Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
  • Post
  • Reply
Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

I AM A STUPIDLY SEXY WOLFMAN



Grimey Drawer



On January 20th, 1920, in Rimini, Italy, to parents Urbano and Ida, Federico Fellini was born.

Thirty years later, after a decade of writing articles, satirical stories in booklets, radio sketches, comedic punch-ups for scripts, and eventually his own screenplays, Fellini began to produce and direct feature films.

His first film, which he co-directed and co-produced alongside collaborator Alberto Lattuada, was the 1950 film Variety Lights. His career as a director would continue over more than 20 various projects over 40 years. His final film, The Voice of the Moon, was released in 1990, three years before his death. His films would influence cinema and art films through neorealism, surrealism, and dream-logic. His cinematic voice is distinctly autobiographical, comedic, hallucinatory, nostalgic, sexual, and idiosyncratic.

You will be hard pressed to look for a list of Greatest Directors of All Time that doesn't include Fellini. Ignoring the many awards he was accoladed with, and the various controversies of his career, his influence on film, from art house to Hollywood, as well as greater pop culture, is hard to ignore. Many notabl directors consider him a major influence, including but not limited to Martin Scorsese, Tim Burton, Richard Linklater, Terry Gilliam, David Lynch, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Truffaut, Peter Greenaway, Joel Shumacher, Wes Anderson, Stanley Kubrick, George Lucas, as well as artists and musicians like Bob Dylan, Michael Stipe, Lana Del Rey, and even the B-52's. Fellini is sometimes called "The Maestro of Italian Film", and as he keeps getting discovered by generations of film-lovers, that reputation seems like it will continue, or even grow.


Right now is one of the best times for cinephiles to dig into Fellini's filmography. More than half of his films are available for streaming in HD across multiple services (the first time I watched 8 1/2 was on Netflix streaming, even!), and films that were out of print on blu ray or hard to find have now been conveniently compiled by Criterion in their Fellini Box





This thread is an open invitation to start to explore a fascinating filmography that spreads across many genres, including comedies, dramas, horror, and period pieces. Whether you're new to Fellini and looking for a place to start, or if he's an old favorite you'd like to share your love for, or if you want to discuss the themes of his films, or if you know any good stories or anecdotes about an interesting artist, this thread is for you.





Fellini's Filmography as Director:

1950 | Variety Lights (co-credited with Alberto Lattuada)
1952 | The White Sheik
1953 | I vitelloni
1953 | Love in the City (Segment: Un'agenzia matrimoniale)
1954 | La strada
1955 | Il bidone
1957 | Nights of Cabiria
1960 | La Dolce Vita
1962 | Boccaccio '70 (Segment: Le tentazioni del Dottor Antonio)
1963 | ​8 1⁄2
1965 | Juliet of the Spirits
1968 | Spirits of the Dead (Segment: Toby Dammit)
1969 | Fellini: A Director's Notebook
1969 | Fellini Satyricon
1970 | I Clowns
1972 | Roma
1973 | Amarcord
1976 | Fellini's Casanova
1978 | Orchestra Rehearsal
1980 | City of Women
1983 | And the Ship Sails On
1986 | Ginger and Fred
1987 | Intervista
1990 | The Voice of the Moon

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

The greatest sensual pleasure there is is to know the desires of another!



Fun Shoe

Not sure if people have fully realized this, but HBOMax has a deal with TCM, and so they have a ton of classic films including a decent selection of Fellini like 8 1/2, La Strada, Amarcord, and Juliet of the Spirits.

Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

I AM A STUPIDLY SEXY WOLFMAN



Grimey Drawer

Basebf555 posted:

Not sure if people have fully realized this, but HBOMax has a deal with TCM, and so they have a ton of classic films including a decent selection of Fellini like 8 1/2, La Strada, Amarcord, and Juliet of the Spirits.

Yeah! While I prefer Criterion Channel for a few reasons (some real, some just personal preference), I am regularly surprised by how good HBO Max is for cinephiles.

Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

I AM A STUPIDLY SEXY WOLFMAN



Grimey Drawer

If anyone has the box set but hasn't dug into it, I highly highly recommend starting with Nights of Cabiria. It's funny! And a little sad! Great performance by Giulietta Masina as the main character. It's a charming tale about a sex worker who's just trying to find a slice of happiness in a world that seems reluctant to give her a break. I love it, and it's a big reason why I bought the box set.

