• Janus Films’ new 35 mm color restoration of Federico Fellini’s beloved reminiscence Amarcord has begun its nationwide tour and is reminding some critics of the director’s, shall we say, colorful sense of humor. “Kids, dogs, wisecracking old men, and well-proportioned female derrières take up a significant portion of screen time,” notes Salon’s Andrew O’Hehir of Fellini’s bawdy late-career return to childhood, which he otherwise characterizes as “a highly complicated work of memory and fantasy, a grand, theatrical blend of comedy and tragedy that addresses both what he loved and what he hated about the provincial Italian character,” and one that “captures the great Italian director at the peak of his cinematic powers.” In Time Out New York, David Fear calls Amarcord a “fun-house tour through Fellini’s mind” and “memoir as a montage of dirty jokes, historical ironies, sentimental educations, and some of the most lyrical imagery the maestro ever concocted.”

    In Artforum, Darrell Hartman uses the occasion of the film’s reissue to muse on the origins and meaning of its title: “The neologism he eventually settled on (a play on “I remember” in Romagnese dialect) carries an appropriate perfume of the unfamiliar and the untranslatable . . . As with the choice of title, he can’t help giving the whole thing a whiff of richness and mystery.”

    For Lance Goldenberg, in the Village Voice, Amarcord “remembers” not only Fellini’s ribaldry but also a classic era of art house moviegoing: “Back in the days when art houses were temples of cinema and auteurs their living gods, few filmmakers cast longer shadows than Federico Fellini and Ingmar Bergman,” he writes, also referring to a simultaneous weeklong run of Fanny and Alexander in New York. “Time and changing tastes took their inevitable toll on both art houses and auteurs, but everything old is new again this week.”

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