Federico Fellini’s darkest film cracks through the myth of Giacomo Casanova. As played by Donald Sutherland (M.A.S.H, Don’t Look Now), the notorious womanizer is presented as a pitiable and terrifying figure. Casanova craves respect as a scholar and yearns to pursue his interest in alchemy. A sex scandal lands him in prison, but an escape to Paris provides him a new lease of life. Yet every Court in Europe and its attendant patrons and hostesses will only entertain him if he lives up to his reputation in theritual displays of sex and courtship which form part of the daily life of 18th Century Europe. Fellini had dealt with the theme of the frustration of human desires in La Dolce Vita and 8 ½. In Casanova, the nobleman’s search for happiness achieves tragedy, a painful reflection of the human condition.
Fellini’s Casanova is celebrated for its production values and costume design, for which Danilo Donati won Academy and BAFTA awards, and is made memorable by Nino Rota’s unusual haunting score. This twilight work is one of the greatest films of the 1970s.
Sutherland's performance is the most astonishing piece of screen acting since Brando's in Last Tango in Paris - Time Out
A spectacular visual fantasy which succeeds in capturing the emotional and moral void at the heart of the Casanova myth ... a beautiful, indulgent private fantasy - Film4
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