Franchescanado fucked around with this message at 16:28 on Jan 20, 2021

Spatulater bro!
Aug 19, 2003

Punch! Punch! Punch!



Giulietta Masina in Nights of Cabiria is one of - if not the - greatest female performances of all time.

Man I need to buy that box set.

Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

I AM A STUPIDLY SEXY WOLFMAN



Grimey Drawer

Spatulater bro! posted:

Giulietta Masina in Nights of Cabiria is one of - if not the - greatest female performances of all time.

Someone's gonna read this and assume it's hyperbole, but no, it genuinely is that great a performance. Easily one of my favorite characters I've experienced in the past 10 years of watching films. Like, I want to watch Nights of Cabiria again tonight to celebrate Fellini's birthday, even though I've got a dozen in the box set that I haven't seen yet.

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

The greatest sensual pleasure there is is to know the desires of another!



Fun Shoe

Franchescanado posted:

If anyone has the box set but hasn't dug into it, I highly highly recommend starting with Nights of Cabiria. It's funny! And a little sad! Great performance by Giulietta Masina as the main character. It's a charming tale about a sex worker who's just trying to find a slice of happiness in a world that seems reluctant to give her a break. I love it, and it's a big reason why I bought the box set.

I feel like Masina was the platonic ideal of funny! and a bit sad! I can't think another actress who could do that so consistently and effectively.

Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

I AM A STUPIDLY SEXY WOLFMAN



Grimey Drawer

Basebf555 posted:

I feel like Masina was the platonic ideal of funny! and a bit sad! I can't think another actress who could do that so consistently and effectively.

Totally! While also tiptoeing the tightrope of "the character is annoying to people around her in the film" but the character or performance is never annoying for the audience, it's just straight up distilled charm.

Egbert Souse
Nov 6, 2008



I'm going through Essential Fellini and so far have seen Variety Lights, The White Sheik, and I Vitelloni for the first time. Only ones I've seen before are La strada, Nights of Cabiria, La dolce vita, 8 1/2, and Amarcord. 8 1/2 is a particularly special movie for me because it was the very first foreign language film I had seen (outside a silent or two like Nosferatu and Metropolis). It was enchanting and I instantly fell in love with it. Something about how it juxtaposes the creative process with memories of the past or how gorgeous the B&W cinematography looks.

Kart Barfunkel
Nov 10, 2009



A few artists Iíve admired have expressed their admiration for his film Satyricon, which has always made me curious about watching it. Itís not his easiest film to find, but I feel like I donít hear too much said about this one?

What are peopleís thoughts on it? Iíll admit Iím very new to Fellini, but what would be the draw to watching that one, or should I work my way up to it?

Uncle Boogeyman
Jul 22, 2007



A lot of Fellini's stuff either strikes me as just okay or just doesn't personally resonate with me much, but 8 1/2 hit me so hard and so early that it's permanently part of my film DNA. The sequence with Flight of the Valkyries segueing into The Barber of Seville at the garden party in the beginning just knocks me on my rear end. Incredible use of contrast in black and white, just startlingly striking imagery.

La Dolce Vita is great too, it's length has kept me from rewatching it as much but it's one of the ultimate youthful-hedonism-giving-way-to-malaise movies.

Other than that I've seen Nights of Cabiria and Variety Lights, both of which were strong but I've never felt drawn to revisit, and Amarcord which was.... eh. Oh, I've also seen Fellini: A Director's Notebook which is a very fun, weird documentary included on the Criterion edition of 8 1/2 which I highly recommend.

Given my tastes in Fellini, what else should I check out? I've heard La Strada is great.

Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

I AM A STUPIDLY SEXY WOLFMAN



Grimey Drawer

If you're on Twitter, you've probably read by now that Scorsese is in the headlines again for bemoaning the current state of the film industry and how people view the cinema.

This controversy comes from remarks he made in an essay about Fellini, called Il Maestro.

I figured I'd post that essay here, for everyone's convenience.

Il Maestro: Federico Fellini and the lost magic of cinema by M. Scorsese

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

The greatest sensual pleasure there is is to know the desires of another!



