The Films of Federico Fellini, Part II
April 16 - May13
2010 represents the 50th anniversary of LA DOLCE VITA, a landmark in cinema history, but just one of the signature works--alongside LA STRADA, NIGHTS OF CABIRIA and 8½--of one of the titans of international filmmaking, Federico Fellini (1920-1993). AFI Silver presents a career-spanning selection of Fellini's most important films, his canonical classics as well as several rarely screened gems.
AFI Member passes will be accepted at all films in the Federico Fellini series.
LA DOLCE VITA
This sprawling, kaleidoscopic, bitingly satiric fresco of "the sweet life" in 1960s Rome follows tabloid gossip Marcello Mastroianni on his nighttime peregrinations among the city's nightclubs and cafés, with his enterprising photographer Paparazzo never far behind, and the beautiful Anouk Aimée always a step out of reach. Structured episodically, the memorable vignettes include a statue of Christ soaring by helicopter above Rome, Anita Ekberg's dip in the Trevi Fountain, a media circus around an alleged vision of the Madonna and the finale: a wild, depraved party followed by a melancholy morning on the beach. Fellini's first Cinemascope film gave currency to a new word (paparazzi), coined an international catch phrase (the title) and was a worldwide hit. Fifty years later, it has lost none of its powers of provocation or hard-bitten wisdom. Palme d'Or, 1960 Cannes Film Festival and four Oscar nominations in 1962, including Best Director, Screenplay and Art Direction, with a win for Costume Design.
DIR/SCR Federico Fellini; SCR Ennio Flaiano, Tullio Pinelli, Brunello Rondi; PROD Giuseppe Amato, Angelo Rizzoli. Italy/France, 1960, b&w, 174 min. In Italian, French and German with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Friday, April 16, 8:30; Saturday, April 17, 2:45, 8:30; Sunday, April 18, 2:45, 8:20; Wednesday, April 21, 6:30; Thursday, April 22, 8:30
"All the confusion of my life ... has been a reflection of myself! Myself as I am, not as I'd like to be." In his films with Fellini, Marcello Mastroianni always registered as an alter ego for the director, but never more so than here, where he plays Guido, a director who, following an enormous hit, has no idea what his next film will be about. Creatively stifled and unsure how to proceed, Guido escapes into reverie, revisiting formative scenes from his past, indulging secret desires, and constructing fantasies both comforting and outrageous. This landmark film was nominated for five Oscars, winning for Best Foreign Language Film and Best Costumes.
DIR/SCR Federico Fellini; SCR Ennio Flaiano, Tullio Pinelli, Brunello Rondi; PROD Angelo Rizzoli. Italy/France, 1963, b&w, 138 min. In English, Italian, French and German with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Friday, April 23, 4:15, 7:00; Saturday, April 24, 7:00; Tuesday, April 27, 7:00; Thursday, April 29, 7:00
JULIET OF THE SPIRITS
[Giulietta degli spiriti]
Fellini's distaff version of 8½ stars wife Giulietta Masina as a well-to-do housewife who experiences an existential crisis after she discovers her husband's infidelity. Seeking counsel from mediums, psychics and fortunetellers, she enters a world of the imagination, where she discovers, among the many unusual sights and characters, a better understanding of herself.
DIR/SCR Federico Fellini; SCR Tullio Pinelli, Ennio Flaiano, Brunello Rondi. Italy/France, 1965, color, 137 min. In Italian with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Sunday, April 25, 7:00; Monday, April 26, 9:10; Wednesday, April 28, 9:10
"Rome. Before Christ. After Fellini." Petronius's collection of ribald tales from ancient Rome gets the Fellini treatment. Man-about-town Encolpio (Martin Potter) roams high and low through every strata of Roman society in pursuit of a slave boy stolen by his rival (Hiram Keller), experiencing all manner of erotic, sadomasochistic and depraved escapades. Events unfold episodically, but not logically--characters suffer various indignities, danger and even death only to appear later unscathed. The most dreamlike of Fellini's films--an accomplishment in itself--it ends eloquently, mid-sentence, like Petronius's fragmentary manuscript.
