*Fellini-Satyricon* was the Maestro's first movie in which his name appears as part of the title. It is also one of the most fascinating and origninal films of the 20th century. Every Fellini movie is unique. He had no peers. *Fellini-Satyricon*, however, is a cardinal enry in Fellini canon (not to mention the canon of Italian cinema) because it is the perfection of the new style announced in *8 1/2* and the innauguration of a new visual extravagance that would inform all of Fellini's subsequent films.
The subject, 1st century Rome in all its florid, tumescent decadence, is lovingly transformed through Fellini's comic vision. The self-contained sequences, vignettes really, are not only fair translations into cinema of what is probably the first "novel" in Western literature, they also serve to reflect the fragmentary nature of the surviving evidence of antiquity. Scenes are fitted together like pieces in a puzzle where some of the picture is ultimately lost. This is emphasized by the visual references to broken frescoes, from which the characters seem to emerge and revert back into.
The DVD provides a sparkling, lush, diamond-sharp transfer with a choice of English or Italian soundtracks and English, French, Spanish subtitles.
A word about the dubbing: The English version is much better than the Italian version, for a number of reasons. 1) Fellini dubbed all his actors anyway because he used international casts. There is no such thing as a Fellini movie where the actors are actually speaking their lines in real time. For the most part, different actors were used for the dubbing. 2) The Italian actors used in the Italian dub are horribly miscast. There is just no way that those voices could come out of those people. Physically. The English actors are better. (If you watch their lips, you'll notice that Hiram Keller and Martin Potter are both speaking their parts in English). 3) You'll want to watch, not read, this film. 4) A good amount of the sound that comes out of the characters' mouths is either Latin, gibberish, or some admixture thereof, and, for the most part, what the characters are actually saying isn't all that important.
There are sadly, no extra features on this DVD. A commentary by surviving cast members would have been so great. Nevertheless, this is a DVD that anyone who loves movies should want to own. Highest recommendation!!!