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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r


directed by Taron Lexton
USA 2017


Having kissed her share of frogs and left a single mother, romantic Claire (Maria Bello, PRISONERS) has raised her daughter Lucy (Ksenia Solo, BLACK SWAN) shielded from reality in the safety of her childhood home where pets do not die, they leave letters or postcards when they depart for further adventures, and all movies have happy endings thanks to Claire's hold on the remote control. In 1993, Lucy is twenty years old, has never had a boyfriend or a job, and has no plans for the future apart from continuing to live with her mother in their fantasy world. The only other person welcome in their world is Claire's more responsible and practical sister Kerri (Mary Lynn Rajskub, MYSTERIOUS SKIN). When Claire discovers that she has cancer and her time is limited, she realizes that she has indeed "created kind of a fucked up situation" and swears Kerri to secrecy although Lucy senses that something is wrong. When Lucy attempt to find a job in the city, her naivete almost lands her on the casting couch of a pornographic production company. Her transportation stolen off the street, Lucy takes shelter at a Federico Fellini film festival and is enthralled by LA STRADA. Returning home with VHS tapes of all of Fellini's films - including bootlegs of titles hard to see in the nineties like FELLINI'S CASANOVA - she becomes obsessed with the filmmaker's depiction of humanity and attempts to contact him. As Claire gets sicker, she would rather hurt Lucy in shoving her out of the nest than devastate her with the truth, but she and Kerri are unprepared for Lucy to take off to Italy to meet Fellini in the flesh after making an appointment with Fellini's personal assistant to see him in Rome. Missing her flight to Rome, Lucy ends up in Verona and is told to "eat, drink, and fall in love" while waiting for Fellini's availability. Falling in with model Sylvia (LEVERAGE's Beth Riesgraf) and her actor husband Robert (David O'Donnell, THIRTEEN DAYS) at an orgiastic party given by lecherous commercial director Guido (Davide Devenuto, AMORESTREMO), she just escapse with her innocence intact into the arms of young artist Pietro (Enrico Oetiker) with whom she falls in love cinema-style just before she is called to Rome for an appointment with the maestro. Back home, Claire and Kerri rehash their childhood and confront how Claire has left her daughter unprepared for real life while also trying to understand what Lucy sees in Fellini's films as Claire's health continues to decline. Once again detoured from Rome and winding up in Venice, Lucy make the mistake of trusting handsome Placido (Paolo Bernardini) who tries to seduce her at a masquerade party as much out of CASANOVA as EYES WIDE SHUT. Although Lucy does not escape unscathed and has bad news awaiting her at home, it seems as Fellini, his films, and by extension Giulietta Masina (JULIET OF THE SPIRITS may have provided Lucy with some guidance in her search for purpose and happiness. Loosely inspired by a true story from the life of actress Nancy Cartwright before her fame on THE SIMPSONS as the voice of Bart Simpson, IN SEARCH OF FELLINI is a visually striking and occasionally affecting coming-of-age story with plentiful homages to Fellini's masterworks as people Lucy encounters take the form of characters from the films (although perhaps director Taron Lexton cuts away too often to film clips to hammer the references home). The intercutting between Lucy's progress and her mother's decline suggest that one may be imagining the other, but the distinction is ultimately loss in ambiguous morass of flashy editing and slow motion (and what we discover of the story behind the film's real life events renders the emotional core of the story meaningless). Slickly-lensed but seemingly compromised by being aimed at both cineastes and the target audience of any number of films where women go to Italy to find love.

Eric Cotenas


Theatrical Release: 15 September 2017 (USA)

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DVD Review: Samuel Goldwyn - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Samuel Goldwyn

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:43:08

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 8.46 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio English Dolby Digital 5.1; English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Subtitles none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Samuel Goldwyn

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
� Audio Commentary by writer/producer Nancy Cartwright and director Taron Lexton
� Behind the Scenes (8:36)
� Theatrical Trailer (2:36)
� Preview

DVD Release Date: January 23rd, 2018

Chapters 16



Shot with the Red Epic Dragon camera and Zeiss lenses, the film has a deliberately soft look with plenty of backlit and lens flare-laden shots as well as low light interiors and night exteriors, and the high bitrate progressive, anamorphic widescreen encode does its best for the film in standard definition. The Dolby Digital 5.1 track makes good use of the surrounds for music and atmosphere, with the mix becoming more active in the fantasy-tinged sequences. English Closed Captioning is available that also translates incidental Italian dialogue. One annoyance that the presentation reveals are the burnt-in digital subtitles of various fonts and sizes on the Fellini clips within the film revealing the use of a DVD and/or Blu-ray for the clips from the films-within-a-film set in the 1990s rather than the videotape source subtitles and optically overlayed ones for the films when seen on theater screens in the film.

Extras include a commentary by director Lexton and writer/actress Cartwright, the latter reveals that she became obsessed with LA STRADA in acting workshops and spent a year writing to Fellini's office and trying to get in touch with him over the phone to get the rights to the film for a stage play before journeying to Rome in search of the unresponsive director. Upon returning, she decided instead to turn the experience into a one woman show which was put on the backburner when she landed THE SIMPSONS and married and had a family. She and Lexton discuss the long development of the project before it became the screenplay for the film. The behind the scenes featurette covers the same material with comments from other crew and the cast.

  - Eric Cotenas


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Samuel Goldwyn

Region 1 - NTSC



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