Watch And the Ship Sails On
- 2 hr 12 min
In 1983, Federico Fellini directed the satirical film And the Ship Sails On. The movie is set in 1914, and it deals with the eccentric characters aboard a ship traveling to a mysterious island to honor the memory of a deceased opera singer. The cast of the film is led by Freddie Jones, who plays Orlando, the ship's zany orchestra conductor. Barbara Jefford's character, the journalist La Voce, narrates the story, while Victor Poletti delivers an excellent performance as the temperamental tenor Ildebrando.
The film's visual style is typical of Federico Fellini, with fantastic and surreal elements that constantly blur the line between reality and fiction. Fellini's trademark dreamlike sequences are present, as is his fascination with grotesque characters and odd settings.
The plot of the film is relatively simple: the passengers embark on a journey to a remote island to scatter the ashes of the famous soprano Edmea Tetua, who has recently passed away. Along with the crew and the singers, the ship is populated by an extraordinary mix of characters, including journalists, aristocrats, and bohemians. Their interactions provide a rich tapestry of gossip, intrigue, and comedy.
As the ship sets sail, we witness the preparation of the funeral ceremony, which is conducted with great pomp and circumstance. However, things start to get complicated when the captain catches sight of a group of refugees stranded on a nearby island, and decides to rescue them. This unwelcome addition to the passengers and crew starts to interfere with the solemnity of the event, as they are not interested in honoring the deceased singer at all.
Amid the chaos, the passengers continue to indulge in their eccentricities, and the film depicts a collection of hilarious and absurd situations. The orchestra conductor Orlando, for instance, spends most of his time reminiscing about his past lovemaking conquests, while Ildebrando, the tenor, throws tantrums at the slightest provocation.
And the Ship Sails On is a clever commentary on the complacency and frivolity of the upper class in pre-World War Europe. The decadent lifestyles of the passengers contrast starkly with the harsh reality of the refugees, whose struggles are presented in poignant flashbacks. The theme of refugees seeking sanctuary was also relevant when the film was released, as it was based on a real-life incident in which a ship transporting refugees was denied permission to dock in Italy.
Fellini's use of music is also noteworthy, as the film features an original opera composed by Vladimir Cosma. The music is central to the narrative and helps to underscore the emotional impact of the story.
Overall, And the Ship Sails On is a visually striking and thought-provoking film that highlights Fellini's satirical flair. The characters are complex and engaging, and the story is both humorous and poignant. The film reflects not only Federico Fellini's artistic vision but also the social and political issues of its time.