Fellini - Satyricon (The Degenerates)
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Federico Fellini makes his most decadent, undisciplined work in this free adaptation of Petronius' famous farcical chronicle of ancient Roman life. The film opens with Encolpio (Martin Potter) vying with his friend Ascilto (Hiram Keller) for the affections of a young effeminate lad named Gitone (Max Born). When the youth chooses his rival or him, Encolpio begins a journey that has him encountering Romans of every stripe and color. He drops in on an orgy thrown by Trimalchio (Mario Romagnoli), a wealth-loving ex-slave who has spurned his wife in favor of a pleasures of a young boy; he toils… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 77%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Federico Fellini presents an incredible fresco-like vision of Rome's social structure 2,000 years ago in which survival and pleasure were man's sole motivating forces."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"Those who don't weaken and bolt for the door experience a one-of-a-kind visual adventure they are unlikely to forget."
‑ Louis B. Parks, Houston Chronicle
"True, the various strands are never bound together, but with material this sumptuous it really doesn't matter."
‑ Jon Fortgang, Film4
"Hedonistic buffet"
‑ S. James Wegg, JWR
"The film is either a celebration of depravity or a warning against Godlessness, though no one knows which and Fellini doesn't bother to make the distinction himself."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"A shallow, hypocritical film, without a glimmer of genuine creativity."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"It is a surreal epic that, I confidently believe, will outlive all its interpretations."
‑ Vincent Canby, New York Times
"The odd thing is that the excess seems visual and mythical rather than really sexual."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Visually stunning and sensationalistic."
‑ Marjorie Baumgarten, Austin Chronicle
"an expansive, epic, dream-like mess of a movie"
‑ James Kendrick, Q Network Film Desk
"Fellini's characteristic delirium is in fact anchored in a precise, psychological schema: under the matrix of bisexuality, he explores the complexes of castration, impotence, paranoia and libidinal release."
‑ , Time Out
"It is so much more ambitious and audacious than most of what we see today that simply as a reckless gesture, it shames these timid times. Films like this are a reminder of how machine-made and limited recent product has become."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Fellini received a well deserved Oscar nomination for this bizarre, wildly flamboyant but plotless spectacle, inspired by the firt century author Petronius, flaunting glorious production values."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Felliini's ancient Roman tale with a modern message is as cynical and bleak as its images are startling and original."
‑ Dan Jardine, Apollo Guide
More reviews for Fellini - Satyricon (The Degenerates) on Rotten Tomatoes