CAM CSE 800-003 [28:54]
Amarcord (meaning I remember) dates from 1973 and it won an Academy Award
as the best foreign film of that year. Its story is slight even
inconsequential and its about the colourful characters that inhabit
a small Italian seaside town during the fascist period. "A rich surface texture
and a sense of exuberant melancholia" said the Illustrated London
News critic. "Peaks of invention separated by raucous valleys of low
comedy commented Sight and Sound. The booklet note says, " A young
boy is conditioned by odd domestic realities and memories: school, church,
the fascists, the "mysterious" parties in the luxurious hotel. Characters
of the town: the saucy hairdresser, a crazy man called Giudizio, a puppet
burnt in a popular rite. And that huge transatlantic ship full of lights
that everyone looks at from afar, on small makeshift boats." The images I
remember are of the evening strolls by the towns colourful inhabitants,
strolls so loved by the Italians to show off their finery. A charming film.
Nino Rota wrote one of his strongest and most memorable themes for
Amarcord. It is redolent of its period and is strongly sentimental
and nostalgic. Through the score, this theme is subject to a series of delightful
variations scored for varying small instrumental combinations or for solo
accordion. A strutting, laconic variation, for instance, is entitled Gary
Cooper! Another variation is romantic and ornately dreamy.
Rotas score portrays the more eccentric characters in the film and
so is often grotesque and bizarre. There is swaggering pompous material that
might be played by a self-important but none too talented town band, grotesque
fairground music and crazy gallops with exotic music suggestive of the kasbah.
There is some apposite source material, much of which is played in tea dance
style: Stormy Weather, La Cucaracha and the well-known
tune Siboney played in an attractive Spanish style and featuring
a guitar solo.
Short but very sweet