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Prova d'Orchestra (1978)

Music | 70 minutes
3,00 51 votes

Genre: Music / Drama

Duration: 70 minuten

Alternative title: Orchestra Rehearsal

Country: Italy / France / West Germany

Directed by: Federico Fellini

Stars: Balduin Baas, Clara Colosimo and Elizabeth Labi

IMDb score: 7,1 (5.014)

Releasedate: 1 October 1978

Prova d'Orchestra plot

"The Decline of the West in C# Major"

In a medieval Roman chapel converted into an oratorio, an orchestra gathers for a rehearsal. The musicians arrive and it is explained that a TV crew is present to make recordings. The musicians talk about their instruments. The German conductor arrives and the rehearsal begins. The conductor yells and insults. Then there is a 20 minute break. In his dressing room, the conductor explains how the music world has changed and that there is no longer any respect for a conductor. He returns to the rehearsal room and finds an orchestra that has completely revolted. What can make them return to music again?

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avatar van Roger Thornhill

Roger Thornhill

  • 5494 messages
  • 2157 votes

Perhaps less extravagant and "fantastic" than films like Satyricon and Casanova, and certainly more "realistic" (no characters staring into the camera, but still characteristic heads), but still as warm-blooded, idiosyncratic, passionate and witty as Fellini's best work. The possible allegorical layers (authority versus democracy versus anarchy) don't do much for me, and if that were the only intention of the film, I think it would have been a decade or so too late; however, the portrait of a mini-society and how all individuals, idiosyncrasies and temperaments collide within it remains as interesting as ever and often very funny.

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original

avatar van Dievegge


  • 2927 messages
  • 7589 votes

Fellini is limited in time and space. Everything takes place in one chapel (oratorio) during one rehearsal. The elderly copyist prepares the handwritten parts on the pupils. It becomes a kind of young person's guide to the orchestra, where musicians take turns explaining why they have such a close bond with their instrument. Human character traits are attributed to the ostentatious violin, the leading oboe and the farting contrabassoon.

It is also an allegory of society. Under the influence of the trade unions, a revolt breaks out against the coarse, authoritarian behavior of the conductor. Cautious protests turn into tumult. You can sympathize with the call for individual freedom, but without discipline and a tight leadership an orchestra cannot reach a high level.

Well-known actors are not included, but character heads are. I thought for a moment that the heavily made-up flautist was a transvestite. Nino Rota's music sounds playful and nostalgic.

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original