Fun Shoe

My issue with Scorsese is that he just keeps throwing out the word cinema as if it has some sort of special definition that only he knows and he's keeping it a secret. Like, I can make obvious assumptions, I can get the gist of what he's trying to say but he seems resistant to ever actually explaining where he sees the distinction and where he draws the line. If it's just about film as a business then he seems nostalgic for a time that really never existed because succeeding in the arts has always involved compromising with business interests. If it's about these behemoth corporations that are squeezing the little guy out, he should get into that and discuss that but he never really wants to go there.

So because of his vagueness it comes off like he is trying to act as the arbiter of what cinema is and I don't think that's his intention. But his status and the obtuse way he talks about it gives that impression.

DeimosRising
Oct 17, 2005

°Hola SEA!




Basebf555 posted:

My issue with Scorsese is that he just keeps throwing out the word cinema as if it has some sort of special definition that only he knows and he's keeping it a secret. Like, I can make obvious assumptions, I can get the gist of what he's trying to say but he seems resistant to ever actually explaining where he sees the distinction and where he draws the line. If it's just about film as a business then he seems nostalgic for a time that really never existed because succeeding in the arts has always involved compromising with business interests. If it's about these behemoth corporations that are squeezing the little guy out, he should get into that and discuss that but he never really wants to go there.

So because of his vagueness it comes off like he is trying to act as the arbiter of what cinema is and I don't think that's his intention. But his status and the obtuse way he talks about it gives that impression.

That essay seems pretty clear. Heís lamenting the surgical precision of algorithms in feeding you a steady stream of what you already know you want and excising any chance of you being surprised or uncomfortable.

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

The greatest sensual pleasure there is is to know the desires of another!



Fun Shoe

DeimosRising posted:

That essay seems pretty clear. Heís lamenting the surgical precision of algorithms in feeding you a steady stream of what you already know you want and excising any chance of you being surprised or uncomfortable.

I don't feel he has a consistent argument, he tends to be all over the place and it's confusing. Like, sometimes his primary complaint seems to be about the loss of the theater experience, and how these days interesting artists have to go to streaming services to get their stuff made. Which means that people aren't seeing their work on a big screen and therefore it's not cinema. Other times it's about the corporate culture of refusing to take risks or make anything that might challenge people. But, again, if interesting and challenging material is getting out there but it's via a streaming service, he doesn't think that's as good as real cinema. So it's not just about what gets made and what doesn't, because there's more content being put out on various platforms than ever before.

He just comes off as a guy who likes what he likes, and has a very specific idea of what the proper film experience should be. And I pretty much agree with all of those opinions but I still don't really get where the movie/cinema thing comes into it. It's a semantic debate that just muddies the waters but he continually uses the term as if we all understand it's universal meaning.

TrixRabbi
Aug 20, 2010

Time for a little robot chauvinism!



I can agree there's a tenuous type of "a movie vs. a film" distinction going on there, like by the barest of definitions Marvel movies (which are not called out by name here) are cinema. But I don't know how Scorsese could make it any clearer in this essay what his real issues are: It's the decimation of artistry in service of product. It's the devaluation of the medium to disposable consumer goods. People can get hung up on the definition of "cinema" but really they should be thinking about the definition of "content" and the cheapening effect that has on the art of filmmaking.

In Fellini's time there was at least something of a balance between the artists and the businessmen, and that has been lost as the artists making independent films struggle to get their films seen while the businessmen take more and more control over the content of the movies they push out of studios. It is getting to a point where artistry can no longer exist within the studio environment. For every Mad Max: Fury Road there's an endless stream of manager-approved, factory line superhero movies that more reflect the voice and vision of a corporation, not a director. There is a place for mass market, big budget fun, but when it comes at the expense of the artists it has a cheapening effect. And these models, in turn, eat up and spit out classics into just another thing to binge watch and forget.

It would have been good for him to perhaps get into the Film Festival model as well and how they've created a level of exclusivity around independent and artistic movies where critics and industry people get to view them months in advance, rave about them, forget about them, meanwhile the average person has no access. For every Parasite or Portrait of a Lady on Fire there's a litany of movies made by artists that will just end up as yet another item on a streaming service, so Netflix or Amazon or Apple TV can say we have XX,000 titles available to watch. That's one element of the business he could and should speak to. It's not that these films don't exist and aren't being made, it's that people don't have access. And when they do have access, via streaming, they're treated as just another plastic-wrapped item to be watched mindlessly. Content.

