Thursday, July 23, 2009

Another Favorite Scene from Fellini's Roma

Engineers building the Roman subway discover an ancient Roman house filled with painted images of the ancient Romans looking back at them. Alas, the paintings do not survive contact with the modern air.

There's no translation in this clip, but it's not hard to follow.

I love this scene.

Every bit of brick in Rome is soaked in memory. In my experience, Rome is the spookiest city at night of any I have ever visited, especially down around the Forum. Even with swirling traffic, Italian soldiers standing guard, and well lit avenues, that area is indescribably melancholy and creepy after dark. Rome swarms with ghosts, whether you believe in them or not.

It has long been fashionable to describe Rome as a "palimpsest," a written tablet that is continuously erased and reused. I prefer the description of the late Sir Kenneth Clark; Rome is a compost heap of human hopes and ambitions.

Sorry I don't have much to post these days. I'm in the middle of end of semester madness in the middle of the summer; summer school you know. I should be done with it all by the end of next week.