Amarcord Rimini Bike Tour

This sounds interesting:

On the occasion of the 20th anniversary Federico Fellini's death and the 40th of the film Amarcord, Discover Rimini proposes a bike tour to discover places related to the famous film director, winner of 4 Oscars, in his hometown Rimini.

From the cemetery with the monumental grave of the Master and his wife, Giulietta Masina, the tour leads to Borgo San Giuliano with houses decorated with murals linked to Fellini. The tour continues and crossing the Tiberius Bridge it enters in Rimini historic centre where the Master was born and lived before he moved to Rome at nineteen years. The Cinema Fulgor, Piazza Cavour, Corso d'Augusto, Gambalunga Palace and the Temple of S. Antonio are places that have marked his life as a boy and which have been present in his films. Follows the visit in the City Museum where the book by Fellini "Il Libro dei Sogni" (The Book of Dreams) is on exhibition, and then the tour leads to the sea area and ends at the Grand Hotel, Fellini's venue when he visited Rimini, situated beside the square with his name, Piazzale Fellini.

Booking is requested within the day before.

Get full details here: Amarcord Rimini. Bike tour following the track of Federico Fellini

Kubrick a Fellini Fan

We know that Fellini admired 2001: A Space Odyssey via his telegram to Kubrick, but recent news also shows Stanley Kubrick's admiration for Fellini's films - he even listed I Vitelloni as his #1 film at one point:

The first and only (as far as we know) Top 10 list Kubrick submitted to anyone was in 1963 to a fledgling American magazine named Cinema (which had been founded the previous year and ceased publication in 1976). Here's that list:

  1. I Vitelloni (Fellini, 1953)
  2. Wild Strawberries (Bergman, 1957)
  3. Citizen Kane (Welles, 1941)
  4. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (Huston, 1948)
  5. City Lights (Chaplin, 1931)
  6. Henry V (Olivier, 1944)
  7. La notte (Antonioni, 1961)
  8. The Bank Dick (Fields, 1940)
  9. Roxie Hart (Wellman, 1942)
  10. Hell's Angels (Hughes, 1930)

This list (a great list, you should see them all!) and many more details are from an article on the BFI website "Stanley Kubrick, cinephile"

Thoughts on Amarcord

AmarcordPoster472.jpgI don't want to call this a formal review, but just some thoughts about Amarcord (which I saw last night for the first time!).

Firstly, almost any film that is this old or older has to "hold up" for me - meaning - it has to remain relevant and believable, and not come across as corny or dated (or have such outdated production values that you are constantly aware you are watching a movie). For the most part Amarcord, although containing some melodramatic flourishes and cartoon character personalities, does this - with just a bit of the opening sequences around the bonfire seeming "forced".

Once the film gets rolling, it can be hysterically funny, and the acting is quite good. Formally it really is a series of vignettes, with some working better than others. The school sequence and the shenanigans of the boys, their confessions and their "sins" are all very well brought to life, as are the much later scenes of the family visiting their crazy uncle and a meal in the countryside upset by his taking to a tree. Conversely I found the hotel sequence with the concubines and the town "liar" one of the misses, while the ending scenes in the field with the celebration of Gradisca's wedding are lyrical and poignant.

The stand out actor in this film is Armando Brancia as Titta's father. He over boils with anger, is duly frightened by the fascists, doesn't quite know how to react to the declining health of his wife (remarking at the hospital on how nice their garden is) and loathes his mooching brother-in-law viscerally, without ever saying a word. Powerful acting.

In Rimini, Looking for Fellini's World

New article about Fellini in the New York Times travel section:

rimini-fountain.jpgFrancesco Lastrucci for The New York Times

"Dreamlike as the director's vision might have been, my search was for the real Fellini. For several days last February, I visited the director's hometown on Italy's northeastern coast, in search of places that inspired scenes in his movies, and ones that were significant in his own life.

Fellini was born in Rimini in 1920, and lived there until just before World War II; one challenge for the Fellini-obsessed traveler is that much of the town from the director's time had been destroyed during the war. A second challenge was that Fellini had romanticized the settings in the two movies that are most commonly associated with Rimini, "Amarcord" (1973) and the ultra-charming "I Vitelloni" (1953), so those places aren't always easily recognizable on the ground."

New film about Fellini planned

The story is from Variety:

Set in Los Angeles in March 1957, story follows Fellini's first voyage to America to attend the Oscars, during which he went missing for 48 hours and barely made it to the ceremony. Pic postulates what might have happened during those two days, after which the helmer returned to Italy and directed his two most revered films, "La Dolce Vita" and "8 1/2."

