The swansong of the great Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini (La dolce vita, 8½), The Voice of the Moon emerged without fanfare: it played the Cannes Film Festival out of competition after its Italian premiere and failed to secure distribution in North America and the UK. This new restoration from the original negative seeks to right that wrong and provide the film with a second chance… Read More »
8 1/2 weaves fluidly through the visually intoxicating landscape of Federico Fellini’s subconscious, seemingly to seek inspiration and validation for his life and work. In an opening scene that symbolizes much of Fellini’s films, a suffocating man, trapped inside his car, inexplicably begins to float into the skies, only to be abruptly tugged back to the ground. But it is also an indelible image that shatters any preconceived illusion of “typical” elements in a Fellini film. The film, 8 1/2, literally marks Fellini’s work on 8 1/2 feature films (the “1/2” derived from collaborative direction films), and proves to be a transitional film in his artistic career. Read More »
Tragic story of a naive prostitute searching for true love in the seediest sections of Rome.
Nights of Cabiria Essay by Federico Fellini
The subject of loneliness and the observation of the isolated person has always interested me. Even as a child, I couldn’t help but notice those who didn’t fit in for one reason or another—myself included. In life, and for my films, I have always been interested in the out-of-step. Curiously, it’s usually those who are either too smart or those who are too stupid who are left out. The difference is, the smart ones often isolate themselves, while the less intelligent ones are usually isolated by the others. In Nights of Cabiria, I explore the pride of one of those who has been excluded. Read More »
A ragout of real memories and mockumentary, as Fellini explores a childhood obsession: circus clowns.
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid wrote:
The arc of Federico Fellini’s career is endlessly fascinating. He started as something of a neo-realist, and then his films grew in style and scope until they became bizarre, swirl-colored, phantasmagoric spectacles. Then at one point, he stepped back again and began making more intimate, personal projects in the last section of his career. Made for television, The Clowns seems to have been a crucial turning point; it came immediately after the overblown Satyricon, and it shows an interesting mix of that film, and the film that would come just a few years later, the wonderful Amarcord. It fits perfectly. Read More »
Aging small-time con man Augusto, who swindles peasants, works with two younger men: Roberto, who wants to become the Italian Johnny Ray, and Bruno, nicknamed Picasso, who has a wife and daughter and wants to paint. Augusto avoids the personal entanglements, spending money at clubs seeking the good life. His attitude changes when he runs into his own daughter, whom he rarely sees, and realizes she’s now a young woman and in need of his help to continue her studies. His usual partners are away, so he goes in with others to run a swindle, and they aren’t forgiving when he claims he’s given the money back to their mark. They leave him beaten, robbed, and alone. Read More »
Fellini’s Casanova (Il Casanova di Federico Fellini) is a 1976 Italian film by director Federico Fellini, adapted from the autobiography of Giacomo Casanova, the 18th century adventurer and writer.
Shot entirely at the Cinecittà studios in Rome, the film won an Academy Award for Best Costume Design, with the Oscar going to Danilo Donati.
The film portrays Casanova’s life as a freakish journey into sexual abandonment. Any meaningful emotion or sensuality is eclipsed by increasingly strange situations. The narrative presents Casanova’s adventures in a detached, methodical fashion, as the respect he yearns for is constantly undermined by more basic urges. Read More »
Fellini lore has it that the master made “Juliet of the Spirits” as a gift for his wife. Like many husbands, he gave her the gift he really wanted for himself. The movie, starring a sad-eyed Giulietta Masina who fears her husband is cheating, suggests she’d be happier if she were more like her neighbor, a buxom temptress who entertains men in a tree house. Read More »