Fellinian Memories, Dreams, Fantasies and Desires

There is no end. There is no beginning. There is only the passion of life. FF

Federico Fellini (January 20, 1920 – October 31, 1993) was an Italian film director and scriptwriter. Known for a distinct style that blends fantasy and baroque images, he is considered one of the most influential filmmakers of the 20th century

Working as both screenwriter and assistant director on Rossellini’s Paisà (Paisan) in 1946, Fellini was entrusted to film the Sicilian scenes in Maiori.

In February 1948, he was introduced to Marcello Mastroianni, then a young theatre actor appearing in a play with Giulietta Masina


You exist only in what you do. FF

Fate is written in the face. FF

A major discovery for Fellini after his Italian neorealism period (1950–1959) was the work of Carl Jung. After meeting Jungian psychoanalyst Dr. Ernst Bernhard in early 1960, he read Jung’s autobiography, Memories, Dreams, Reflections (1963).

Bernhard also recommended that Fellini consult the I Ching and keep a record of his dreams. What Fellini formerly accepted as “his extrasensory perceptions” were now interpreted as psychic manifestations of the unconscious.

Bernhard’s focus on Jungian depth psychology proved to be the single greatest influence on Fellini’s mature style and marked the turning point in his work from neorealism to filmmaking that was “primarily oneiric”. As a consequence, Jung’s seminal ideas on the anima and the animus, the role of archetypes and the collective unconscious directly influenced such films as 8½ (1963), Juliet of the Spirits (1965), Satyricon (1969), Casanova (1976), and City of Women (1980).

If I’m a cruel satirist at least I’m not a hyprocrite: I never judge what other people do. Neither a politician nor a priest, I never censor what others do. Neither a philospher nor a psychiatrist, I never bother trying to analyze or resolve my fears and neuroses. FF



Other key influences on his work include Luis Buñuel, Charlie Chaplin, Sergei Eisenstein, Buster Keaton, Laurel and Hardy, the Marx Brothers, and Roberto Rossellini.

No critic writing about a film could say more than the film itself, although they do their best to make us think the oppposite. FF

The public has lost the habit of movie-going because the cinema no longer possesses the charm, the hypnotic charisma, the authority it once commanded. The image it once held for us all — that of a dream we dreamt with our eyes open — has disappeared. Is it still possible that one thousand people might group together in the dark and experience the dream that a single individual has directed? FF

Personal and highly idiosyncratic visions of society, Fellini’s films are a unique combination of memory, dreams, fantasy and desire. The adjectives “Fellinian” and “Felliniesque” are “synonymous with any kind of extravagant, fanciful, even baroque image in the cinema and in art in general”.

La Dolce Vita contributed the term paparazzi to the English language, derived from Paparazzo, the photographer friend of journalist Marcello Rubini (Marcello Mastroianni).

 

Contemporary filmmakers such as Tim Burton, Terry Gilliam, Emir Kusturica, and David Lynch, have cited Fellini’s influence on their work.

The young watch television twenty-four hours a day, they don’t read and they rarely listen. This incessant bombardment of images has developed a hypertrophied eye condition that’s turning them into a race of mutants. They should pass a law for a total reeducation of the young, making children visit the Galleria Borghese on a daily basis. FF

I think television has betrayed the meaning of democratic speech, adding visual chaos to the confusion of voices. What role does silence have in all this noise? FF

Money is everywhere but so is poetry. What we lack are the poets. FF

4 thoughts on “Fellinian Memories, Dreams, Fantasies and Desires

  1. Pingback: 8½ | filmstvandlife

  2. Pingback: Lo sceicco bianco (The White Sheik) | filmstvandlife

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