short takes (2)
Federico Fellini has been napping for the past few years, and his new movie shows no signs of an awakening, despite a few brilliant moments that only he could have crafted. The City of Women is a long and tedious fantasy of warfare between the sexes. Marcello Mastroianni bungles into a women's-lib convention, where he is attacked by shrill feminist caricatures. Then he's rescued by the ultimate male chauvinist, who treats women as objects. Near the end, our hero tumbles into his own past, a la "8 1/2," and the screen lights up with magical moods and images. But it's slim compensation for the vulgarity and superficiality that pave 90 percent of t his disappointing epic.