Amarcord - Criterion #4

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Amarcord (1973) dir. Federico Fellini | DP. Giuseppe Rotunno

There are many hilarious and wonderful moments throughout Amarcord, but right after Uncle Teo is ordered to descend from the tip-top of the tree by the very short nun, one moment in particular stuck with me. As Uncle Teo is being led to the van, the doctor turns around to speak with Teo's brother, Aurelio, and says, "Some days he's normal, some days he's not. Just like the rest of us."

What a defusing thought. I was expecting Teo to be in big trouble. Instead the doctor borrows one of Teo's pocket rocks and knocks us the viewers over the head with a simple truth. We all have good days and bad.

This being my second viewing, a thought like this seemed to elevate Amarcord to a new height. Folks are just doing their best trying to deal with all of the crazy people around them. Yet the minute we call everyone else crazy, we go and do something that makes our neighbors blush. Or scratch their heads. Or maybe, hopefully, accept us for who we are and keep living life together.   —ML