Federico Fellini
Director, screenwriter
Federico Fellini
Federico Fellini, 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, and is widely revered. He won five Academy Awards and was nominated for 12 in a career that spanned over forty years.
Biography
Federico Fellini's personal information overview.
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News
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Cousins' film odyssey dubbed the next Civilisation - Scotsman
Google News - over 5 years
The series also secured exclusive an interview with Claudia Cardinale, who talks about Federico Fellini, and with Bernardo Bertolucci who explains the work of Pier Paolo Pasolini, the Italian director. As Cousins explained: "The Story Of Film has been
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Sir David Hare: 'I love to make jam... Plum is the best' - Daily Mail
Google News - over 5 years
Federico Fellini's 8½ from 1963. It's about a director who knows he will never be able to catch the impossible richness of his memories on film. I always cry throughout. My university tutor Raymond Williams. By example, he taught me culture is not the
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Things To Do In Dallas Tonight: Aug. 24 - D Magazine
Google News - over 5 years
They're screening Federico Fellini's 8 1/2, a great film about filmmaking that, like most good movies, I discovered late. More New York nostalgia ahead: the little video store near my apartment on Mulberry Street (I know, how quaint— it's closed now)
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The Style List: The scene-stealing style of a Fellini femme fatale - Toronto Star
Google News - over 5 years
Drama, decadence, glamour – the bombshell beauties that Federico Fellini cast in leading roles sparked a lasting frenzy for classic superstar style: tantalizing black gowns, omnipresent sunglasses and, of course, sex appeal. It's no wonder the current
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Woody Allen puts real-life paparazzi under the spotlight - The Guardian
Google News - over 5 years
... as they cruised cobbled streets on their Vespas, Rome's celebrity snapping photographers summed up the city's Dolce Vita in the 1950s, securing a starring role in Federico Fellini's film of the same name and gifting the world the term paparazzo
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Deepa Mehta's red light special - National Post (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Deepa Mehta still remembers the masterful La Strada, the first Federico Fellini film she ever saw. At the time, the Indian-born director was attending university in New Delhi, where she had begun dropping in at a local venue that screened international
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Michael Chow, celebrity restaurateur, reveals how he suffered racist bullying - Telegraph.co.uk
Google News - over 5 years
The Shanghai-born 72-year-old has seen his Knightsbridge, Beverly Hills, New York and Miami restaurants patronised by everyone from the Beatles to Andy Warhol, via Ingrid Bergman and Federico Fellini. Yet he tells The Sunday Telegraph's
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Leo Kirch, Media Giant In Germany, Dies at 84
NYTimes - over 5 years
Leo Kirch, who built one of the biggest German media empires from scratch before losing it all in a bankruptcy, died on Thursday in Munich. He was 84. A statement by his family did not disclose the cause of his death, but Mr. Kirch had suffered from diabetes for years. At the height of his success in the late 1990s, Mr. Kirch headed Germany's
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On Location: Woody Allen embarks on a Roman adventure - Los Angeles Times
Google News - over 5 years
Film officials in Rome are hoping Allen will make the city, famously depicted in Federico Fellini's “La Dolce Vita,” a character in the film during the two-month shoot. “Allen is a director who has, perhaps more than others, created a particular
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TIFF Lightbox fetes Fellini's spectacular obsessions - blogTO (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
With Spectacular Obsessions, TIFF's new tribute to master auteur Federico Fellini, Lightbox Artistic Director Noah Cowan has fused the organization's most beloved facets into a single, splendidly mounted exhibition. Renowned both for its efforts to
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Screening of films by Satyajit Ray - Express Buzz
Google News - over 5 years
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Federico Fellini's film 'Roma', a virtually plotless autobiographical tribute to Rome, Italy, featuring narration by Fellini himself, will be screened in the city on Sunday. The classic film, a mixture of real-life footage and
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Inside Fellini's mind - NOW Toronto
Google News - over 5 years
How to encapsulate a director like Federico Fellini? This giant of 20th century cinema had an enormous range of interests and appetites. This exhibit succeeds in charting the many facets of a director as enigmatic as he was excessive,
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Fellini glamour hits Toronto - TheChronicleHerald.ca
Google News - over 5 years
TORONTO — The enduring influence of late Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini hits you before you even walk into a new Toronto exhibition on his life. A wall adorned with motion-sensor flashbulbs and life-size,
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Fellini exhibit probes celebrity, paparazzi culture - CBC.ca
Google News - over 5 years
The Swedish actress shocked the public with her racy behaviour, manipulated the press into following her every move and, perhaps most importantly, inspired Federico Fellini, who cast her in his 1960 classic La Dolce Vita. ... -
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Federico Fellini's The Clowns Heading to Blu-ray - Blu-ray.com
Google News - over 5 years
An early announcement to retailers indicates that independent label RaroVideo US will release on Blu-ray legendary Italian director Federico Fellini's I clowns aka The Clowns (1970). The release, which will be the label's first Blu-ray release and will
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Federico Fellini
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 1993
    Age 73
    In April 1993 Fellini received his fifth Oscar, for lifetime achievement, "in recognition of his cinematic accomplishments that have thrilled and entertained audiences worldwide".
