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The Independent Critic

Roberto Benigni, Paolo Villaggio, Nadia Ottaviani, Marisa Tomasi, Angelo Orlando, Sim, Syusy Blady, Dario Ghirardi
Federico Fellini
Ermanno Cavazzoni (Screenplay), Federico Fellini, Tullio Pinelli
120 Mins.
Arrow Films

 "Voice of the Moon" Gets Long Deserved Blu-ray from Arrow Films 
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If you know me, you already know that Fellini is/was my favorite filmmaker, a master whose every cinematic moment has left me enchanted, immersed and deeply moved. This film, his swansong, never really received the reception it deserved. There are many who consider it to be, dare I say, a lesser Fellini (which would still be far greater than the vast majority of filmmakers). 


The Voice of the Moon is a masterful film, adapted from a novel by Ermanno Cavazzoni, and centers around Ivo Salvini (Roberto Benigni, Life is Beautiful), who has recently been released from a mental hospital and is in love with Aldini (Nadia Ottaviani). As he tries to win Aldini's heart, Ivo wanders a Felliniesque, dreamlike landscape encountering a variety of oddball characters such as Gonnella (Paolo Villaggio, Fantozzi), a paranoid old man who is prone to conspiracy theories. 

The Voice of the Moon feels like a sublime swansong for Fellini, a film with hints of previous works such as Amarcord, City of Women and La Strada. While The Voice of the Moon played out of competition at Cannes, the film was generally regarded as disorganized and inconsistent and never attracted distribution in the U.S. or the U.K. Fortunately, Arrow Films has corrected that unfathomable oversight with this 2k restoration from original elements produced exclusively for this release. 

While I don't often include cinematic extras within my reviews, one can't speak highly enough of Towards the Moon with Fellini, the rarely seen one-hour doc made about the film's production that features interviews with Fellini, Benigni, and Paolo Villaggio. It's yet one more reason that this is a must own collection for any true Fellini film. While I wouldn't dare say that this represents the best of Fellini, it's a far from disappointing effort and one that will lead to reflection on Fellini's 50-year cinematic career.

Special Features:

  • Brand new 2K restoration from original film elements, produced by Arrow Films exclusively for this release
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
  • Original 1.0 mono sound (uncompressed on the Blu-ray)
  • Optional English subtitles
  • Towards the Moon with Fellini, a rarely seen hour-long documentary on the film’s production, featuring interviews with Fellini, Roberto Benigni and Paolo Villagio
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Peter Strain

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic