release - possibly by eliminating the denoising corrections - but this isn't the case. Regardless, I definitely think that it is worth owning because all previous DVD releases of the film have been remarkably poor. (Note: This is a Region-B "locked" Blu-ray release. Therefore, you must have a native Region-B or Region-Free PS3 or SA in order to access its content).
La città delle donne Blu-ray, Audio Quality
There is only one standard audio track on this Blu-ray disc: Italian LPCM 2.0. For the record, Eureka Entertainment have provided optional English subtitles for the main feature.
The lossless track eliminates all of the issues from the old OOP R1 DVD release of City of Women. Balance and dynamic levels, in particular, are dramatically improved. As a result Luis Bacalov's score is better exposed (the solos are easier to recognize) and easier to appreciate. The English translation is very good.
La città delle donne Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
La città delle donne Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Eureka Entertainment's release of Federico Fellini's City of Women uses as a foundation Gaumont's recent restoration of the film. There are some minor differences in image quality between this new release and the French release (which we have reviewed here), but they are not substantial enough to pick one of them as a clear winner. The one clear advantage the Eureka Entertainment release has is the fact that all of the supplemental features from the French release are included on it with optional English subtitles. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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La città delle donne Blu-ray, News and Updates
• City of Women Blu-ray - January 15, 2013
British distributors Eureka Entertainment have officially announced and detailed their upcoming Blu-ray release of director Federico Fellini's La città delle donne a.k.a City of Women (1980), starring Marcello Mastroianni, Anna Prucnal and Bernice Stegers. Street ...
La città delle donne Blu-ray Screenshots
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