literature, cinema, fine arts

And the Ship Sails On (E la nave va, 1983)

The magical world of Federico Fellini

no interval
  • Produced by Müpa Budapest
  • Müpa Film Club

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The year is 1914. A news report is being filmed at a dock in Naples. The Gloria N ocean liner soon departs from the dock with the ashes of the famous singer Edmea Tetua on board. Appropriately, the film is silent and shot in black and white. Then, it gradually turns into colour and the sound also arrives. As an opera - we are bidding farewell to the greatest voice in the world, after all. On board is the cream of the artistic life: incredible singers, filmmakers, impresarios and intendants. If someone doesn't recognise them, Orlando, the busybody journalist, will be sure to identify the prestigious personages. It is idyllic. The chefs are bustling away; even the stokers sing.

Everybody is making music. Even the Serbian refugees. Because as the ship sails on with its refined passengers, all sorts of things are happening in relation to recent events in Sarejevo. Though these events are not quite as thrilling as the clandestine relationships, jealousies and family intrigues unfolding on board the ship, not to mention the love affair of a rhinoceros. The ship has no desire to learn about the problems taking place on dry land. (Just like in Amarcord.) On the sacred galley of art, the incredible artists perform a glass concert for the kitchen workers and fraternise with the Serbs. And when - by accident or otherwise - the cannons of an Austrian-Hungarian warship in pursuit of the Serbs sound off, the artists use Verdi to heroically confront power - and their own end. An unhistorical historical film. Or to look at it another way, an uplifting tale about the power of art to overcome everything. About beauty. 'As though it had been painted,' one of the characters describes the sky. In this film, it really is painted. The painted steam of the ship remains in the air, as the boat sails on a cellophane sea. And by the end of our chronicle, the smooth Umberto winks at us from the picture, and watching in the auditorium you begin to lose all sense of certainty - either it happened this way, or quite another. And we all wrack our brains in an attempt to understand whether the melodies created in the name of art truly have made the world a better place.

In Italian, with Hungarian subtitles.
The discussions before and after the screening are conducted in Hungarian.

Presented by: Müpa Budapest
  • Director
    Federico Fellini
  • Host
    András Réz

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