Legendary Italian director Federico Fellini (La Dolce Vita, Amarcord) offered up this departure in 1979, centering on the travails of an orchestra and the relationships within it. Aiming for a more sober, studied approach ... more »than in his other work, Fellini explores the dynamics of the musicians as they prepare for a concert under the tutelage of a belligerent conductor. Shooting in the style of a television documentary with interviews and behind-the-scenes footage, Fellini manages to create the subtly absurdist humor he is known for while still drawing parallels to modern society from this troupe of musicians. Featuring the lush musical score of longtime collaborator Nino Rota (The Godfather) and Fellini's unique visuals, The Orchestra Rehearsal is a must for both fans of the director and the uninitiated. --Robert Lane« less
"Take an amusing, almost-brilliant, very musical Fellini film; have it transferred to DVD in a staccato picture quality that keeps you worrying your machine is not multi-zone; add insolent, shabby, amateurish subtitles; cut the end credits abruptly; wrap it up with a "bonus" trailer that is sinful to the very essence of the film; and then - just to make the torture slightly less tolerable - have the trailer announcer pronounce the composer's name NITTO Rota. Now, do you believe that what you've got as a result is a happy customer? To quote Macaulay Culkin: I don't think so. Fellini, somehow, survives the onslaught, just barely."
For Fellini fans and orchestra players only
Scott Richardson | Chicago, IL USA | 01/04/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A minor film by Fellini standards, Orchestra Rehearsal is a generally considered to be a thinly-veiled allegory about postwar Europe. While it lacks the joie de vivre of such later Fellini classics as Amarcord and And the Ship Sails On, it's still a thought-provoking and intelligent film. Which isn't to say that it doesn't have its share of Fellini's bizarre humor, as well. Orchestra Rehearsal captures the air of a real orchestra (each musician except for the contrabassoon player talks about how they're the most important section of the orchestra, and how the others are terrible).The film does have its flaws, however. It begins to drag somewhere in the middle, before the uprising occurs. Also, the film is badly out of sync (which is a problem of the original, as Italian films were typically recorded silent and then dubbed over), and it is very obvious that at least some of the actors have no idea how to play their assigned instrument.The sound is fairly tinny and the video (which is widescreen, despite what its Amazon.com listing says) doesn't look like it's undergone any kind of restoration whatsoever. There are virtually no extra features, so the current price tag is a bit puzzling. As this was a fairly early DVD release, we can always hope for a restored reissue.For Fellini fans and people who play in orchestras, this film is a must-see. For casual viewers and Fellini newbies, I'd advise you to start elsewhere."
rkass | Boston, MA | 05/14/2000
(2 out of 5 stars)
"On the DVD edition, the voices are obviously out of synch with the mouth movements of the performers. Even though I don't understand Italian and was using the subtitles, I still found the synchronization problem to be very distracting. I first saw this film around 15 years ago and thought it was very pretentious. I decided to give it another chance, but didn't enjoy it any more this time. Although I realize it is a symbolic film, I still feel that Maltin's criticism, "heavy-handed", is very appropriate.Still, fans of Fellini will find this disc to be of interest, and you will be happy with the good picture quality (much nicer than the worn theater print I saw originally), and the fact that contrary to Amazon's description of "full-screen" format, the film is actually in letterbox format."
Hiram Gomez Pardo | 05/05/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This film gives the viewer the impression of a world filled with people who are selfishly thinking of only themselves. Believing oneself is the most important part of the orchestra. When in reality it takes everyone together with guidance from the leader to make the music happen. We can see how too much control by the leaders can cause anger, resentment and eventually kaos. However just the right amount of control and incentive can do wonders."