Variety Lights

1950

Drama / Music / Romance

107
IMDb Rating 7.1 10 2,442

Synopsis


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December 28, 2020

Cast

720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
902.06 MB
1280*720
Italian 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
97 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.64 GB
1920×1080
Italian 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
97 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by jhclues 7 / 10 / 10

Early Fellini

A young woman pursuing her dream of being on the stage, aligns herself with a traveling variety show band of performers in `Variety Lights,' directed by Federico Fellini (and assisted by Alberto Lattuada). Veteran comic actor Checco Dal Monte (Peppino De Filippo) and his troupe of performers are struggling to get by, living from hand to mouth and show to show, but it doesn't deter Liliana Antonelli (Carla Del Poggio), blinded perhaps by the stars in her eyes, from approaching Checco about joining his show. He turns her down-- they simply have no openings, and certainly no money-- but circumstances soon prevail on her behalf, and much to the chagrin of many of the other performers, she joins the troupe. The effect she will have on the show, and how it will influence her own life, remains to be seen at this point; but with Fellini at the helm, you know it's going to be an interesting ride. And it is. Fellini, a true visionary, is known for filling the screen with vivid images born of his own imagination, especially in his later films. But beyond the sometimes bizarre appearances, there is always an engaging story to be found at the heart of his films, and this one (his first) is no exception. And, though devoid of the surrealism he would use later on, in Checco's company there is something of the carnival motif present that Fellini would return to time and again during the course of his career, and of course, there's the story, presented with that unique Fellini touch and laced with his insight into the human condition, which at it's core is the real strength of the film. No matter what the subject matter, Fellini always had his finger on the emotional pulse of the material and had the innate ability to transfer what he felt to the screen. Very simply, he knew what worked and how to use it; within the images he presents, there can always be found a reflection of reality-- even amid the surreal-- and it's in his characters. Physically and emotionally, these are real people who run the entire gamut of human existence. Beyond his astounding visuals, it's his ability to cultivate that depth of his characters that makes Fellini special; the way they interact with, and relate to one another or the situations in which they find themselves. And by drawing out his actors, he always gives his audience someone with whom to identify on one level or another. As Checco, Filippo successfully taps into the humanity of the character, this aging performer with hopes and aspirations beyond his means or capabilities. He's a character with whom you can sympathize, but only to a point-- for you soon recognize his flaws and transgressions. But even then, you are still able to at least understand him. Most importantly, his performance is believable, and his Checco comes across as a very real person. Del Poggio gives a notable performance as well, as this young woman who makes the most of the opportunity with which she is presented. And as the story unfolds she develops her character extremely well; by the end of the film you know exactly who `Lily' is and what motivates her. In a memorable supporting role, it's the young Giulietta Masina, however, who steals the show as Melina Amour, Checco's girlfriend. She creates the one character in the film with whom you can truly empathize, and she does it with style. Masina has such a radiant, charismatic screen presence, that whenever she appears the eye is instinctively drawn to her. A gifted actress, she is exceptionally adept at expressing her emotions-- often by merely shifting her eyes-- and communicating with the audience. Few actors can say more or convey as much with their eyes or with a simple expression as Masina. And, sparse as it is, her performance here is alone worth the price of admission. The supporting cast includes Folco Lulli (Adelmo), John Kitzmiller (Johnny), Dante Maggio (Remo), Carlo Romano (Enzo) and Gina Mascetti (Valeria del Sole). Well crafted and delivered, `Variety Lights' is an engaging story, told in the same straightforward manner Fellini would later use in `La Strada' and `Nights of Cabiria.' The basic elements of the story may be familiar, but it's an entertaining film, and worth seeing, as it prophesies the triumphs of an artist who would soon be recognized as one of the world's master filmmakers: Fellini. I rate this one 7/10.

Reviewed by zetes 8 / 10 / 10

Nice. Not great, but nice.

If you enjoy Fellini's earlier films, Nights of Cabiria and La Strada, specifically, Variety Lights will please you. A sweet-hearted film not much in the vain of Italian Neorealism (Nights of Cabiria and La Strada were more like the neorealistic classics), but more like the poetic realism of 1930s French cinema, Variety lights is straightforward, unlike Fellini's later films, for instance, La Dolce Vita, and very enjoyable. It never impresses as deeply as most of Fellini's masterpiece, but, hey, it was his earliest directorial effort. You also have to see it, Fellini lovers, for Giulietta Masina's supporting role; it gives you a hint of her later masterful roles. 8/10

Reviewed by TheLittleSongbird 8 / 10 / 10

A strong debut for Federico Fellini

Lights of Variety is not one of Fellini's(co-directing with Alberto Lattuada) best, there is a slight sense that he was yet to find his feet and style, which was understandable considering that it was his first film. This said, he does delight in revealing human faces behind social masks while breaking with the neorealist tradition of the location of characters within the environment they're in. So there are some interesting touches without falling into self-indulgence yet not as ambitious as some of his middling efforts. The story is a simple one detailing love and desire within show-business but told very movingly, while Lights of Variety is also beautifully filmed, powerfully written and scored with bright exuberance. The characters are not detached yet are identifiable(if not so much as Ginger and Fred, La Strada and Nights of Cabiria) and you do relate to their plights. Peppino De Filippo, Carla Del Poggio and Giulietta Masina give top notch performances. All in all, a strong debut from Fellini even if he went on to even better things. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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