    More Details Hide Details On 16 June, he entered the Cantonal Hospital in Zurich for an angioplasty on his femoral artery but suffered a stroke at the Grand Hotel in Rimini two months later. Partially paralyzed, he was first transferred to Ferrara for rehabilitation and then to the Policlinico Umberto I in Rome to be near his wife, also hospitalized. He suffered a second stroke and fell into an irreversible coma. Fellini died in Rome on 31 October at the age of 73, a day after his fiftieth wedding anniversary. The memorial service was held in Studio 5 at Cinecittà attended by an estimated 70,000 people. At the request of Giulietta Masina, trumpeter Mauro Maur played the "Improvviso dell'Angelo" by Nino Rota during the funeral ceremony. Five months later on 23 March 1994, Giulietta Masina died of lung cancer. Fellini, Masina and their son Pierfederico are buried in a bronze sepulchre sculpted by Arnaldo Pomodoro. Designed as a ship's prow, the tomb is located at the main entrance to the Cemetery of Rimini. The Federico Fellini Airport in Rimini is named in his honour.
    In 1993, he was awarded an honorary Oscar for Lifetime Achievement at the 65th Annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles.
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  • 1991
    Age 71
    In July 1991 and April 1992, Fellini worked in close collaboration with Canadian filmmaker Damian Pettigrew to establish "the longest and most detailed conversations ever recorded on film".
    More Details Hide Details Described as the "Maestro's spiritual testament” by his biographer Tullio Kezich, excerpts culled from the conversations later served as the basis of their feature documentary, Fellini: I'm a Born Liar (2002) and the book, I'm a Born Liar: A Fellini Lexicon. Finding it increasingly difficult to secure financing for feature films, Fellini developed a suite of television projects whose titles reflect their subjects: Attore, Napoli, L’Inferno, L’opera lirica, and L’America.
  • 1990
    Age 70
    Fellini won the Praemium Imperiale, the equivalent of the Nobel Prize in the visual arts, awarded by the Japan Art Association in 1990.
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  • 1989
    Age 69
    In early 1989 Fellini began production on The Voice of the Moon, based on Ermanno Cavazzoni’s novel, Il poema dei lunatici (The Lunatics' Poem).
    More Details Hide Details A small town was built at Empire Studios on the via Pontina outside Rome. Starring Roberto Benigni as Ivo Salvini, a madcap poetic figure newly released from a mental institution, the character is a combination of La Stradas Gelsomina, Pinocchio, and Italian poet Giacomo Leopardi. Fellini improvised as he filmed, using as a guide a rough treatment written with Pinelli. Despite its modest critical and commercial success in Italy, and its warm reception by French critics, it failed to interest North American distributors.
  • 1986
    Age 66
    When Castaneda inexplicably disappeared and the project fell through, Fellini’s mystico-shamanic adventures were scripted with Pinelli and serialized in Corriere della Sera in May 1986.
    More Details Hide Details A barely veiled satirical interpretation of Castaneda's work, Viaggio a Tulun was published in 1989 as a graphic novel with artwork by Milo Manara and as Trip to Tulum in America in 1990. For Intervista, produced by Ibrahim Moussa and RAI Television, Fellini intercut memories of the first time he visited Cinecittà in 1939 with present-day footage of himself at work on a screen adaptation of Franz Kafka’s Amerika. A meditation on the nature of memory and film production, it won the special 40th Anniversary Prize at Cannes and the 15th Moscow International Film Festival Golden Prize. In Brussels later that year, a panel of thirty professionals from eighteen European countries named Fellini the world’s best director and 8½ the best European film of all time.
