And the Ship Sails On | Chicago Reader

And the Ship Sails On

A toned-down, rather depressive Fellini allegory (1984) set aboard an ocean liner carrying the ashes of a famous diva to her final resting place, in the days just before the outbreak of World War I. Symbols of life (a rhinoceros suffering in the hold, a band of Gypsy refugees picked up by the well-meaning captain) fight it out with images of morbid aestheticism (the dead diva and her effete mourners), but fate, the great leveler, appears in the form of an Austrian battleship. Obviously, it isn't the intellectual content that's meant to carry the picture, but even Fellini's elaborate visuals seem timid and uninspired this time around. With Freddie Jones, dubbed into rolling Italian, as a journalist who functions as host-narrator-director surrogate.

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