(Il Casanova de Federico Fellini)
The sheer extravagance of Fellini's Casanova is stunning. Fellini romps in the outlandish creations the design teams come up with huge orgies in the street by costumed attendees, nuns wearing scarlet-hooped corsetry. When Casanova travels upon the sea, he floats upon rippling black polyurethane; at one point, he makes love to a woman wearing a crown of candles. There is a visit to the skeleton of a leviathan where surrealistic slideshows of dreamy womb horror images play, while outside women dance up and down on a horse-drawn swing and a man with a woman painted on his stomach juggles, while inside Casanova arm-wrestles a seven foot-tall giantess. The palace of Gutenberg is like something out of The 5000 Fingers of Dr T (1953) where organists are wheeled about on giant ladders in a wild cacophony. Eventually, Casanova falls in love with a lifelike automaton. It is a wholly fantastic vision of the 18th Century that lives more in fantasy than in history, even though many of the incidents that Fellini represents are close to the historical truth (or at least the one that Casanova gave in his autobiography, which was published in 1794). As to the character of Casanova, Fellini and Donald Sutherland offer a less-than-romantic figure that seems more comically hapless than famous seducer, a figure who is always at the mercy and usually losing end of the various women he falls for. There is an annoying beeping and blipping electronic score played through every love scene.
Federico Fellinis other ventures into fantastic cinema are:- The Temptation of Dr Antonio (1962) wherein a giant Anita Ekberg emerges from a poster and rampages through Rome; Juliet of the Spirits (1965) wherein a housewifes life merges into and is overtaken by her fantasies; the eccentric Toby Damnit segment of the Edgar Allan Poe anthology Tales of Mystery and Imagination/Spirits of the Dead (1968); and the surreal City of Women (1981). Fellini Satyricon has been interpreted by one genre purveyor (Peter Nicholls) as a fantasy film, although does not meet the criteria for such in this authors eyes.
Full film available online here (English dubbed):-