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Saint Louis Cries When You Touch Yourself

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The catchy aphorism above is delivered by the village priest to young Titta in Federico Fellini’s acclaimed memory-film, Amarcord. Titta’s no dummy though, as his rejoinder is “Let him cry,” deftly summing up both the coarse needs of youth, and the sweet but sharp nature of Fellini’s look back at a childhood that mirrors his own in many ways. Both Tito and Fellini grow up in seaside towns during the Mussolini years, and for both the fullness of manhood was stymied at all turns by the Fascists, Catholic priests, parents and the school system. Winter gives way to spring and summer, and by the time winter rolls back around, Titta has experienced much but is as immature as ever -- just like everyone else in town. Only the ending of a life gives Titta any understanding of how precious it all is, and how important it is to grab it while it lasts. No, not that; Titta learns you have to let go of childish things and strive for something meaningful. The Webster Film Series screens Amarcord at 8 p.m. Friday through Sunday (May 22 through 24) at Webster University’s Moore Auditorium (470 East Lockwood Avenue; 314-968-7487 or www.webster.edu/filmseries). Admission is $5 to $6.
May 22-24, 2009

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