Federico Fellini as a director had two periods in his career. His early work takes a neo-realistic approach while his later work is absurdist and surreal. His film 8 1/2 is the bridging film in his resume that makes the shift from realism to surrealism. SATYRICON definitely falls into the latter category.
Part historical drama, part modern social satire, the film follows two students Encolpio (Martin Potter, NICHOLAS AND ALEXANDRA) and Ascilto (Hiram Keller) as they stumble through 25 distinct adventures in ancient Rome. We first meet them as they are fighting over the affections of the boy Gitone (Max Born, only screen performance). Throughout the film, Encolpio finds himself at an orgy-like party, sold as a slave, married off to a gladiator, taken prisoner, having a three-some with a slave girl, enlisted in the army that leads to meeting a nymphomaniac in the desert, kidnapping an albino hermaphrodite healer, committing murder, facing a minotaur, being forced to impregnate a queen, visiting a witch and partaking in a very strange last request.