Juliet of the Spirits
(Giulietta degli spiriti)
Giulietta Masina, Mario Pisù, Sandra Milo, Lou Gilbert,
Juliet (Giulietta Masina), trying on who she will be for her husband tonight, discovers that she is nothing. Thus begins, for this diminutive bourgeois housewife, a psychic journey into freedom and the magic of experience, magnificently concretized into cinema by Fellini. Fragmented (literally by the camera), Juliet is receptive to the seers and Dionysian revelers she never knew inhabited her neighborhood, and to the bareback riders and flaming angels of her childhood. Like Guido before her in 8 1/2, after all the ghosts, the voices, and the circus of desire pass by, “Juliet is concerned with the daily miracle of simple reality” (Fellini). Juliet of the Spirits is masterful in its picture of a married woman’s evolution toward apperception, made with profound sensitivity to the material, even tactile nuances of this progression; and in its contrasting portrait of male privilege and nonchalance.