MovieChat Forums > Variety Lights (1950) Discussion > Just saw it, better than I expected.

Just saw it, better than I expected.

I just rented the Criterion dvd, and I wasn't really expecting much but I was pleasantly surprised. I don't think I'll buy it, as it's not really a movie I could see myself watching again. It's still pretty good, and I can definitely relate to the Impresario, who falls for the gorgeous young girl who just uses him and throws him away. I also thought the ending was very funny. This is the first Fellini film I've seen, because I wanted to watch his first film first, and I can't wait to see 8 1/2 and La Dolce Vita, because watching Variety Lights it's clear that Fellini is very talented.

"Death to Videodrome! Long live the new flesh!"


I was actually kind of disappointed, to be honest. I think the only reason Criterion put this out is because it is Fellini's first film. If you liked this one though, you're in for a real treat... 8 1/2 is MUCH better.


I was actually kind of disappointed...
I was a little disappointed because there are better Fellinis out there, but as a debut, it was very good and a must-see for fans of this director. Just about all his trade-marks are there.

7/10 or 8/10, not quite sure yet.


I wasn't disappointed at all, on the contrary "Luci del varietà" fullfilled my expectations, and more!
For an "Opera prima", Variety Lights is indeed a good movie. You know, most directors doesn't succeeds at first attempt always.
Fellini didn't have a phenomenal start like Luis Buñuel with "un chien andalou" but neither a mediocre one like Kubrick with "Fear and Desire".
Sometimes first works are wonderful, sometimes not, Fellini was in the middle. His first feature film is perhaps "just good" but you could see already a genious in the making.

If you are watching this movie expecting to see a mature Fellini, and a movie as good as "La dolce vita" or "Amarcord" then you surely will be disappointed, in the other hand if you watch this movie without prejudices you may enjoy it for what it is.



I guess whats interesting about the film is it gets more interesting upon a second viewing. You notice things that you don't notice first time because its so old and not in best of shape.

It has all the hall marks of what Fellini was known for. The empty italian piazzas, the quirky characters, the flip floping from illusion to reality.

The party scene is very well done and something many people to this day can relate to. The entrance from reality to the party and then the massive let down after the party has ended. Classic Fellini element.

The dream like sequence in this film is partcularly interesting as the character of Checco encounters the wandering artistic vagabonds in the empty piazze and has the revelation that he will start his own theatre company with them. If you actually pay close attention to the scene you will note multiple characters .. an american chemical engineer who loves to play music and left his job and life to play music and make no money. A brazillian entertainer who mildly resembles a gypsy. an old women smoking who is hanging out and is an unexplained character. A bus drivers or conductor and a police officer who tells them to keep playing but just "keep it quite". The police officer is the authority which represents law and order and the link between the illusion and the reality of life. He is the link between the illusion of the entertainment world and the reality about it and his line "keep playing and continue" is the one that grounds the central theme of the film. The illusions of peoples perception of entertainment and the reality that exists within it.

Another very particularly intesting scene is where Checco goes back to his old theatre company to ask for money and the introduction to that scene and the interplay between Melina's performance and the audience and the thug in the audience. They/he ridicules her performance nd makes fun of her the entire time as she puts on various masks of historical figures (Napoleon, e.t.c) except when she puts on the Garibaldi beard. Basically the audience will change their attitude towards art once they see something that means something to them -- Garibaldi was a famous Italian freedom fighter hero. Even though Melian's act is exactly the same shtick -- she is putting on different bears and mask .. Napoleon.. e.t.c. .. the thugs attitude and perception to her act once he sees het in a Garibaldi costume changes completely and he is driven to tears and starts to clap enthusiatically for her.

Can this really be the be stuck inside of mobile
with the Memphis blues again.