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bocce
Posted: Sat Apr 23, 2005 6:34 am Reply with quote
Joined: 24 May 2004 Posts: 2428
that would probably be okay...

but starting with I VITELLONI gives you the whole set up to fellini's universe from which all the rest of the films evolve to some degree or another until they re-wrap in AMARCORD.

i really can't overstate the importance of fellini's early script writing and other efforts on such roberto rosselini clasics as OPEN CITY, PAISIA and EUROPA 51 not so much for the neo-realist exposure than for his reaction to it. moreover, the period is important because he meets and works with other writers who would become subsequent lifelong collaborators on his own films.

one imagines the rome (cinecitta) of the late 40's/early 50's as a remarkable pool of shared talent being variously utilised by antonioni, visconti and rosselini. it was an amazing period in cinema history.
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gromit
Posted: Sat Apr 23, 2005 7:22 am Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8648 Location: Shanghai
Great to have a moderator. Thanks censored.

Quote:
1953 - I Vitelloni (The Young and the Passionate)

That English title seems awfully unsatisfactory to me-- way too positive, upbeat, soap opera-ish (and American?). An alternate English title was The Wastrels, which better captures the meaning. I've also seen the characters referred to similarly as layabouts.

I also feel that I Vitelloni functions as an important touchstone for most of Fellini's concerns and later works. A common Fellini theme is how men often act like children, escape into fantasy, and are reluctant to accept responsibility.

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bocce
Posted: Sat Apr 23, 2005 7:54 am Reply with quote
Joined: 24 May 2004 Posts: 2428
actually, the literal transalation is calves but colloquially means loafers (in the sense of do nothing as they are too young to be productive)...

however, i'm equally sure that fellini uses that specific word to indicate their prospects for the future.
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Rod
Posted: Sat Apr 23, 2005 8:32 am Reply with quote
Joined: 21 Dec 2004 Posts: 2944 Location: Lithgow, Australia
I just found La Strada is going to be shown in about four weeks time at Mt Vic Flicks. I hopeto see it on the big screen and then comment on it.

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lady wakasa
Posted: Sat Apr 23, 2005 11:16 am Reply with quote
Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 5911 Location: Beyond the Blue Horizon
Okay - on my way to run errands, and will stop off at the library and pick up I Vitelloni. Just hope they have it.

Marc wrote:
"Felliniesque". Like Hitchcock and Lynch, Fellini has created/reflected a state of mind. Other director's names have been used as adjectives - Capraesque, the Lubitsch Touch. But, they refer to style. Felliniesque refers to a kind of altered consciousness.


Very astute observation, and definitely food for thought.
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ehle64
Posted: Sat Apr 23, 2005 11:23 am Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 7149 Location: NYC; US&A
Damn that list looks good, doesn't it? I don't see how we could leave off And The Ship Sails On, but there are a lot of movies before we reach that part of his career. So, we'll see.

Thanks censored for stepping up to moderate.

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censored-03
Posted: Sat Apr 23, 2005 12:12 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 24 May 2004 Posts: 3058 Location: Gotham, Big Apple, The Naked City
Thanks Rod and ehle, and thanks to bocce for your input.

So, do you folks think we should bypass The White Sheik (not a fave, a film where Fellini is just getting his chops together IMO) for the more telling and interesting I Vitelloni ? I would be happy to start there. With my list below we will also see two of three films from Fellini's so called "trilogy of loneliness", which I feel is an important grouping for any Fellini forum. Leaving out the harder to find Il Bidone (which by the way translated literally means The Drum not The Swindle; the given American/English title) of course does not mean we shouldn't pursue it on our own and discussion of it is welcome if not urged.

My first 3 would be:

1. I Vitelloni (1953)

2. La Strada (1954)

3. Le Notti di Cabiria (The Nights of Cabiria) (1957)

I think going through Fellini's career from the start is good for many reasons. One important one being the logistical ease with which we can all know what films to be getting on our queues way in advance. I notice this has been a bit of a problem at times in other forums, besides, what better way to watch an artists career unfold ?

I think side discussions are good and bocce's suggestion of learning more about Federico's early years at the Cinecitta Studio would be welcome. Perhaps we should have Open City as a film all should include early on in there queues as well, even though it is not technically called a Fellini film. A film about the resistance in Rome, it was directed by Roberto Rossellini and co-scripted by a young Fellini.

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censored-03
Posted: Sat Apr 23, 2005 12:14 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 24 May 2004 Posts: 3058 Location: Gotham, Big Apple, The Naked City
I meant to include gromit in my thanks for the input in our forum already.

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Ghulam
Posted: Sat Apr 23, 2005 12:33 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 4724 Location: Upstate NY
I am with Censored on his selection of the first three movies.
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bocce
Posted: Sat Apr 23, 2005 12:47 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 24 May 2004 Posts: 2428
oddly, this is finally a time when we could have used marnie (who has interviewed, and even dined with, fellini)...

but he probably would have ended up being smart assed about it.
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Marilyn
Posted: Sun Apr 24, 2005 2:05 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 8210 Location: Skokie (not a bad movie, btw)
He never told me that he dined with Fellini. He interviewed Lina Wertmuller, though.

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burritoboy
Posted: Sun Apr 24, 2005 8:11 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 14 Apr 2005 Posts: 17 Location: Chicago
Well, we could even talk about "Variety Lights", the first film which Fellini got a director's credit. While not a great film (or even a particularly notable one), it does contain many of Fellini's obsessions and themes that he carried throughout his career. Including Giulietta Masina.

One thing we shouldn't ignore is that Fellini started as a cartoonist, like Frank Tashlin and Gregory La Cava (though Fellini, to my knowledge, never attempted to make any animated films).
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censored-03
Posted: Mon Apr 25, 2005 12:07 am Reply with quote
Joined: 24 May 2004 Posts: 3058 Location: Gotham, Big Apple, The Naked City
burritoboy,
From what I've heard Fellini was a jack-of-all-trades at the beginning of his artistic explosion. His bio is often sketchy because of Federico's own penchant for telling his autobio differently each time. What is fairly common knowledge about him is (as you mentioned) he worked as a cartoonist doing charicatures of post-war American G.I.s and for a couple of local magazines and other publications which he also contributed some humorous writings and gags to. This led to some work as a gag writer on a radio show where he met his lover, muse, future wife and star of his films Giulietta Masina who acted in one of the programs on the same radio station where he worked. I have also never heard of any of Fellini's cartoon work being put on film, literally speaking.

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bocce
Posted: Mon Apr 25, 2005 4:38 am Reply with quote
Joined: 24 May 2004 Posts: 2428
fellini's background as a cartoonist and caricaturist is certainly one of the skeleton keys to unlocking his trunk of images and conceits. his passion for grotesques (a pan european phenomenon since the late middle ages) becomes full blown visually in ROMA.

another key is THE DECAMERON which is to italian school children what CANTERBURY TALES and hawthorne or melville are to english and american youth. this collection of often humorous and always morally illuminating vignettes is prefaced by boccacio's grim depiction of the 1348 plague in florence and its effect on the general demeanor of the survivors.

make the obvious substitution of WWII for the black death, add in a healthy dollop of boccacio's sociology and spice with a cartoonish visual play and you're well on your way to felliniland.
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Rod
Posted: Mon Apr 25, 2005 4:45 am Reply with quote
Joined: 21 Dec 2004 Posts: 2944 Location: Lithgow, Australia
I love the story Gore Vidal told of pissing Fellini off on the set of Roma by constantly calling him Fred. Fellini had his revenge when Vidal had to come back for post-shoot dubbing and had to remember what he'd said virtually off the cuff eight months before.

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