In Fellini's quirky, imaginative fable, a motley crew of European aristocrats (and a lovesick rhinoceros!) board a luxurious ocean liner on the eve of World War I to scatter the ashes of a beloved diva. Fabricated entirely... more » in Rome's famed Cinecittą studios, And the Ship Sails On (E la nave va) reaches spectacular new visual heights with its stylized re-creation of a decadent bygone era. Criterion is proud to present this rarely-seen gem in an exclusive widescreen transfer with new English subtitles.« less
Europe as a fantasmagoric ship of fools. Fellini's best.
Ilan Kutz (firstname.lastname@example.org) | Tel-Aviv | 09/23/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"To my mind, "And the ship sails on" is maybe Fellini's best movie. The story is delightful, fantasmagoric allegory about the last days of Grand Old Europe, when the "old order" with its nobility and social hierarchy blows up in smoke, in 1914, with the events that lead to WWI.Fellini, though, is not interested in real events and precise history. He is a fable teller, portraying old Europe, to a grand ocean liner, set on a ceremonial voyage, to scatter the ashes of a famous opera diva, who had recently died. Upon the ship are all the rich and famous of Europe's nobility, as well as all the top musicians and opera singer-stars who joined in for the ride. Stacked in the lower compartments are the poor and the hungry, fleeing refugees brought on board as an act of compassion, that form the powder keg that will ignite the inevitable final explosion .It is impossible to describe the kaleidoscopic scenes that occur between the passangers as the ship sails on. Imbued with fantastic portrayals of musical rivalry, political intrigue, lascivious affairs, and a pervasive sense of magic tinged with irony- the entire voyage, with its lavish scenery, turns into a tragi-comic, dream-like happening, where the spectator is tickled as much as emotionally moved. Only Fellini the master could conjure such a dazzling, symbolic and unbelievably lovely spectacle of a human folly of an era.A lot of fun and a classic must."
Underrated Fellini film is a dazzler by all means
Miko | Jersey City, NJ United States | 08/26/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The problem with people who've watched past Fellini films expect the same cinematic effect from his later ones. There's a certain magic that exists in the first few Fellini films you've watched. He makes you create movies in your own mind through a flowing series of fantastic images. Fellini's films don't really say too much in contrast to Bergman or Bunuel or even his pupil Wertmuller save for his constant jabs with the aristocracy and organized religion. Most of his films are made to serve the purpose of essential cinema. One just has to watch and enjoy the scenery like does a painter's obra maestra. And that is where his genius in artistry lies. He's not like other colleagues of his who are burdened with social responsibility to weave images out of their moral consciousness. Such is the case of And The Ship Sails On. This is one movie that dazzles both the eye and ear. Sit back and relax and let yourself be glided through this experience in Felliniesque phantasmagoria. True enough, the Criterion version does not offer extras which may make one think twice about the price of the disk. But then, a Fellini DVD is worth more than a lot of others of the same price range. Enjoy!"
Saying Farewell to Edmea Tetua.
Maximiliano F Yofre | Buenos Aires, Argentina | 06/16/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Director Federico Fellini was undoubtedly a film maker genius! Since his earlier works "La Strada" (1954) and "La Dolce Vita" (1960) thru "Fellini Satyricon" (1969) and "Amarcord" (1973) till his lasts "Ginger and Fred" (1986) and "The Voice of the Moon" (1990) he has left a legacy treasure for film lovers and film makers. Most of his films combine fantasy and reality in a rich mixture with no fixed boundaries. The viewer will be attracted and repelled alternatively and at the end of each of his movies will go out of the theater (or the bedroom or living-room) knowing that he/she has assisted to a unique piece of art show.
"E la Nave Va" (And the Ship Sails On 1983) is not an ordinary film to see. Fellini delivers once more a strange mix of beautiful images and weird cinematographic proposal.
The anecdote in itself follows a heterogeneous bunch of opera-related people that goes aboard a huge transatlantic ship to fulfill the last will of a diva: to have her cinders scattered in front of her native Mediterranean island. Fellini confronts the viewer with a series of scenes sketching the intimacies of the passengers. They reflect all the human arc of attitudes and emotions: competitiveness, jealousies, spleen, love or altruism enacted by a quasi caricatures and stereotypes. There are many clues and veiled hints displayed so the audience may interpret them as best as it suits each person.
The cinematography in charge of Giuseppe Rotunno is again a major contribution. This is not a coincidence; Rotunno has been awarded with the Silver Ribbon 7 times by the Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists between 1960 and 1988. For this film he earned one of his three David de Donatllo Award to best cinematography. Amongst his best efforts, aside from the present one, we may mention "On the Beach" (1959), "Il Gattopardo" (The Leopard 1963), "Satyricon" (1969) and "All That Jazz" (1979).
This is a film to see more than once (as I did) and you will be able to discover more and more significances. Reviewed by Max Yofre."
A surreal visual feast
bowery boy | seattle | 01/08/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Fellini's films, especially his latter day color films, are surreal visual experiences. If you're one who absolutely needs plot, linear structure, or character studies in your movies then chances are you'll probably hate just about every Fellini film you see and long for another Nights of Cabiria or La Strada. Granted, those are great films but in my opinion Fellini is at his best when he's directing opulent, extravangant, surreal Technicolored visual feasts like And The Ship Sails On.
The plot, what little there is, revolves around a ship full of artists, opera singers and aristicrats cruising to a remote island to scatter the ashes of a beloved opera singer. We're personally given a insight to all the people on board thanks to a journalist who is covering the event and speaks directly to us. We have a plump archbishop, his blind sister, a fellow opera singer jealous of the attention the dead opera singer is getting, a lovesick rhinocerose who stinks up the ship, a loud mouth tell-it-like-is Italian opera singer, fugitive Serbs, a philandering wife, a battleship and an ending worthy of Titanic
Fellini's use of soundstage special effects i.e. a shimmering blue cellophane sea or an obviously fake seagull flying into the dining hall window add to the wonderfully surreal dreamlike quality of the film. If you're a true Fellini fan you will not be disappointed. If you're a La Strada or Nights of Cabiria fan you'll most certianly hate this. And The Ship Sails On, like most Fellini films, requires you abandon all ideas of what a movie is and completely immerse yourself in Fellini's world. Oh yeah, it helps if you love opera. There's lots of gorgeous opera songs thorough out. Paired with Fellini's surreal eye, it creates yet another visual treat. "
M. Elaine Wood | Richmond, VA USA | 02/07/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I love the poetic, dreamlike quality of this film, and the absolute sweetness of the whole concept. Doesn't always make linear sense, but it always makes emotional sense, and I suspect that was what Fellini intended. And Freddie Jones is simply perfect as Orlando, a gently clownish figure who is never allowed to become just a buffoon. Admittedly, I've had a crush on Mr. Jones, ever since seeing him in "The Bliss of Mrs Blossom" as a teenager, lo these many years ago. Can't help it, I'm a sucker for men who make me laugh...
And be sure to make especial note of the opening sequence, which is mesmerizing. Fellini knew how to use film in ways too few directors of the modern era do."