DIR/SCR Federico Fellini; SCR Bernardino Zapponi, Brunello Rondi, based on the book by Petronius; PROD Alberto Grimaldi. Italy/France, 1969, color, 128 min. In Latin and Italian with English subtitles. RATED R
Friday, April 30, 7:00; Saturday, May 1, 9:45
What begins as a documentary of the Eternal City--its representative sight, an enormous traffic jam--gives way to visionary fantasy: new tunneling in the subway system unearths an ancient building, whose beautiful frescoes evaporate upon exposure to the air; the Vatican hosts an "ecclesiastical fashion show," with roller-skating priests and neon-lit nuns; and, jumping across time, the film follows the education of a young man named Fellini, at the brothels, the cinema and the cafes. A delightful, thought-provoking tribute to the city of Fellini's dreams. Includes the last screen appearance of the great Anna Magnani.
DIR/SCR Federico Fellini; SCR Bernardino Zapponi; PROD Turi Vasile. Italy/France, 1972, color, 128 min. In English, Italian and French with English subtitles. RATED R
Saturday, May 1, 1:40; Sunday, May 2, 9:00; Monday, May 3, 8:45
Originally conceived as an international blockbuster with a big American star--Brando, Pacino, Redford and Newman were considered--Fellini ultimately made the film with Canadian hipster Donald Sutherland, who gives what many consider to be his most charismatic performance. He certainly had to work for it, engaging in countless seductions, according to Casanova's memoirs (not that Fellini made use of them--he draws more on his own filmic history and obsessions), including high nobility and bohemian entertainers, young and old, a giantess, a hunchbacked dwarf and a wooden marionette (!). Casanova's wanderings across Europe--Paris, London, Rome, Bern, Dresden, Bohemia--were re-created on enormous sets at Cinecittà.
DIR/SCR Federico Fellini; SCR Bernardino Zapponi, based on Giacomo Casanova's autobiography; PROD Alberto Grimaldi. Italy/US, 1976, color, 155 min. In English, Italian, French and German with English subtitles. RATED R
Saturday, May 8, 1:00; Sunday, May 9, 3:30; Wednesday, May 12, 8:45
Fellini's impressionistic, imagistic memory piece looks back to small-town life in an Italian seaside village in the 1930s. The hormones of the Biondi boys are raging, and while school is comically uninspiring, the town's ladies offer much to stir the imagination. This troubles both their parents and the school's priests, but unruly passions affect everyone in the Biondi family, with one uncle in the sanitarium, the other a jobbing gigolo, and a grandfather sometimes refusing to come down from his tree. Equal parts romantic and raunchy, this film endures as one of Fellini's most beloved. Nominated for Best Director and Best Screenplay Oscars, it won Best Foreign Language Film.
DIR/SCR Federico Fellini; SCR Tonino Guerra; PROD Franco Cristaldi. Italy/France, 1973, color, 123 min. In Italian and Greek with English subtitles. RATED R
Saturday, May 8, 9:30; Sunday, May 9, 1:00
GINGER AND FRED
Preparing to reunite after 20 years of retirement for a TV variety show, Amelia (Giulietta Masina) and Pippo (Marcello Mastroianni), a Fred-and-Ginger-impersonating dance duo from the 1940s, overcome performance anxiety, the awkwardness of their long estrangement and pre-show jitters. But Pippo has plans to tell the television audience what he really thinks of them. Fellini's two signature stars, Masina and Mastroianni, are lovely together, but the filmmaker's pointed criticism of the wasteland of television has only become sharper in the 20-odd years since its release.
DIR/SCR Federico Fellini; SCR Tonino Guerra, Tullio Pinelli; PROD Alberto Grimaldi, Heinz Bibo. Italy/France/West Germany, 1986, color, 125 min. In English and Italian with English subtitles. RATED PG-13
Sunday, May 9, 8:45; Monday, May 10, 6:30; Wednesday, May 12, 6:30
"I don't really consider this a movie ... it's unlike other movies because its tone is that of a friendly chat."--Fellini. A Japanese camera crew arrives to do a story on the 50th anniversary of Cinecittà, and, in the course of interviewing the studio's greatest maestro, Federico Fellini, finds its news piece becoming more and more "Felliniesque." Ostensibly working on an adaptation of Franz Kafka's Amerika, Fellini instead gives the crew a tour of his past, including visits with Marcello Mastroianni and Anita Ekberg.
DIR/SCR Federico Fellini; SCR Gianfranco Angelucci; PROD Ibrahim Moussa. Italy, 1987, color, 105 min. In Italian with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Monday, May 10, 8:45; Tuesday, May 11, 9:15