Federico Fellini

20.01.1920, Rimini, Italy - 31.10.1993, Rome, Italy

 

Director
Fellini was an Italian screenwriter and director. He was born to a middle class family with four children and was educated in a Catholic boarding school. In 1938, he moved to Florence to study law, but soon he got interested in drawing caricatures, comic books and journalism. The following year he moved to Rome and enrolled in college to avoid the draft. In 1940 he began writing short gags and dialogue for films. During 1945 and 1946 he worked for Roberto Rossellini as a co-screenwriter and assistant director. He made his directing debut with Lights of Variety (Luci del varietŕ, 1950). At that time there emerged a new trend in film called neorealism of the soul (neorealist films with psychological and moral themes), and Fellini was one of its most important authors. He made his directing debut with the comedy The White Sheik (Lo sceicco blanco, 1952), and his film The Young and the Passionate (I vitelloni, 1953) won the Silver Lion in Venice in 1953. He received the same award for his film The Road (La strada, 1954), which brought him international acclaim and praise. He was nominated for the Oscar four times in the category of Best Foreign Film and won the award every time. His Oscar-winning films are The Road (1954), Cabiria (Le notti di Cabiria, 1957), 8 1/2 (1963) and Amarcord (1973). His film The Sweet Life (La dolce vita, 1960), which won the Golden Palm in Cannes in 1960, is one of his most famous films and the first starring Marcello Mastroianni, Fellini’s future film alter ego. Juliet of the Spirits (Giulietta degli spiriti, 1965) was his first film in color and the main role is played by Giulietta Masina, his wife and actress with whom he collaborated from his first film. His other films include Satyricon (1969), Roma (1972), City of Women (La cittŕ delle donne, 1980), And the Ship Sails On (E la nave va, 1983).

Filmography

The Voice of the Moon (1990)
Intervista (1987)
Ginger and Fred (Ginger e Fred, 1986)
And the Ship Sails On (E la nave va, 1983)
City of Women (La cittŕ delle donne, 1980)
Orchestra Rehearsal (Prova d'orchestra, 1978) (TV)
Casanova di Federico Fellini, Il (1976)
Amarcord (1973)
Rim (Roma, 1972)
The Clowns (I clowns, 1971) (TV)
Satyricon (1969)
Histoires extraordinaires (1968) (segment Toby Dammit)
Juliet of the Spirits (Giulietta degli spiriti, 1965)
Federico Fellini's 8 1/2 (8 1/2, 1963)
Boccaccio '70 (1962) (segment Le tentazioni del dottor Antonio)
The Sweet Life (La dolce vita, 1960)
ights of Cabiria (Le notti di Cabiria, 1957)
The Swindlers (Il bidone, 1955)
The Road (La strada, 1954)
Love in the City (L' amore in cittŕ, 1953) (segment Un agenzia matrimoniale')
The Young and the Passionate (I vitelloni, 1953)
The White Sheik (Lo sceicco bianco, 1952)
Lights of Variety (Luci del varietŕ, 1950) (co-director)


Films by this director

Orchestra Rehearsal

(Prova d'orchestra, 1978)

Directed by: Federico Fellini
PHOTOGRAPHY: Giuseppe Rotunno
Synopsis:

A group of musicians arrives to a small chapel in order to practice on their instruments. A television crew is already in the chapel filming a documentary. Slowly each musician reveals his own story and the story of his instrument…

color, 70 min

Satyricon

(1969)

Directed by: Federico Fellini
PHOTOGRAPHY: Giuseppe Rotunno
Synopsis:

This film, structured as a mosaic, is Fellini’s free adaptation of Petronius’ chronicles of the ancient Roman way of life. We follow the adventures of two hedonist friends, Encolpio and Ascilto, who fight over the androgynous Gitone. Both of them want Gitone’s attention and when he picks Ascilto, Encolpio tries to commit suicide.

color, 128 min

The White Sheik

(Lo sceicco bianco, 1952)

Directed by: Federico Fellini
PHOTOGRAPHY: Arturo Gallea, Leonida Barboni
Synopsis:

A freshly married couple from the provinces arrives in Rome for their honeymoon. The husband does not care about romance and instead awaits a meeting with his uncle from the Vatican who has arranged for them to visit the Pope. Because they arrived too early, the husband decides to take a nap. Meanwhile his wife sneaks outside to meet the White Sheik, hero of a graphic novel that she likes to read.

b/w, 86 min

The Young and the Passionate

(I vitelloni, 1953)

Directed by: Federico Fellini
PHOTOGRAPHY: Carlo Carlini, Otello Martelli, Luciano Trasatti
Synopsis:

