If there ever was a film that was made entirely out of nostalgia, joy and straight from the heart it would have to be Federico Fellini's Amarcord, which was the winner of the Foreign Language Oscar in 1973 and considered by many to be Fellini's last 'great film.' Amarcord means 'I remember' which is in the dialect of Rimini and is set in Borgo San Giuliano, a small seaside town of Fellini's youth which is located in the province of Emilia-Romagna in 1930s Fascist Italy. Even though many of the things portrayed in the film were things experienced by the young Fellini, this is not necessarily an autobiography because many of these memories have been transformed, exaggerated and even fabricated within the dreamlike fantasy of its storytelling. Amarcord involves many of these ideas of memory and invention where all of the character's within the fictional town of Borgo all seem to be larger than life and slight caricatures of themselves.
Fellini had a love and a fascination for the circus and Amarcord feels like one long circus dance number, which is constructed like a guided tour giving the audience several different series of events within the small town of Borgo, including the glories of grand hotels and ocean liners, and the play-acting of Mussolini’s fascist costume party parade. The town is in itself a character in the film, as we see the everyday rituals and routines of the village of Borgo; which starts with one spring and ends with the beginning of a another. The town is inhabited with several lively and colorful character's within the structure of the story including the town idiot who happily recites poems and fabricated lies, a blind accordion player who is relentlessly tormented by the schoolboys, a stringy blond nymphomaniac whore, sexually curious and mischievous schoolboys, the local priest who obsesses over masturbation and a buxom tobacconist clerk whom the schoolboys happily enjoy masturbating too. Amarcord is a masterful comedy-drama and has not only some of the greatest comedic moments in all of Italian film but a prank that I would rank as one of the most ingenious constructed classroom pranks in all of film history.