  • 1985
    Age 65
    Producer Alberto Grimaldi, prepared to buy film rights to all of Castaneda’s work, then paid for pre-production research taking Fellini and his entourage from Rome to Los Angeles and the jungles of Mexico in October 1985.
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  • 1984
    Age 64
    After first meeting Castaneda in Rome in October 1984, Fellini drafted a treatment with Pinelli titled Viaggio a Tulun.
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  • 1982
    Age 62
    Organized by his publisher Diogenes Verlag in 1982, the first major exhibition of 63 drawings by Fellini was held in Paris, Brussels, and the Pierre Matisse Gallery in New York.
    More Details Hide Details A gifted caricaturist, much of the inspiration for his sketches was derived from his own dreams while the films-in-progress both originated from and stimulated drawings for characters, decor, costumes and set designs. Under the title, I disegni di Fellini (Fellini’s Designs), he published 350 drawings executed in pencil, watercolours, and felt pens. On 6 September 1985 Fellini was awarded the Golden Lion for lifetime achievement at the 42nd Venice Film Festival. That same year, he became the first non-American to receive the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s annual award for cinematic achievement. Long fascinated by Carlos Castaneda’s The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge, Fellini accompanied the Peruvian author on a journey to the Yucatán to assess the feasibility of a film.
  • FIFTIES
  • 1973
    Age 53
    Over a period of six months between January and June 1973, Fellini shot the Oscar-winning Amarcord.
    More Details Hide Details Loosely based on the director’s 1968 autobiographical essay My Rimini, the film depicts the adolescent Titta and his friends working out their sexual frustrations against the religious and Fascist backdrop of a provincial town in Italy during the 1930s. Produced by Franco Cristaldi, the seriocomic movie became Fellini’s second biggest commercial success after La Dolce Vita. Circular in form, Amarcord avoids plot and linear narrative in a way similar to The Clowns and Roma. The director's overriding concern with developing a poetic form of cinema was first outlined in a 1965 interview he gave to The New Yorker journalist Lillian Ross: "I am trying to free my work from certain constrictions – a story with a beginning, a development, an ending. It should be more like a poem with metre and cadence."
  • 1971
    Age 51
    In March 1971, Fellini began production on Roma, a seemingly random collection of episodes informed by the director's memories and impressions of Rome.
    More Details Hide Details The "diverse sequences," writes Fellini scholar Peter Bondanella, "are held together only by the fact that they all ultimately originate from the director’s fertile imagination." The film’s opening scene anticipates Amarcord while its most surreal sequence involves an ecclesiastical fashion show in which nuns and priests roller skate past shipwrecks of cobwebbed skeletons.
  • FORTIES
  • 1970
    Age 50
    To help promote Satyricon in the United States, Fellini flew to Los Angeles in January 1970 for interviews with Dick Cavett and David Frost.
    More Details Hide Details He also met with film director Paul Mazursky who wanted to star him alongside Donald Sutherland in his new film, Alex in Wonderland. In February, Fellini scouted locations in Paris for The Clowns, a docufiction both for cinema and television, based on his childhood memories of the circus and a "coherent theory of clowning." As he saw it, the clown "was always the caricature of a well-established, ordered, peaceful society. But today all is temporary, disordered, grotesque. Who can still laugh at clowns? All the world plays a clown now."
  • 1964
    Age 44
    In 1964, Fellini took LSD under the supervision of Emilio Servadio, his psychoanalyst during the 1954 production of La Strada.
    More Details Hide Details For years reserved about what actually occurred that Sunday afternoon, he admitted in 1992 that objects and their functions no longer had any significance. All I perceived was perception itself, the hell of forms and figures devoid of human emotion and detached from the reality of my unreal environment. I was an instrument in a virtual world that constantly renewed its own meaningless image in a living world that was itself perceived outside of nature. And since the appearance of things was no longer definitive but limitless, this paradisiacal awareness freed me from the reality external to my self. The fire and the rose, as it were, became one. Fellini's hallucinatory insights were given full flower in his first colour feature Juliet of the Spirits (1965), depicting Giulietta Masina as Juliet, a housewife who rightly suspects her husband's infidelity and succumbs to the voices of spirits summoned during a séance at her home. Her sexually voracious next door neighbor Suzy (Sandra Milo) introduces Juliet to a world of uninhibited sensuality but Juliet is haunted by childhood memories of her Catholic guilt and a teenaged friend who committed suicide. Complex and filled with psychological symbolism, the film is set to a jaunty score by Nino Rota.
