Italian Film Festival

La città delle donne (City of Women)

Info: Italy, 1980, 139 mins, DCP, 19+

Language: Italian with English subtitles

Director: Federico Fellini

Cast: Marcello Mastroianni, Anna Prucnal, Bernice Stegers


  • Monday January 8, 2018 - 8:45 pm

"Phenomenal! A gigantic motion-picture spectacle!" New York Times

"It may be a fantasy but it’s not one of male power or desire. Like a feature length version of the harem sequence in 8 1/ 2, Mastroianni and Fellini are both at the mercy of a group of fully functioning humans who were only supposed to fantasies. And like the best work of both men, City of Women is a beguiling drift through a truly stupendous feat of theatrical ingenuity." Elina Alter, Brooklyn Rail

Federico Fellini’s epic 1980 fantasia introduced the start of the Maestro’s delirious late period. A surrealist tour-de-force filmed on soundstages and locations alike, and overflowing with the same sensory (and sensual) invention heretofore found only in the classic movie-musicals (and Fellini’s own oeuvre), La città delle donne [City of Women] taps into the era’s restless youth culture, coalescing into nothing less than Fellini’s post-punk opus.

Marcello Mastroianni appears as Fellini’s alter ego in a semi-reprise of his character from 8 1/2, Snàporaz. As though passing into a dream, the charismatic avatar finds himself initiated into a phantasmagoric world where women—or an idea of women—have taken power, and which is structured like an array of psychosexual set-pieces, culminating in a bravura hot-air balloon that decisively sticks the “anti” up into “climax.”