A group of friends lead a hedonistic existence in a small coastal town. Without a goal in their lives they spend their days having fun, drinking and flirting with women. When one the men’s girlfriends gets pregnant his own father makes him marry her. After the wedding and the birth of the baby, this man continues to live as carelessly as before and thus risks destroying his family. The only one from the group who wants to do more with his life is Moraldo, who is sort of Fellini’s alter ego.

b/w, 107 min

The Swindlers

(Il bidone, 1955)

Directed by: Federico Fellini
PHOTOGRAPHY: Otello Martelli
Synopsis:

Augusto is an old small time crook who earns his living stealing from other people. He has two partners helping him: Roberto, who wants to become the Italian Johnny Ray, and Bruno, whose nickname is Picasso. Picasso has a daughter and a wife and actually wants to paint. Augusto avoids emotional intimacy and spends his money in clubs. A sudden encounter with his daughter who needs help will change his life…

b/w, 109 min

The Sweet Life

(La dolce vita, Italy, France, 1960)

Directed by: Federico Fellini
PHOTOGRAPHY: Otello Martelli
Synopsis:

We follow seven days in the life of Marcello, a columnist for a gossip newspaper who wants to become a serious writer but hasn’t got the strength to do it. Instead he lives a decadent life in Rome and has superficial relationships with the members of the elite. Meanwhile, he neglects his lover Emma and eventually she tries to commit suicide.

b/w, 174'

8 1 / 2

(Otto e mezzo, 1963)

Directed by: Federico Fellini
PHOTOGRAPHY: Gianni Di Venanzo
Synopsis:

Marcello Mastroianni plays Guido Anselmi, film director who is suffering from a creative and personal crisis. He has lost all inspiration to make a new film but it is too late to quit and the pressure from his colleagues is getting bigger and bigger. In his personal life he is torn between a wife whom he loves and a lover who threatens to destroy his marriage.

b/w, 138 min

Juliet of the Spirits

(Giulietta degli spiriti, 1965)

Directed by: Federico Fellini
PHOTOGRAPHY: Gianni Di Venanzo
Synopsis:

This is Fellini’s first film in color and it tells the story of a middle-aged housewife played by his wife the actress Giulietta Masina. At first sight Giulietta has everything: a husband, house by the sea and financial security, she is unhappy. Her mother and sisters overshadow her and her husband neglects her and cheats on her. A little bit naďve and devastated, she decides to visit a clairvoyant who tells her that she will find happiness in prostitution.

color, 137 min

The Clowns

(I clowns, 1971)

Directed by: Federico Fellini
PHOTOGRAPHY: Dario Di Palma
Synopsis:

In this film, which simultaneously parodies documentary film techniques and film critics, Fellini incorporated his own fascination with clowns and circuses. In the first part Fellini gives a nostalgic autobiographical view of his youthful fascination with the circus and in the second part he steps into the film himself in order to interview some famous clowns.

color, 92 min

Amarcord

(1973)

Directed by: Federico Fellini
PHOTOGRAPHY: Giuseppe Rotunno
Synopsis:

The film Amarcord, which depicts life in Rimini in the 1930s, was always considered to be Fellini’s autobiography as Fellini was born and raised in that town. Even though Fellini claimed differently, he nevertheless confesses that there are certain similarities between this film and his childhood. Through everyday life and festivities, we learn about how it is live and grow up in a small coastal town during Mussolini’s rule.

color, 123 min

Casanova

(1976)

Directed by: Federico Fellini
PHOTOGRAPHY: Giuseppe Rotunno
Synopsis:

This is Fellini’s film version of that most famous lover Giacomo Casanova’s autobiography. Donald Sutherland plays Casanova and we follow his life in exile after he escaped from the prison where he had been put by the Inquisition. He roams around Europe from Paris, London, Rome, Bern and Dresden, lives a hedonistic and superficial life changing one love adventure for the next one that comes along.

color, 164 min

City of Women

(La città delle donne, 1980)

Directed by: Federico Fellini
PHOTOGRAPHY: Giuseppe Rotunno
Synopsis:

Professor and erotomaniac Snŕporaz travels on a train and falls asleep. He dreams that he is in a hotel where a congress of feminists is taking place. When he wakes up, a woman from his dream enters the compartment.

color, 149 min

Nights of Cabiria

(Le notti di Cabiria, 1957.)

Directed by: Federico Fellini
PHOTOGRAPHY: Aldo Tonti
Synopsis:

Giulietta Masina plays Cabiria, a naive prostitute with a kind heart. She lives in the poor part of Rome with her boyfriend and dreams of a better future. Soon, her boyfriend robs her and leaves her to drown. She gets saved at the last minute and continues to work and meet new clients. Soon a new chance for love arises, but this time Cabiria is skeptical.

35 mm, b/w, 110 min
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