Script finds Fellini discovering the jazz and surf scenes and falling for a veterinarian while his wife tries to drown her sorrows by cavorting with Ricky Nelson. Howard will play a jazz musician who introduces Fellini to his world; Macy will play Fellini's publicist; and Dinklage will play the vet's lover.

Interesting stuff and sounds like a real project, but also looks like a lot of it will be fiction(alized).

Screenwriter Tonino Guerra dead at 92

Guerra was prolific and worked with many directors including Fellini, Antonioni and Tarkovsky. The obituary from the Independent is very good:

In 1973 Amarcord (in dialect, "I Remember") was the first of three films with Fellini and one of his most personal, drawing on the two men's memories of their Rimini youths. It brought a third Oscar nomination, though he lost to Dog Day Afternoon. The novelisation appeared under both their names but seems mostly to have been Guerra's work. After Casanova in 1976 Fellini wanted Guerra to write City of Woman but he was wooing a Russian woman at the time and felt it would be impossible as he commuted between Rome and Moscow. But he later returned to work with Fellini on the parable And the Ship Sails On (1983) and the amusing if lightweight Ginger and Fred (1986).

Fellini's telegram to Kubrick

Via the fantastic website Letters of Note:

Fellini's telegram to Kubrick

Google pays homage to Fellini

Fellini would had been 92 on Friday -

fellini-google.jpg


(ANSA) - Rome, January 20 - Google paid homage to Italian movie great Federico Fellini Friday with a doodle on the anniversary of his birth in 1920.

The black-and-white doodle shows the maestro in jacket and tie behind a film camera whose two reels form letters of the Google logo.

It was the second Fellini-linked doodle since December 3 when his longtime music collaborator Nino Rota was honoured.

Campari commercial by Fellini

Here is a strange bit of 80s advertising (it looks much older!)


Via 3quarksdaily.com.com

Anita Ekberg ask Fellini Foundation for money

Not a happy holiday story:

Her years as a Sixties film icon must seem a very long time ago now for Anita Ekberg. For the Swedish actress, who entered cinema history the moment she stepped into Rome's Trevi Fountain during the celebrated scene in Federico Fellini's 1960 masterpiece La Dolce Vita, has fallen on very hard times indeed.

Things are so bad, that three months after her 80th birthday, the actress has asked her accountant, Massimo Morais, to request financial help from the Fellini Foundation, which was set up to honour the achievements of the renowned Italian director.

From better days:

anita-ekberg.jpg

Short video clip here from the BBC, from a longer interview that will air later today:

"Claudia Cardinale has starred in more than 100 films since the 1950s.

She had major roles in two of Italy's most famous films, Fellini's 8 1/2 and Visconti's The Leopard.

She also did a stint in Hollywood in films like The Professionals and The Pink Panther.

Claudia Cardinale is still acting and has recently starred in small independent films such as Being Italian with Signora Enrica.

The film opened the Turkish Film Festival which is underway in London.

You can watch the full interview on BBC World News on Tuesday 29 November at 04:30, 09:30, 15:30 and 21:30 GMT and on BBC News Channel on Tuesday 29 November at 04:30 GMT and on Wednesday 30 November at 00:30 GMT."

Finding Fellini in Rome

Nice article about Fellini's Rome and where you can still find traces of it or the current equivalent:

But it also helps to be looking through the proper lens--to notice, for instance, that those would-be flaneurs outside trendy Bar del Fico (Piazza del Fico, 26; www.bardelfico.it), their heads turning in unison every time a pretty girl walks by, are straight out of "I Vitelloni," the director's pivotal portrait of frustrated, provincial 20-something men.

Sometimes Fellini's Rome and Felliniesque Rome live in close proximity. The apartment that Federico and Giulietta shared (Via Margutta, 110) is on a small, charming street where Truman Capote once lived and Puccini composed. There's not much to see except a plaque on the building with caricatures of the pair and a commemorative poem in Roman dialect. But notice the number on the door of the palazzo: above the 110, it says "Già 113"--formerly 113--a very Felliniesque address.

Variety Lights - Luci del varietà

fellini-luci-del-varieta.jpgVariety Lights (Italian: Luci del varietà) is a 1950 Italian film directed and produced by Federico Fellini and Alberto Lattuada.

The film launched Fellini's directorial career, but was a collaboration (in production, direction, and screenwriting) with Alberto Lattuada. Up until that time, Fellini had been primarily a screenwriter (most notably working on Roberto Rossellini's Rome, Open City), while Lattuada was already an established and respected director of neorealist films and literary adaptations.