I don't know. I think he's been perfectly clear and I find it really hard to argue he's not 100% correct.

TrixRabbi fucked around with this message at 16:04 on Feb 17, 2021

Spatulater bro!
Aug 19, 2003

Punch! Punch! Punch!



DeimosRising posted:

That essay seems pretty clear. Heís lamenting the surgical precision of algorithms in feeding you a steady stream of what you already know you want and excising any chance of you being surprised or uncomfortable.

Yes but he's also doing something else, and I agree with Basebf555: he obviously has an idea in his head about which specific films are "cinema" and which are merely "content". He name drops tons of movies and directors that he considers to be a part of "cinema" (Kubrick, Godard, Fellini, Bergman, etc.). We're left to guess about which ones he considers inferior. The point is that he's acting like the gatekeeper of film importance, albeit unintentionally as Basebf555 said. I suspect - and this is pure conjecture - that if he were to be 100% candid his honest sentiments would sound something like "People should stop watching garbage like the Marvel movies and instead watch good movies like 8 1/2". He's too smart to say anything that blunt of course, but I sense that's how he feels.

TrixRabbi
Aug 20, 2010

Time for a little robot chauvinism!



I think he feels that the business has done a disservice to the artform by limiting the distribution of meaningful films like 8 1/2 in service of the "garbage." More people would discover these movies if the studios and streaming services gave them the respect they deserve and presented to the public in such a way.

Look at Parasite, a counter example where that exact thing happened. And it was seen and beloved by tons of people who probably never would have watched a Korean movie otherwise if it didn't have supporters in the industry willing to champion it and give it a proper release with the proper promotion.

Spatulater bro!
Aug 19, 2003

Punch! Punch! Punch!



Ha, oh poo poo how did I miss this article: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/04/opinion/martin-scorsese-marvel.html

TrixRabbi
Aug 20, 2010

Time for a little robot chauvinism!




Yeah, I think the Fellini article is a perfect chaser to this, because he goes deep into exactly what he means in this piece as he discusses Fellini and his work (which is really the part of that new piece that is getting lost).

Spatulater bro!
Aug 19, 2003

Punch! Punch! Punch!



The NYT article is basically him saying "Marvel movies just aren't for me... and here's an entire article explaining why I'm right".

And I absolutely, unequivocally, 100% agree with him on every point.

Martin Scorsese posted:

And if youíre going to tell me that itís simply a matter of supply and demand and giving the people what they want, Iím going to disagree. Itís a chicken-and-egg issue. If people are given only one kind of thing and endlessly sold only one kind of thing, of course theyíre going to want more of that one kind of thing.
This is so true it's painful.

TrixRabbi
Aug 20, 2010

Time for a little robot chauvinism!



Yes! That line is the key right there. And it's why he gives shoutout to Criterion and MUBI for emphasizing curation and focusing on exposing people to works they may have never discovered otherwise.

Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

I AM A STUPIDLY SEXY WOLFMAN



Grimey Drawer

I posted the Fellini essay to stoke more conversation of Fellini, and less about Scorsese's film opinions. While they are interlinked, in a way, I realized that now would be the perfect time for a Scorsese thread, so I made a Scorsese thread. So if you wanna discuss the Fellini aspects of the essay, happily continue it here. If you'd like to talk about Scorsese's worries about cinema please take it to the Scorsese thread so it can get some momentum.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Spatulater bro!
Aug 19, 2003

Punch! Punch! Punch!



Franchescanado posted:

I posted the Fellini essay to stoke more conversation of Fellini, and less about Scorsese's film opinions. While they are interlinked, in a way, I realized that now would be the perfect time for a Scorsese thread, so I made a Scorsese thread. So if you wanna discuss the Fellini aspects of the essay, happily continue it here. If you'd like to talk about Scorsese's worries about cinema please take it to the Scorsese thread so it can get some momentum.

Nice. It was a bit unfair that we focused so much on Scorsese since that article was 90% Fellini praise. His analysis of 8 1/2 has made me decide to rewatch it ASAP. Like maybe tonight. I saw it once about 15 years ago and I hate to say it mostly bounced off me. I recall approaching it with the attitude of "this is an important work of art and I need to focus on appreciating it" instead of just throwing it on and enjoying it, and that's usually detrimental for me.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply