Federico Fellini

Delice Bette | October 13, 2022


Federico Fellini (Rimini, January 20, 1920 – Rome, October 31, 1993) was an Italian film director, screenwriter, cartoonist, actor and writer.

Considered one of the greatest directors in film history, he was active for forty years, from 1950 to 1990, making nineteen films in which he “portrayed” a small crowd of memorable characters. He called himself “a craftsman who has nothing to say, but knows how to say it.” He left behind works rich in satire and veiled in subtle melancholy, characterized by a dreamlike, visionary style. The titles of his most famous films – I vitelloni, La strada, Le notti di Cabiria, La dolce vita, 8½ and Amarcord – have become topoi quoted, in the original language, all over the world.

His films La strada, Le notti di Cabiria, 8½ and Amarcord won the Oscar for best foreign language film. Nominated 12 times for the Academy Award, he was awarded the Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1993. He also won the Moscow Film Festival twice (1963 and 1987), the Palme d”Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1960 and the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Film Festival in 1985.

Childhood and youth

Federico Fellini was born in Rimini, then located in the province of Forli (now a provincial capital), on January 20, 1920, into a family of petit-bourgeois extraction. His father, Urbano Fellini (1894-1956), was a representative of liquor, confectionery and groceries originally from Gambettola, a small town located a little more than 20 kilometers west of Rimini in the direction of Forlì, while his mother, Ida Barbiani (1896-1984), was a housewife originally from Rome”s Esquilino district. Fellini followed regular studies, attending the Ginnasio-Liceo Classico “Giulio Cesare” in Rimini from 1930 to 1938. As a teenager he already revealed his talent for drawing, which he manifested in the form of cartoons and caricatures of classmates and professors. Attentive to those around him, he often imitated their gestures.

His favorite cartoonist was the American Winsor McCay, inventor of the “Little Nemo” character. Inspired by the famous character, he had imaginatively constructed an invented world in his bedroom in which he imagined setting the stories he wanted to live and tell and see in the movies. To the four uprights of the bed he had given the names of the four cinemas of Rimini: from there, before falling asleep, his imaginative stories took shape. Fellini, from the age of sixteen, showed a great attraction to the cinema: in fact, in his book Four Films, he describes that, between the years 1936 and 1939, he would leave home without parental permission and enter cinemas in his town. At that age he was not yet thinking of being a filmmaker, but something between a writer and an illustrator.

Even before finishing school in 1938, Fellini sent his creations to newspapers. The prestigious “Domenica del Corriere” published about fifteen cartoons for him in the “Postcards of the Public” column (the first appeared in the February 6, 1938 issue). The Florentine political-satirical weekly “Il 420,” published by Nerbini, published him numerous cartoons and humorous columns until the end of 1939. At the beginning of the same year (January 4, 1939) Fellini moved to Rome on the pretext of attending university, actually to fulfill his desire to devote himself to the profession of journalism.

The beginnings

Fellini arrives in the capital followed by his mother Ida, who has relatives in the city, and his two brothers Riccardo and little Maddalena; he takes lodging in Via Albalonga 13, outside Porta San Giovanni (in the Appio-Latino district). He enrolls in the Faculty of Law. Young Fellini”s early experiences reveal that his professional goal was not so much to become a lawyer (he would never take an exam) as to take up journalism. In fact, Federico Fellini made his debut a few months after his arrival in Rome, in April 1939, in Marc”Aurelio, Italy”s leading satirical magazine, founded in 1931 and edited by Vito De Bellis. He collaborated as a satirical cartoonist, creator of numerous columns (including È permesso…?), cartoonist and author of the famous “Storielle di Federico,” becoming a leading signature of the fortnightly. His main reference at this stage is the satirical cartoonist and film illustrator Enrico De Seta.

Success in the Marc”Aurelio results in good earnings and unexpected job offers. Fellini becomes acquainted with characters already known at the time. He begins to write scripts and gags of his own. He collaborates on some films by Erminio Macario: Imputato, alzatevi! and Lo vedi come sei… lo vedi come sei? of 1939; Non me lo dire! and Il pirata sono io! of 1940; he writes the jokes for Aldo Fabrizi”s live shows, as part of a friendship established before his debut in show business.

Fellini and radio

In 1941 he was called to work with the Ente Italiano Audizioni Radiofoniche (EIAR), starting a brief season as a radio author. Although less well-known than his film work, Fellini”s radio activity is important because it marks his debut in show business, as well as the beginning of his artistic and emotional partnership with Giulietta Masina.

During these years Fellini signed about ninety scripts, including presentations of musical programs, radio magazines, up to the famous series of twenty-four radioscenes Cico e Pallina. Broadcast occasionally as part of the variety program Il terziglio between 1942 and 1943, the series centers on the adventures of two young newlyweds with a simple and pure soul.

The role of Cico is played by Angelo Zanobini, while Pallina is played by a young revue actress, Giulietta Masina, whom Fellini met in 1942 and who would become his inseparable companion and performer in his films. Also among the extensive radio production of these years are the revues written with Ruggero Maccari (including Vuoi sognare con me, in later years played by Paolo Poli, Riccardo Garrone, Gisella Sofio and Sandra Milo) and the touching Una lettera d”amore (1942), centered on two young illiterate fiancés who exchange love letters made of blank sheets of paper and foreshadowing the poetry of later film characters such as Gelsomina and Cabiria.

In July 1943 Giulietta introduces Federico to her parents. After Sept. 8, 1943, when Badoglio”s proclamation made public the armistice with the Allies, Fellini, instead of answering the draft call, gets married to her on Oct. 30. In the first months of their marriage they live together in the house of Giulietta”s aunt Giulia, from a wealthy family (her relatives owned the shoe factory “Di Varese” in Milan and Giulia was the widow of Eugenio Pasqualin, principal of the Liceo Tasso in the capital). Giulietta and Federico soon had a son, Pier Federico known as Federichino, who was born on March 22, 1945 and died just a month after his birth, on April 24.

First experiences as a screenwriter

Between 1942 and 1943 Fellini collaborated on the screenplay for the film Quarta pagina (directed by Nicola Manzari) and Mario Bonnard”s Avanti c”è posto… e Campo de” fiori. Immediately after the arrival of the Allied forces, he opened in 1944 in Rome with Enrico De Seta a store called “The funny face shop,” in which they painted caricatures for the Allied soldiers in a club on Via Nazionale, together with journalist Guglielmo Guasta and painters Carlo Ludovico Bompiani and Fernando Della Rocca. The project expands, and through this he has his first meeting with Roberto Rossellini, in 1945.

Thanks to Rossellini, Fellini collaborated on the screenplays for Roma città aperta and Paisà, films that opened, along with the works of other authors, especially Vittorio De Sica and Luchino Visconti, the season that would be defined as Italian cinematic Neorealism. In Paisà Fellini also filled the role of assistant on the set. It seems, moreover, that he shot, in Rossellini”s absence, some connecting scenes (he certainly directs a long shot of the sequence set on the Po). It was his baptism behind the camera. In 1946 Fellini met Tullio Pinelli, a writer for the theater from Turin. Soon a professional partnership was born: Fellini worked out ideas and schemes, Pinelli arranged them within a textual structure.

In the following years, Federico Fellini signed new screenplays. In 1948 a subject he made with Pinelli was staged: Il miracolo (The Miracle), one of the two episodes of L”amore, a film directed by Roberto Rossellini. In the episode Fellini is also an actor: he plays a vagabond who meets and seduces a naive shepherdess (Anna Magnani).

This was followed by screenplays for several films by Pietro Germi: In the Name of the Law (written with Pinelli, Monicelli, Germi and Giuseppe Mangione), Il cammino della speranza (with Germi and Pinelli), La città si difende (with Pinelli). Again, with Alberto Lattuada, he wrote the screenplay for Il delitto di Giovanni Episcopo, Senza pietà and Il mulino del Po.

First directing experience: Variety lights

In 1950 Fellini made his directorial debut with Luci del varietà, which he directed with Alberto Lattuada. In addition to directing, the two filmmakers also tried their hand as producers thanks to an agreement based on a cooperative formula. The subject of the film is a theme that will become a narrative topos of Fellini”s: the world of the avanspettacolo and its decadence. There is a hilarious and relaxed air on the set with Lattuada mainly directing the work but with an ever-present and active Fellini.

Although the film received positive reviews from critics, it did not receive the hoped-for commercial success, ranking as the sixty-fifth highest grossing Italian film during the 1950-51 season. The film”s poor financial outcome leaves a heavy mark on Fellini and Lattuada”s personal fortunes, which contributes to a final cooling of relations between the two.

Absolute debut as a director: The White Sheikh

Two years after Luci del varietà (Variety Lights), Fellini reaches his absolute debut as a director, with Lo sceicco bianco (The White Sheik), with Antonioni co-authoring the subject, Flaiano co-authoring the screenplay and a great performance by Alberto Sordi, an example of Fellini”s ability to enhance the actors most loved by the public. This is the pivotal moment in Fellini”s career: the moment when the activity of director takes over from that of screenwriter. Fellini”s management of filming takes place in a continuous revisiting of the screenplay with the enrichment of situations and the expansion of time. This way of operating will lead him to some disagreements with production manager Enzo Provenzale.

With this film, Fellini inaugurated-thanks in part to his collaboration with Ennio Flaiano-a new, whimsical, humorous style, a kind of magical, dreamlike realism, which, however, was not immediately appreciated. Moreover, more generally and referring also to the filmography following Lo sceicco bianco, Fellini”s style is defined as fantarealism.

Box office receipts prove to be a complete failure, a blow to Luigi Rovere”s production company. Although there are a few positive reviews-Callisto Cosulich calls it “the first Italian anarchist film”-the majority of critics panned it to the point of calling it “…a film so shoddy in terms of coarseness of taste, narrative deficiencies and conventionality of construction as to make it legitimate to question whether such a test of Fellini as director should be considered without appeal.”

The calves

The 1950s were characterized by profound changes in society and particularly in Italy as it moved toward industrialization. Fellini”s films made during this period were born out of this context. After Lo sceicco bianco (The White Sheik), the director made I vitelloni (The Vitelloni), which recounts the provincial life of a group of friends in Rimini. This time the film is enthusiastically received. At the Venice Film Festival, where it was presented on August 26, 1953, the work won the Silver Lion. Fellini”s fame expands abroad for the first time; in fact, the film is box-office champion in Argentina and is also successful in France, the United States and England.

It is 1953 and the Rimini director, in his early thirties, makes use of episodes and memories of his adolescence, full of characters destined to remain in the memory. The articulation of the film”s plot into large episodic blocks, experimented with here for the first time, will be a customary feature of many of his later films.

The film”s preparation and processing period goes smoothly, despite the production”s rather modest budget estimate. Although many parts of the screenplay have an autobiographical character, describing situations and characters from his childhood, the Rimini director prefers to detach himself from reality by inventing a fictitious town by mixing memories and fantasy, as he would do 20 years later with the Rimini of Amarcord.

Fellini”s collaboration on the episodic film designed by Cesare Zavattini, Riccardo Ghione and Marco Ferreri L”amore in città dates back to the same year: the episode directed by the Rimini director – Agenzia matrimoniale – is, according to many critics, the most successful. During the making of this short film, Fellini, availed himself for the first time of the collaboration of Gianni Di Venanzo as director of photography, whom he would later want to have for 8½ and Giulietta degli spiriti.

The Great Success: The Road

Great international success came for Fellini through the film La strada, made in 1954. The idea for the film comes around 1952 when Fellini is struggling with the editing of Lo sceicco bianco. For reasons strictly related to production, however, he is forced to delay the project and shoot I vitelloni and the episode Agenzia matrimoniale first, but in his head he already clearly has the idea that will lead him to the realization of his next work.

The writing of The Road takes place from some discussions with Tullio Pinelli about the adventures of a knight errant and then focuses on the circus and gypsy environment. Pinelli in this regard recalls:

The richly poetic film recounts the tender but also turbulent relationship between Gelsomina, played by Giulietta Masina, and Zampanò, played by Anthony Quinn, two oddball street performers who travel through Italy in the immediate postwar period.

The composition of the cast, which was joined by Richard Basehart as the Fool, was the subject of several discussions: in particular, the producers were not convinced of Masina”s participation, but had to surrender to Fellini”s stubbornness. Among the various auditions for the lead roles was that of Alberto Sordi, who, however, was not deemed suitable for the part. The negative outcome of the audition would freeze the relationship between the two artists for many years.

The making of the film was long and difficult. The budget was very limited, so much so that Anthony Quinn, accustomed to the splendor of Hollywood productions, had to adapt to a more “makeshift” treatment. The actor, however, understood the artistic depth of the film so well that in a 1990 letter he wrote to Frederick and Juliet, “For me you both remain the highest point of my life.” Among the various unforeseen events and incidents that slowed down the making of the film was the appearance in Fellini of the first symptoms of depression, which would lead him to have an uncontrollable mood.

The premiere of La strada takes place on September 6, 1954, in Venice. The film”s early reviews were part of a cultural clash with neorealist supporters of director Luchino Visconti, who presented the film Senso at the same time. Quite a different reception has the film outside Italian borders and in 1957 comes the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, instituted for the first time in that edition, for La strada.

Many critics have tried to analyze the film to look for autobiographical elements in Fellini, identifying him primarily with Zampanò and seeing in his relationship with Gelsomina a metaphor for marriage in the prefeminist era. A different key to interpretation is given by Masina herself, who identifies her husband in all three protagonists: Gelsomina is the Federico as a child who contemplates nature and talks to children, Zampanò”s wandering represents some of his most peculiar characteristics while the Fool is the Fellini director who declares “I would always like to make people laugh.”

The Dumpster and The Nights of Cabiria

After the success of La strada many producers competed for the director”s next film, but after reading the subject of Il bidone many backed out. The only one who agrees to produce it is Goffredo Lombardo of Titanus.

The idea for this screenplay came to Fellini from the stories of a gabbamondo he met in a trattoria in Ovindoli during the making of La strada. After discussing it with collaborators Pinelli and Flaiano, a search is made for the lead actor. After discarding many names, the American Broderick Crawford was chosen, joined by compatriot Richard Basehart (the “Matto” from La strada), Franco Fabrizi and Giulietta Masina. In this film Fellini will use the collaboration of Augusto Tretti, the “craziest director in Italian cinema,” as Fellini himself and Ennio Flaiano called him.

During the production, however, Fellini appears detached from the film, no longer feeling either the fun of I vitelloni or the taste of challenge of La strada. The end result appears to critics and audiences to be modest. The “premiere” takes place on September 9, 1955 in Venice after having been forced to edit in record time. The frosty reception he received at the Venice exhibition led the director to decide not to send any of his work to the Lido again until he presented, out of competition, Fellini Satyricon in 1969. The box office for Il bidone is rather disappointing, and even distribution abroad does not bring the hoped-for results. Some of the most hostile critics speak of “A misstep” or “It doesn”t work, but it”s not negligible.”

Success returns with the next film, Le notti di Cabiria, also an Oscar winner. Again, it stars Giulietta Masina, who was always very present in the Rimini director”s early films. The film concludes the trilogy set in the world of the humble and the marginalized.

Collaboration with Angelo Rizzoli, the years of La dolce vita

In the 1960s Fellini”s creative vein was expressed with all its energy, revolutionizing the aesthetic canons of cinema.

In 1960, La dolce vita was released: described by Fellini himself as a “Picassian” film (“composing a statue to break it with a hammer,” he had declared), the film-which abandoned traditional narrative patterns-was aroused a stir and controversy because, in addition to illustrating highly erotic situations, it described with a biting edge a certain moral decadence that clashed with the economic well-being now acquired by Italian society.

The initial producer of La dolce vita was Dino De Laurentiis, who had advanced 70 million lire. A rift occurred between the producer and Fellini, however, and the director had to look for another producer who would also repay De Laurentiis” advance. After several negotiations with different producers, the duo Angelo Rizzoli and Giuseppe Amato became the new producer of the film.

The relationship between Fellini and Rizzoli is calm and meetings between the two are cordial. The budget is overrun, albeit by a little: Kezich reports that according to official sources the film cost no more than 540 million, which was not an excessive amount for a production as demanding as La dolce vita.

Starring in the film, along with Marcello Mastroianni, was the Swedish Anita Ekberg, who would remain-with the scene of the bath in the Trevi Fountain-in the collective memory: Ekberg would be with Fellini again in 1962 in an episode of Boccaccio ”70, Le tentazioni del dottor Antonio, along with a hilarious Peppino De Filippo. The film was awarded the Palme d”Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

The consecration: 8½

Having finished work on Dr. Antonio”s Temptations, Fellini experiences a period of low inspiration. In his mind the idea of a new film begins to turn, but not with a specific subject. He met Chianciano Terme by chance because he had run out of fuel for his car and had to stop in this Tuscan town. After spending a rest at Chianciano Terme, he returned to Rome with an idea for a screenplay: a middle-aged man interrupts his life for a spa treatment and here, immersed in limbo, faces visits and memories. The choice of protagonist almost immediately falls on his friend Marcello Mastroianni. Between the two, the friendship is so intense that Fellini will eventually identify the actor as his cinematic alter ego.

Having thus found the protagonist everything seems ready to begin but a problem arises about which Fellini told no one: the film is gone, the idea he had in his head is gone. He will later recount that the more days passed the more he seemed to forget the film he wanted to make. When he is now determined to write a letter to communicate the defeat to the producer Angelo Rizzoli, Fellini is interrupted by a Cinecittà crew chief who calls him to celebrate a machinist”s birthday. Amidst the celebrations he gets good wishes for the new film, which by now he does not remember, but once he is sitting on a bench comes the flash of genius: the film will be about this very thing, about a director who wanted to make a film but no longer remembers which one, so that the protagonist, Guido Anselmi, becomes a projection of Fellini himself.

The film, shot in 1963, takes the title 8½, as this film comes after six films entirely directed by him, plus three “half” films, consisting of the “ideal” sum of three works co-directed with other directors (i.e., Luci del varietà, directed with Lattuada, the episode Agenzia Matrimoniale in L”amore in città and the episode Le tentazioni del dottor Antonio in Boccaccio ”70), and would later prove to be one of the director”s masterpieces. Awarded an Academy Award (along with Piero Gherardi”s Oscar for costumes), the film is considered one of the greatest in the history of cinema, so much so that it was listed by the British magazine Sight & Sound as 9th in the list of the most beautiful films ever made and 3rd in the list compiled by filmmakers.

The ultimate transition to color

In Giulietta degli spiriti, again with Masina (1965), Fellini adopts color for the first time in a feature film, in an expressionistic function (his first color work, however, is the 1962 episode Le tentazioni del dottor Antonio).

The filmmaking period is also marked by Fellini”s increased interest in the supernatural. He frequents many magicians and seers, and in particular Gustavo Adolfo Rol, a painter, bank executive and renowned psychic. Also from this period is his experiment with LSD for therapeutic purposes, as proposed by his psychoanalyst Emilio Servadio.

Critical reception for Juliet of the Spirits is rather lukewarm. The most negative comments were expressed in the terms vague, phony, hypertrophic, and inadequate. There is no shortage of praise, and a small but marginal minority also speaks of a masterpiece. The harshest judgment comes from the Catholic Film Center, which accuses it of an “unpleasant mixture that is made of the sacred and the profane.” Dissatisfaction with the results, which certainly did not meet expectations, will also create, a rift in the relationship between the director and Ennio Flaiano.

The next film, The Journey of G. Mastorna, already in the works, is not made. Fellini, 45, has to pay heavy penalties. He recovers at the end of the decade. The late 1960s and early 1970s are years of intense creative work.

Returning to the set, after completely renewing the technical and artistic team around him, he shot an episode of the film Three Steps in Delirium in 1968; the following year he made a documentary for television (Block-notes of a director), which was followed by the film Fellini Satyricon (1969), a free transposition of the work of the same name from first-century Latin literature, for which he was also nominated – not winning – for the Oscar for best director. It is again a great success; the problems of the previous years are definitely behind him.

Amarcord and other achievements

Fellini”s later production still follows a ternary rhythm: I clowns (shot for TV, 1970), Roma (1972) and Amarcord (1973) all focus on the theme of memory. The author seeks the origins of his own poetics by exploring the three cities of the soul: the Circus, the Capital and Rimini. The final film of the trio, Amarcord (“I remember” in Romagnolo dialect) won the Oscar. The news of the victory reached him in the early hours of April 9, 1975, while he was busy on the set of Casanova. Fellini decides not to go to collect the award, which will be presented to the producer.

In particular in Amarcord we find many autobiographical cues: in fact we can recognize in Titta, a young Fellini reminiscing about his adolescence, played by newcomer Bruno Zanin. Despite this, the director refuses to acknowledge any reference to his own life in the film, asserting that everything is a figment of his imagination. As in Vitelloni, there is not a single scene that is shot near the town of Romagna.

The latest work

After Casanova in 1976 it was the turn of Prova d”orchestra (1979), considered his most “political” film and matured during the so-called years of lead, and La città delle donne (1980). The latter is respectfully received by critics, describing it as “typically Fellini-esque,” a “catalog of directorial evolutions,” a “game with some gaps.” Presented out of competition at the XXXIII Cannes Film Festival, it received rather negative criticism instead.

In the 1980s, private TV stations became rampant in Italy. These broadcasters do not charge a fee to the public; in return, they broadcast programs peppered with advertisements. Even films are interrupted by commercials, arousing the disapproval of the Romagna director. Fellini coined the slogan you don”t interrupt an emotion, in order to elicit a similar reaction from the public. The last decade of Fellini”s activity is enriched by his last works: E la nave va (1983), Ginger and Fred (1986), Intervista (intended for TV, 1987), and the work of his farewell to cinema: La voce della luna (1990), loosely based on Ermanno Cavazzoni”s Il poema dei lunatici (The Poem of the Lunatics). During the making of the film all the press attention is directed to the curious choice of the two leads: Roberto Benigni and Paolo Villaggio. Critics initially astonished at the relative scripts will question the director several times as to why this choice was made, receiving the film rather lukewarmly. Fellini”s response was not long in coming: “Benigni and Villaggio are two ignored and neglected assets. Ignoring their potential seems to me one of the many faults that can be blamed on our producers.”

The film, reconsidered over time for its value, “is a kind of invocation to silence, against the din of contemporary life. “Set in a rural, nocturnal context, the work stands “as a eulogy of madness and a satire on the vulgarity of today”s Berlusconi civilization.” Presented out of competition at the Cannes Film Festival, it saw the prodding of directors such as Woody Allen and Martin Scorsese in having the film distributed on American soil as well.

In 1992, after a period of inactivity, he returned behind the camera to direct three short films in the form of commercials, entitled Il sogno (The Dream), for Banca di Roma. On this occasion he will return to work with Paolo Villaggio.

The last year: 1993

On March 29, 1993, Fellini receives an honorary Oscar from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences “in recognition of his cinematic merits that have thrilled and delighted world audiences.” In June, the director undergoes three surgeries in Zurich to reduce an abdominal aortic aneurysm. However, there will be thrombo-ischemic complications, and on August 3 he is found lying on the floor in his room at the Grand Hotel in Rimini and rushed to the hospital: he suffered a right cerebral stroke with a left hemiparesis and will remain in a reserved prognosis for a week. On the 20th he was transferred to the San Giorgio Rehabilitation Center in Ferrara. Ten days later Giulietta Masina is also admitted to the Columbus clinic in Rome where she will remain until Sept. 28 and thus away from her beloved Federico. It is not until October 9 that Fellini, still ill, will leave the San Giorgio in a wheelchair to move to the Policlinico Umberto I in Rome. First, however, in the capital he stops for an hour at his home at 113 Via Margutta, where there is a large crowd of friends and ordinary people to greet him. Meanwhile, on October 4, producer Leo Pescarolo announced that Fellini by spring 1994 would be able to direct the new film the Rimini native was working on: Block notes by a director: actor.

On October 17, Fellini treated himself to a Sunday lunch outside the hospital. In the afternoon, due to dysphagia induced by his previous strokes, a mozzarella cheese fragment obstructs his trachea, causing severe hypoxia that is followed by permanent brain damage. Fellini therefore returns to the reanimation ward of Rome”s Umberto I hospital in a coma. On Oct. 21, ANSA publishes an unauthorized photo of the intubated director that will fuel a controversy over the appropriateness of its disclosure. All newspapers will choose not to publish the photo, while the director”s sister, Maddalena, will file a lawsuit against unknown persons for violation of privacy and damage to the director”s image.

On October 27, the director deteriorated further, and the next day the encephalogram became flat.

Fellini died at 12 noon on October 31, 1993, at the age of 73. The day before, he had celebrated 50 years of marriage to Giulietta Masina. Ella would die a few months later.

The state funeral is celebrated by Cardinal Achille Silvestrini at the basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri in Rome”s Piazza della Repubblica. At Giulietta Masina”s request, trumpeter Mauro Maur performs Nino Rota”s Improvviso dell”Angelo. After the final farewell, his wife Giulietta Masina also dies, five months after her husband.

His remains rest beside his wife and those of his son Federichino, who died shortly after his birth, in the Rimini cemetery: towering over the burial site is a sculpture by Arnaldo Pomodoro entitled Le Vele, inspired by the film E la nave va.

Rimini International Airport is named after Fellini. The air terminal”s logo features a caricature of the director, in profile, wearing a black hat and red scarf. It is the work of Ettore Scola, who is also the logo of the Rimini-based “Fellini Foundation.”

After his death, all the streets that lead out onto the Rimini waterfront were renamed with the names of his films and “adorned” with signs with relevant posters and descriptions.

The town of Nova Siri, in the province of Matera, also dedicated all the streets along the waterfront to his works.

In 2014 the pine forest in Fregene was named after the master from Rimini.

There are numerous subjects that Fellini thought of turning into films but which remained on paper or, even, only in his imagination.

The most famous of these is Il viaggio di G. Mastorna, an accomplished Fellini script, to which Dino Buzzati also collaborated. In 1966 filming began in the countryside adjacent to Cinecittà, a few scenes were shot but due to tormented events the film never reached its conclusion. The definition Vincenzo Mollica gave of The Journey of G. Mastorna remains famous: “the most famous unrealized film in the world.” Years later, in 1992, Fellini decided to return to the project, deciding to shoot The Mastorna with actor Paolo Villaggio, but once again abandoned the intention when, the magician and psychic Gustavo Rol announced to him that if he made the film he would die. Struck by that prediction, Fellini sought other avenues, finding the interest of cartoonist Milo Manara who translated, with the tools of India ink and ink, the filmmaker”s own storyboard, choosing, as the protagonist, the face of Villaggio. The comic book release of Mastorna was planned in three installments, but due to a printing error, the words “End” appeared in the first one and the director, out of superstition, decided not to continue.

Trip to Tulum is a subject

In 1988 he decided to make a film entitled Venice, about the lagoon city, but for unknown reasons it was never made.

In 1989, during the filming of The Voice of the Moon, he resumed the idea, born in the 1960s, of making a film about Pinocchio. He chose Roberto Benigni and Paolo Villaggio, already engaged on the set of the film he was directing, for the roles of Pinocchio and Geppetto, respectively, but it was not made because of his death.

Federico Fellini was a professional cartoonist and until 1948 accompanied his work as a screenwriter with that of a cartoonist. As a director, he routinely drew the scenes of his films. Collaborating in the development of the storyboard, as well as in the conception of types and situations, were surrealist artist Roland Topor and Australian painter Albert Ceen, one of the animators of the “dolce vita.”

When his activity as a director became more sparse he also conceived, for drawings by Milo Manara, two comic strips, Viaggio a Tulum and Il viaggio di G. Mastorna, aka Fernet. Viaggio a Tulum was born from the script of almost the same name, Viaggio a Tulun. The comic strip would be published, starting in 1989, in the comic strip magazine Corto Maltese. Viaggio di G. Mastorna aka Fernet was born from an accomplished Fellini script and saw the light of day in 1992 in the pages of Il Grifo magazine.

On September 1, 1991, the weekly Topolino (booklet) magazine published a comic strip version of his film La strada, written by Massimo Marconi and drawn by Giorgio Cavazzano, in its issue 1866.

Often declaring himself disinterested in politics, the only politician with whom he had an epistolary relationship was Giulio Andreotti. Fellini seldom expressed his political views during his life and never showed interest in the politically engaged films that, at the turn of the 1960s and 1970s, pressed overwhelmingly in Italy. In the 1990s, however, he directed two election commercials: one for the Christian Democrats and another for the Italian Republican Party.

His own family, moreover, was of the republican faith, although he himself, on the very few occasions when he found himself publicly taking a political position, always did so in favor of the Italian Socialist Party (in fact, he followed in person, sitting in the front row, its congress on unification with the PSDI wanted by their respective secretaries Nenni and Saragat in 1966). This closeness to the PSI, and more generally to the world of the moderate and reformist left, was discreetly maintained by the director throughout his life, even going so far as to express a favorable opinion of Bettino Craxi.

Fellini was very interested in magic and esotericism and frequented the home of psychic Gustavo Rol, from whom he often took advice.


For his films, Fellini, enlisted the support of several cinematographers:

Beginning in 2010, the Bari International Film Festival awards an award entitled Fellini 8½ for artistic excellence.

Since 2020, every January 20, World Italian Cinema Day has been established in honor of Federico Fellini”s birth date.

The Federico Fellini Foundation and the Experimental Center of Cinematography have published BiblioFellini: a three-volume work edited by Marco Bertozzi with the collaboration of Giuseppe Ricci and Simone Casavecchia.


  1. Federico Fellini
  2. Federico Fellini
  3. ^ Fellini & Pettigrew 2003, p. 87. Buñuel is the auteur I feel closest to in terms of an idea of cinema or the tendency to make particular kinds of films.
  4. ^ Ramacci.
  5. ^ «Giulio Cesare», su liceocesarevalgimigli.it. URL consultato il 24 gennaio 2012 (archiviato dall”url originale il 27 dicembre 2011).
  6. ^ Pier Mario Fasanotti, Tra il Po, il monte e la marina. I romagnoli da Artusi a Fellini, Neri Pozza, Vicenza, 2017, pp. 251-273.
  7. a b Integrált katalógustár. (Hozzáférés: 2014. április 9.)
  8. a b Nagy szovjet enciklopédia (1969–1978), Феллини Федерико, 2015. szeptember 28.
  9. a b SNAC (angol nyelven). (Hozzáférés: 2017. október 9.)
  10. Integrált katalógustár. (Hozzáférés: 2014. december 10.)
  11. a b Archivio Storico Ricordi. (Hozzáférés: 2020. december 3.)
  12. vgl. Chandler, S. 388.
  13. a b c Chandler, S. 388.
  14. American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Book of Members (PDF). Abgerufen am 2. April 2016
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