Variety Lights is a bittersweet drama about a group of second-rate theatrical performers on tour. The actors, dancers, and performers struggle to make money from town to town, playing to minimal crowds, while the ageing manager of the company falls in love with a newcomer, to the chagrin of his faithful mistress, played by Fellini's real-life wife, Giulietta Masina.

Below (incredibly and I am sure in violation of copyright) is the whole film on YouTube:

More from Variety:

TORONTO -- It will be la dolce vita for Fellini-philes at the Toronto Film Festival, which will host the North American preem of Fellini: Spectacular Obsession, an exhibition exploring the creative process of the Italian director, from June 30 to Sept. 18 at its Bell Lightbox headquarters.
Rome, Fellini's surreal portrait of the eponymous city (screens this Sunday at the Museum of the Moving Image), is alive with his signature surreal sense of boredom but as a film, it feels more like an elaborate exhibition than a cinematic pageant. The most striking sequence is the scene in the subway tunnels with the vanishing frescoes. It speaks to an inability to gel together past and present seamlessly without losing something and that something has to be a definitive identity to the city. Audience becomes subject and the boundary between spectator and player becomes blurred to the point where qualifying the two becomes meaningless.

Read the rest here.

This is a bummer of a story. The "crisis" in Itlay is very real:

The-Grand-Hotel-rimini.jpgIt won't be lost on many Italians that la dolce vita in Italy has turned rather sour when even The Grand Hotel in Rimini is, for the first time in its history, preparing to shut for the winter.

The palatial hotel, so beloved of film maker Federico Fellini, will close from January to Easter, its owners have announced, as Italy's economic crisis bites and the demand for five-star watering holes - even ones as mythical as this - goes into hibernation.

It was officially listed as an Italian national monument in 1994, and featured in many of Fellini's films, most notably as a sumptuous backdrop in his 1973 picture Amarcord, a coming-of-age comedy, in which he took liberal swipes at Mussolini and the Catholic Church.

Rome fetes Fellini in anniversary show

From ANSA:

(ANSA) - Rome, November 9 - Fifty years after the release of "La Dolce Vita", widely considered one of the masterpieces of world cinema, and ninety years after Federico Fellini's birth, Rome is paying homage to the critically acclaimed film director in a new exhibition.

The anniversary show, on display at Macro Testaccio, features a vast body of photographs, videos, film reels, drawings, letters and notes illustrating Fellini's extraordinary career as an artist and filmmaker, from his debut as a cartoonist and screenwriter in the early 1940s to his death in 1993, shortly after winning his fifth Academy Award.

Aptly called "Fellini Labyrinth", the exhibition takes visitors on a journey to explore the influential director's work mainly through a blend of stills and movie footage.

(Reuters) - The Rome Film Festival will fete the 50th anniversary of Fellini's classic "La Dolce Vita" with the first screening of a restored copy and a retrospective of the glory days when Rome was called Hollywood on the Tiber.

The fifth edition of the festival, which has striven to carve a distinct identity for itself in the long shadow of its more famous cousin in Venice, will be held Oct 28-Nov 5.

More here from Reuters.

Profile Of The Director As A Pervert

Interesting article on Fellini as a pervert:

"It was strangely fitting that the digitally remastered re-release of La Dolce Vita earlier this year was promoted, not by the usual critical garlands and reappraisals, but with a kiss and tell article in The Guardian by Germaine Greer in which she revealed hitherto untold liaison with the great maestro. Fellini always said that his films weren't autobiographical; it was simply that he had invented his own life purely for the screen. And if his preference for the soundstages of Cinecitta might sometimes make his films seem a little stagey, it is only because each of his films is set, ultimately, in the theatre of his imagination. And what a very peculiar place that turns out to be..."

I think "pervert" is a little too simplistic and obvious of a word to encompass Fellini's tastes and techniques, but the article is interesting nevertheless.

This sounds great:

Federico Fellini (1920-1993) began working as a screenwriter on such Italian neorealist landmark films as Rome, Open City and Paisà, but by the time he took the director's chair in 1950, he was starting to question the genre's principles and its focus on socioeconomics. In attempt to make a stylistic departure, Fellini communicates his characters' hopes, dreams, fears, passions, and inspirations. The series includes I vitelloni, La strada, and Nights of Cabiria, three of Fellini's earlier efforts, which demonstrate his interest in a character's emotions. With 8 ½, Fellini abandons any interest in reality, creating his own personal fantasy world.

Tickets and times are available on their website.