Added to my films
Subtitled "The Decline Of The West In C# Major", the film is a fairly heavy-handed political allegory about post-war Europe. "Orchestra Rehearsal" is told from the point of view of a television documentary crew covering a rehearsal in a medieval auditorium that also serves as the burial place for several popes. Over the course of the rehearsal, amid much discussion of what drew them to their instruments in the first place, the musicians come into conflict with each other and, more frequently, the conductor. After a short break in the rehearsal, Orchestra Rehearsal then quietly slips off the shackles of realism as wholescale revolt takes hold. A relatively minor film by Fellini standards, it's still smart, compelling viewing, and its conclusion – an ambiguous tribute to the unifying power of the arts – is as provocative as most of the director's films.