Daniel Medina

In a context in which we are all bombarded by the news, and by the marketing strategies that want us to think that we cannot live if we do not see this or that premieres, it is not bad to put our foot on the brake. And look back. Time is the one that, with the greatest wisdom, selects the work of art that lasts, from the garbage. For this reason, it is not bad, from time to time, to make retrocritics: to re-inhabit old films that have not aged. This time, we go with one of Federico Fellini, which with rigorous realism painted the lives of five useless people.

The stories of well-off children with happy lives are unbearable. There is something indecent or provocative in showing such hideously perfect and unattainable existences. Instead, there is a unique attraction in the stories of losers, especially when the loser brags about his status, not so much because he knows, or at least intuits, that a loser will always be a loser, but because he has the courage to despise everything. which means success in society.

The repertoire of films with this theme is large, but at this moment it is impossible for me to stop talking about Los inútiles (1953), one of the great masterpieces of Federico Fellini, although it has not had the reception of other of his works.

The film begins with a party, a poor, small-town dolce vita, in which one of the five losers learns that his girlfriend is pregnant. The boy tries to flee, in vain, from the town so as not to take charge. What this character tries to retain are those idle hours with his friends, the drunkenness, the walks and talks and that feeling of being adrift without the shipwreck being able to reach them.

In contrast to young people, there are adults, paradigms of responsibility – but also resignation – within society.

There is no idealized view of these losers. It shows their miseries, their vices, the consequences that generally fall on others so that they can continue playing that they can stop time, while they feel untouchable by the scourges of life. But there is not that moralistic look either or at least there is something that throughout the film is clear: Fellini loves his characters, as much as the cinema (although he has said that the film business is macabre, grotesque: a mixture of football game and brothel).

One of these five losers manages to jump that fence and leaves town, something that perhaps everyone longs for, but no one dares to take their feet off that safe, predictable ground, where yesterday is too much like today. He leaves at dawn, when all his friends are sleeping and here Fellini does something great: when he is retiring on the train, we can see, through different tracking shots, how the camera moves away from the platform, from each of the rooms of his friends; we can see, in short, everything that is left behind.

Another sequence in which Fellini’s talent shines through (these are the Italian’s early years as a director, but he’s already a teacher) can be seen, for example, in the costume ball scene, with impressive camera movements.

“A good wine is like a good movie: it lasts a moment and leaves a taste of glory in your mouth; it is new in each sip and, as with the movies, it is born and reborn in each taster ”, said the teacher. Almost 68 years have passed and this movie has not aged at all. It is still inevitable to see this movie with nostalgia and affection and disgust and envy for all those great losers.

Other reviews that may interest you:

Series: the policeman wins the game

Two geniuses in New York

The art of swearing

Malcolm and Marie

Agent Mole

Where is my body

Glen o Glenda


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