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Criterion Collection: The Ship Sails on [DVD] [1994] [US Import]


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Criterion Collection: The Ship Sails on [DVD] [1994] [US Import] + Intervista
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Product details

  • Actors: Freddie Jones, Barbara Jefford, Victor Poletti, Peter Cellier, Elisa Mainardi
  • Directors: Federico Fellini
  • Writers: Federico Fellini, Tonino Guerra
  • Producers: Aldo Nemni, Franco Cristaldi, Renzo Rossellini
  • Format: Colour, DVD-Video, Letterboxed, Subtitled, Widescreen, PAL
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: 14 Sep 1999
  • Run Time: 128 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0780022270
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 94,185 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

From Amazon.co.uk

Federico Fellini's 1984 And the Ship Sails On is one of the late master's most fanciful projects, while simultaneously striking one of the most somber notes in the director's filmography. The year is 1914, the eve of World War I and the coming destruction of Europe's old, cultured aristocracy, an elite class mourned in many a film from Renoir's The Grand Illusion to Truffaut's The Green Room. A luxury liner sets sail from Italy, full of artists, a royal entourage and one rhinoceros. The point of the voyage is to scatter the ashes of a world-famous diva but the exotic passengers--blithely unaware of the imminent conflict--have many, more private intrigues going on behind closed doors. Still, it is the self-containment and formality of these travellers, at once absurd and moving, that sticks with the viewer: the way the many singers, musicians and conductors (and one plump archduke) seem aware, in public, of embodying a privileged history. Fellini films all the action aboard an impressively lush and blatantly artificial set, with a painted sky, paper moon and cellophane sea, all underscoring the dreamy, precious nature of this adventure. The camera itself becomes a kind of character via a determined journalist (Freddie Jones) who speaks to us directly, drawingthe film into vaguely obscene disruptions of an otherwise serene formalism. --Tom Keogh

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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan James Romley on 23 July 2005
Format: DVD
In keeping with the style and tone of his later-period films, like Fellini-Roma, Amarcord and Casanova, ...And The Ship Sails On is a purposely elaborate and overly-stylised romp through the decadent and the grotesque, as a congregation of mourning opera singers find themselves stuck on a drifting ocean liner, whilst, unbeknownst to them, the first World War is breaking out across Europe. Like all of Fellini's work following 8 ½ (or maybe even going as far back as Nights of Cabiria), the films seems loose and directionless, propelled along by a series of darkly-comic set-pieces, colourful characters and grand cinematic gestures. It's less sprawling than a film like La Dolce Vita and less abstract and thematically repulsive as Satyricon, with the film falling somewhere in between, probably ending up closer to the fantastical stylisation and nostalgic fabrication of Amarcord than anything else.
It's certainly more focused than many of his films from the same era, with Fellini managing to present a loose story that we can actually buy into, whilst the use of humour here is much broader and more central than some of his other films, with the references to Chaplin and the silent age helping to undercut the overt-stylisation (a thousand acres of plastic seas, a huge light bulb sun, etc) and the lack of an obvious central character (or any real character, for that matter). Once again, Fellini deals in caricatures, choosing actors more for their physical appearance than any kind of acting ability, then directs them to mug to the camera with movements and expressions as grand as the film's design.
The photography here is exquisite (like all Fellini), with the director creating a number of beautiful images and compositions that look like paintings from the early part of the last century.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Room for a View VINE VOICE on 30 July 2010
Format: DVD
Late Fellini that puts a bunch of rich bourgeoisie, opera stars and an Austrian prince on an ocean liner whilst they accompany the ashes of a deceased soprano to an island in the middle of the Adriatic. Cue suffocating etiquette, a rogue sea gull, loads of opera arias, sweaty boiler rooms, the assassination of Arch Duke Ferdinand, Serbian refugees and a dreadnought with guns blazing afloat upon a sea of agitated black bin bags. Fellini is sometimes criticised for his late films but I love them. I adore the over the top performances, surreal art direction, humour and pathos. The latter two points are clearly evident in the scene with the journalist and the prince where reference is made to the "mouth of a mountain"!!! For some reason I can't fully explain I found this movie very moving. Perhaps it's the historical context or the pervasive atmosphere of the loss of a great singer. Or is it because it is a film from Fellini's twilight years: the 1980s. The accompanying special features are a treat for Fellini fanatics like me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By SJT on 12 Aug 2011
Format: DVD
Now very difficult to acquire, this release should have been the natural, UK-available counterpart to the Criterion Collection edition in America, which used the standard Italian print, with subtitles. But look at the cast: it's almost entirely English, and that is the language in which it was actually shot. When the film was released in UK cinemas, it was presented as an English film, with no titling, and (nearly) everybody re-recording their original dialogue under the direction of, IIRC, Mike Hodges. The only speaking major roles dubbed by someone else were those of Pina Bausch - yes, THAT Pina Bausch - as the blind princess, and the Archduke. (The Pavarotti-clone Italian tenor sings more than he ever speaks.) Yet this transfer is the same Italian-dubbed version as the Criterion, which robs us of direct verbal contact with the performances of Barbara Jefford, Freddie Jones, Jonathan Cecil, Peter Cellier and Philip Locke, among others. An opportunity missed, alas. And why, pray, is the cover a captured still from Amarcord - as the SS. Rex steams past in the night in the coast off Rimini, nearly drowning the whole town who's rowed out to see it - rather than a shot from E la nave va itself, which has the most glorious embarcation scene at the docks as its opener? Very silly and careless.

Still, the film is a masterpiece, both hysterically funny and infintely sad: and though it deserves far better treatment on DVD than it has received thus far, in any format it's a film you ought to see.

SJT
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan James Romley on 13 Oct 2007
Format: DVD
In keeping with the style and tone of his later-period films, like Fellini-Roma, Amarcord and Casanova, ...And The Ship Sails On is a purposely elaborate and overly-stylised romp through the decadent and the grotesque, as a congregation of mourning opera singers find themselves stuck on a drifting ocean liner, whilst, unbeknownst to them, the first World War is breaking out across Europe. Like all of Fellini's work following 8 ½ (or maybe even going as far back as Nights of Cabiria), the films seems loose and directionless, propelled along by a series of darkly-comic set-pieces, colourful characters and grand cinematic gestures. It's less sprawling than a film like La Dolce Vita and less abstract and thematically repulsive as Satyricon, with the film falling somewhere in between, probably ending up closer to the fantastical stylisation and nostalgic fabrication of Amarcord than anything else.

It's certainly more focused than many of his films from the same era, with Fellini managing to present a loose story that we can actually buy into, whilst the use of humour here is much broader and more central than some of his other films, with the references to Chaplin and the silent age helping to undercut the overt-stylisation (a thousand acres of plastic seas, a huge light bulb sun, etc) and the lack of an obvious central character (or any real character, for that matter). Once again, Fellini deals in caricatures, choosing actors more for their physical appearance than any kind of acting ability, then directs them to mug to the camera with movements and expressions as grand as the film's design.

The photography here is exquisite (like all Fellini), with the director creating a number of beautiful images and compositions that look like paintings from the early part of the last century.
Read more ›
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