    Savaged by critics at the 16th Venice International Film Festival, the film did miserable box office and did not receive international distribution until 1964.
    More Details Hide Details During the autumn, Fellini researched and developed a treatment based on a film adaptation of Mario Tobino’s novel, The Free Women of Magliano. Located in a mental institution for women, financial backers considered the subject had no potential and the project was abandoned.
  • 1963
    Age 43
    Increasingly attracted to parapsychology, Fellini met the Turin magician Gustavo Rol in 1963.
    More Details Hide Details Rol, a former banker, introduced him to the world of Spiritism and séances.
  • 1962
    Age 42
    Giving the order to start production in spring 1962, Fellini signed deals with his producer Rizzoli, fixed dates, had sets constructed, cast Mastroianni, Anouk Aimée, and Sandra Milo in lead roles, and did screen tests at the Scalera Studios in Rome.
    More Details Hide Details He hired cinematographer Gianni Di Venanzo, among key personnel. But apart from naming his hero Guido Anselmi, he still couldn't decide what his character did for a living. The crisis came to a head in April when, sitting in his Cinecittà office, he began a letter to Rizzoli confessing he had "lost his film" and had to abandon the project. Interrupted by the chief machinist requesting he celebrate the launch of 8½, Fellini put aside the letter and went on the set. Raising a toast to the crew, he "felt overwhelmed by shame… I was in a no exit situation. I was a director who wanted to make a film he no longer remembers. And lo and behold, at that very moment everything fell into place. I got straight to the heart of the film. I would narrate everything that had been happening to me. I would make a film telling the story of a director who no longer knows what film he wanted to make".
  • THIRTIES
  • 1960
    Age 40
    In an October 1960 letter to his colleague Brunello Rondi, Fellini first outlined his film ideas about a man suffering creative block: "Well then - a guy (a writer? any kind of professional man? a theatrical producer?) has to interrupt the usual rhythm of his life for two weeks because of a not-too-serious disease.
    More Details Hide Details It’s a warning bell: something is blocking up his system." Unclear about the script, its title, and his protagonist’s profession, he scouted locations throughout Italy “looking for the film” in the hope of resolving his confusion. Flaiano suggested La bella confusione (literally The Beautiful Confusion) as the movie’s title. Under pressure from his producers, Fellini finally settled on 8½, a self-referential title referring principally (but not exclusively) to the number of films he had directed up to that time.
    Exploiting La Dolce Vita’s success, financier Angelo Rizzoli set up Federiz in 1960, an independent film company, for Fellini and production manager Clemente Fracassi to discover and produce new talent.
    More Details Hide Details Despite the best intentions, their overcautious editorial and business skills forced the company to close down soon after cancelling Pasolini’s project, Accattone (1961). Condemned as a "public sinner" for La Dolce Vita, Fellini responded with The Temptations of Doctor Antonio, a segment in the omnibus Boccaccio '70. His first colour film, it was the sole project green-lighted at Federiz. Infused with the surrealistic satire that characterized the young Fellini’s work at Marc’Aurelio, the film ridiculed a crusader against vice, interpreted by Peppino De Filippo, who goes insane trying to censor a billboard of Anita Ekberg espousing the virtues of milk.
    After meeting Jungian psychoanalyst Dr. Ernst Bernhard in early 1960, he read Jung's autobiography, Memories, Dreams, Reflections (1963).
    More Details Hide Details 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), Fellini Satyricon (1969), Casanova (1976), and City of Women (1980). Other key influences on his work include Luis Buñuel, Charlie Chaplin, Sergei Eisenstein, Buster Keaton, Laurel and Hardy, the Marx Brothers, and Roberto Rossellini.
    At an exclusive Milan screening on 5 February 1960, one outraged patron spat on Fellini while others hurled insults.
    More Details Hide Details Denounced in parliament by right-wing conservatives, undersecretary Domenico Magrì of the Christian Democrats demanded tolerance for the film’s controversial themes. The Vatican's official press organ, l'Osservatore Romano, lobbied for censorship while the Board of Roman Parish Priests and the Genealogical Board of Italian Nobility attacked the film. In one documented instance involving favourable reviews written by the Jesuits of San Fedele, defending La Dolce Vita had severe consequences. In competition at Cannes alongside Antonioni’s L’Avventura, the film won the Palme d'Or awarded by presiding juror Georges Simenon. The Belgian writer was promptly “hissed at” by the disapproving festival crowd. A major discovery for Fellini after his Italian neorealism period (1950–1959) was the work of Carl Jung.
  • 1956
    Age 36
    The statue of Christ flown by helicopter over Rome to Saint Peter's Square was inspired by an actual media event on 1 May 1956, which Fellini had witnessed.
    More Details Hide Details The film wrapped August 15 on a deserted beach at Passo Oscuro with a bloated mutant fish designed by Piero Gherardi. La Dolce Vita broke all box office records. Despite scalpers selling tickets at 1000 lire, crowds queued in line for hours to see an “immoral movie” before the censors banned it.
    While preparing Nights of Cabiria in spring 1956, Fellini learned of his father’s death by cardiac arrest at the age of sixty-two.
    More Details Hide Details Produced by Dino De Laurentiis and starring Giulietta Masina, the film took its inspiration from news reports of a woman’s severed head retrieved in a lake and stories by Wanda, a shantytown prostitute Fellini met on the set of Il Bidone. Pier Paolo Pasolini was hired to translate Flaiano and Pinelli’s dialogue into Roman dialect and to supervise researches in the vice-afflicted suburbs of Rome. The movie won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 30th Academy Awards and brought Masina the Best Actress Award at Cannes for her performance. With Pinelli, he developed Journey with Anita for Sophia Loren and Gregory Peck. An "invention born out of intimate truth", the script was based on Fellini's return to Rimini with a mistress to attend his father's funeral. Due to Loren’s unavailability, the project was shelved and resurrected twenty-five years later as Lovers and Liars (1981), a comedy directed by Mario Monicelli with Goldie Hawn and Giancarlo Giannini. For Eduardo De Filippo, he co-wrote the script of Fortunella, tailoring the lead role to accommodate Masina’s particular sensibility.
  • 1952
    Age 32
    Fellini directed La Strada based on a script completed in 1952 with Pinelli and Flaiano.
    More Details Hide Details During the last three weeks of shooting, Fellini experienced the first signs of severe clinical depression. Aided by his wife, he undertook a brief period of therapy with Freudian psychoanalyst Emilio Servadio. Fellini cast American actor Broderick Crawford to interpret the role of an aging swindler in Il Bidone. Based partly on stories told to him by a petty thief during production of La Strada, Fellini developed the script into a con man’s slow descent towards a solitary death. To incarnate the role’s "intense, tragic face", Fellini’s first choice had been Humphrey Bogart but after learning of the actor’s lung cancer, chose Crawford after seeing his face on the theatrical poster of All the King’s Men (1949). The film shoot was wrought with difficulties stemming from Crawford’s alcoholism.
  • 1951
    Age 31
    After travelling to Paris for a script conference with Rossellini on Europa '51, Fellini began production on The White Sheik in September 1951, his first solo-directed feature.
    More Details Hide Details Starring Alberto Sordi in the title role, the film is a revised version of a treatment first written by Michelangelo Antonioni in 1949 and based on the fotoromanzi, the photographed cartoon strip romances popular in Italy at the time. Producer Carlo Ponti commissioned Fellini and Tullio Pinelli to write the script but Antonioni rejected the story they developed. With Ennio Flaiano, they re-worked the material into a light-hearted satire about newlywed couple Ivan and Wanda Cavalli (Leopoldo Trieste, Brunella Bovo) in Rome to visit the Pope. Ivan’s prissy mask of respectability is soon demolished by his wife’s obsession with the White Sheik. Highlighting the music of Nino Rota, the film was selected at Cannes (among the films in competition was Orson Welles’s Othello) and then retracted. Screened at the 13th Venice International Film Festival, it was razzed by critics in "the atmosphere of a soccer match”. One reviewer declared that Fellini had “not the slightest aptitude for cinema direction".
  • TWENTIES
  • 1950
    Age 30
    In February 1950, Paisà received an Oscar nomination for the screenplay by Rossellini, Sergio Amidei, and Fellini.
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    In 1950 Fellini co-produced and co-directed with Alberto Lattuada Variety Lights (Luci del varietà), his first feature film.
    More Details Hide Details A backstage comedy set among the world of small-time travelling performers, it featured Giulietta Masina and Lattuada’s wife, Carla del Poggio. Its release to poor reviews and limited distribution proved disastrous for all concerned. The production company went bankrupt, leaving both Fellini and Lattuada with debts to pay for over a decade.
  • 1948
    Age 28
    In February 1948, he was introduced to Marcello Mastroianni, then a young theatre actor appearing in a play with Giulietta Masina.
    More Details Hide Details Establishing a close working relationship with Alberto Lattuada, Fellini co-wrote the director’s Senza pietà (Without Pity) and Il mulino del Po (The Mill on the Po). Fellini also worked with Rossellini on the anthology film L'Amore (1948), co-writing the screenplay and in one segment titled, "The Miracle", acting opposite Anna Magnani. To play the role of a vagabond rogue mistaken by Magnani for a saint, Fellini had to bleach his black hair blond.
  • 1947
    Age 27
    In 1947, Fellini and Sergio Amidei received an Oscar nomination for the screenplay of Rome, Open City.
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  • 1946
    Age 26
    Working as both screenwriter and assistant director on Rossellini’s Paisà (Paisan) in 1946, Fellini was entrusted to film the Sicilian scenes in Maiori.
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  • 1944
    Age 24
    Aware of Fellini’s reputation as Aldo Fabrizi’s “creative muse”, Rossellini also requested he try to convince the actor to play the role of Father Giuseppe Morosini, the parish priest executed by the SS on 4 April 1944.
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    After the Allied liberation of Rome on 4 June 1944, Fellini and Enrico De Seta opened the Funny Face Shop where they survived the postwar recession drawing caricatures of American soldiers.
    More Details Hide Details He became involved with Italian Neorealism when Roberto Rossellini, at work on Stories of Yesteryear (later Rome, Open City), met Fellini in his shop proposing he contribute gags and dialogue for the script.
  • 1943
    Age 23
    The apolitical Fellini was finally freed of the draft when an Allied air raid over Bologna destroyed his medical records. Fellini and Giulietta hid in her aunt’s apartment until Mussolini's fall on 25 July 1943. After dating for nine months, the couple were married on 30 October 1943.
    More Details Hide Details Several months later, Masina fell down the stairs and suffered a miscarriage. She gave birth to a son, Pierfederico, on 22 March 1945, but the child died of encephalitis a month later on 24 April 1945. The tragedy had enduring emotional and artistic repercussions.
  • 1942
    Age 22
    In November 1942, Fellini was sent to Libya, occupied by Fascist Italy, to work on the screenplay of I cavalieri del deserto (Knights of the Desert, 1942), directed by Osvaldo Valenti and Gino Talamo.
    More Details Hide Details Fellini welcomed the assignment as it allowed him "to secure another extension on his draft order". Responsible for emergency re-writing, he also directed the film's first scenes. When Tripoli fell under siege by British forces, he and his colleagues made a narrow escape by boarding a German military plane flying to Sicily. His African adventure, later published in Marc’Aurelio as "The First Flight", marked “the emergence of a new Fellini, no longer just a screenwriter, working and sketching at his desk, but a filmmaker out in the field”.
    Writing for radio while attempting to avoid the draft, Fellini met his future wife Giulietta Masina in a studio office at the Italian public radio broadcaster EIAR in the autumn of 1942.
    More Details Hide Details Well-paid as the voice of Pallina in Fellini's radio serial, Cico and Pallina, Masina was also well known for her musical-comedy broadcasts which cheered an audience depressed by the war.
  • 1941
    Age 21
    In 1941 he published Il mio amico Pasqualino, a 74-page booklet in ten chapters describing the absurd adventures of Pasqualino, an alter ego.
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  • TEENAGE
  • 1940
    Age 20
    In the wake of Mussolini’s declaration of war against France and England on 10 June 1940, Fellini discovered Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, Gogol, John Steinbeck and William Faulkner along with French films by Marcel Carné, René Clair, and Julien Duvivier.
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    Retained on business in Rimini, Urbano sent wife and family to Rome in 1940 to share an apartment with his son.
    More Details Hide Details Fellini and Ruggero Maccari, also on the staff of Marc’Aurelio, began writing radio sketches and gags for films. Not yet twenty and with Fabrizi’s help, Fellini obtained his first screen credit as a comedy writer on Mario Mattoli’s Il pirata sono io (The Pirate's Dream). Progressing rapidly to numerous collaborations on films at Cinecittà, his circle of professional acquaintances widened to include novelist Vitaliano Brancati and scriptwriter Piero Tellini.
  • 1939
    Age 19
    Four months after publishing his first article in Marc’Aurelio, the highly influential biweekly humour magazine, he joined the editorial board, achieving success with a regular column titled But Are You Listening? Described as “the determining moment in Fellini’s life”, the magazine gave him steady employment between 1939 and 1942, when he interacted with writers, gagmen, and scriptwriters.
    More Details Hide Details These encounters eventually led to opportunities in show business and cinema. Among his collaborators on the magazine’s editorial board were the future director Ettore Scola, Marxist theorist and scriptwriter Cesare Zavattini, and Bernardino Zapponi, a future Fellini screenwriter. Conducting interviews for CineMagazzino also proved congenial: when asked to interview Aldo Fabrizi, Italy’s most popular variety performer, he established such immediate personal rapport with the man that they collaborated professionally. Specializing in humorous monologues, Fabrizi commissioned material from his young protégé.
    In September 1939, he enrolled in law school at the University of Rome to please his parents.
    More Details Hide Details Biographer Hollis Alpert reports that "there is no record of his ever having attended a class". Installed in a family pensione, he met another lifelong friend, the painter Rinaldo Geleng. Desperately poor, they unsuccessfully joined forces to draw sketches of restaurant and café patrons. Fellini eventually found work as a cub reporter on the dailies Il Piccolo and Il Popolo di Roma but quit after a short stint, bored by the local court news assignments.
  • 1938
    Age 18
    Failing his military culture exam, he graduated from high school in July 1938 after doubling the exam.
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    Deciding on a career as a caricaturist and gag writer, Fellini travelled to Florence in 1938, where he published his first cartoon in the weekly 420.
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  • 1937
    Age 17
    In 1937, Fellini opened Febo, a portrait shop in Rimini. with the painter Demos Bonini.
    More Details Hide Details His first humorous article appeared in the "Postcards to Our Readers" section of Milan’s Domenica del Corriere.
  • 1933
    Age 13
    He visited Rome with his parents for the first time in 1933, the year of the maiden voyage of the transatlantic ocean liner SS Rex (which is shown in Amarcord).
    More Details Hide Details The sea creature found on the beach at the end of La Dolce Vita (1960) has its basis in a giant fish marooned on a Rimini beach during a storm in 1934. To say that my films are autobiographical is an overly facile liquidation, a hasty classification. It seems to me that I have invented almost everything: childhood, character, nostalgias, dreams, memories, for the pleasure of being able to recount them.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1926
    Age 6
    An attentive student, he spent his leisure time drawing, staging puppet shows, and reading Il corriere dei piccoli, the popular children’s magazine that reproduced traditional American cartoons by Winsor McCay, George McManus and Frederick Burr Opper. (Opper’s Happy Hooligan would provide the visual inspiration for Gelsomina in Fellini's 1954 film La Strada; McCay’s Little Nemo would directly influence his 1980 film City of Women.) In 1926, he discovered the world of Grand Guignol, the circus with Pierino the Clown, and the movies.
    More Details Hide Details Guido Brignone’s Maciste all’Inferno (1926), the first film he saw, would mark him in ways linked to Dante and the cinema throughout his entire career. Enrolled at the Ginnasio Giulio Cesare in 1929, he made friends with Luigi ‘Titta’ Benzi, later a prominent Rimini lawyer (and the model for young Titta in Amarcord (1973)). In Mussolini’s Italy, Fellini and Riccardo became members of the Avanguardista, the compulsory Fascist youth group for males.
  • 1924
    Age 4
    In 1924, Fellini started primary school in an institute run by the nuns of San Vincenzo in Rimini, attending the Carlo Tonni public school two years later.
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  • 1920
    Age 0
    Fellini was born on 20 January 1920, to middle-class parents in Rimini, then a small town on the Adriatic Sea.
    More Details Hide Details His father, Urbano Fellini (1894–1956), born to a family of Romagnol peasants and small landholders from Gambettola, moved to Rome in 1915 as a baker apprenticed to the Pantanella pasta factory. His mother, Ida Barbiani (1896–1984), came from a bourgeiois Catholic family of Roman merchants. Despite her family's vehement disapproval, she had eloped with Urbano in 1917 to live at his parents' home in Gambettola. A civil marriage followed in 1918 with the religious ceremony held at Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome a year later. The couple settled in Rimini where Urbano became a traveling salesman and wholesale vendor. Fellini had two siblings: Riccardo (1921–1991), a documentary director for RAI Television, and Maria Maddalena (m. Fabbri; 1929–2002).
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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