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Ghulam
Posted: Mon Jul 25, 2005 2:48 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 4727 Location: Upstate NY
Fellini, who for decades did not much care for music, developed a love for opera in the 1980's. Nino Rota persuaded Fellini to visit a Verdi opera. Fellini recounted that when watching a TV production of La traviata, he found himself unexpectedly moved to tears. From And the Ship Sails On, with its scenic artificiality, broad playing and ensemble musical sequences, some thought that Fellini could have been a great producer for opera on stage.
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censored-03
Posted: Mon Jul 25, 2005 4:45 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 24 May 2004 Posts: 3058 Location: Gotham, Big Apple, The Naked City
Ghulam, I too am a fan of the singers one-upping each other in the ship's boiler room, giving these work-men a pleasure of a lifetime. Let's not forget the average man in Italy is very well versed in Opera (with a capital O). In Venice and Milan they gather with their espresso's and morning paper the next morning after an opera performance, the way American men would chat about last nights ballgame, only in Italy it was the miscues or great pitch in some sopranos aria that they discuss.

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some thought that Fellini could have been a great producer for opera on stage.
The scenes of The Magic Flute in Amadeus come to mind as almost Felliniesque now that I think about it.

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censored-03
Posted: Mon Jul 25, 2005 4:56 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 24 May 2004 Posts: 3058 Location: Gotham, Big Apple, The Naked City
Last night I dragged out La Giaconda and listened to the whole opera. I remembered the book that fell in the ship's library, where they were holding a seance for Edmea, opened to a page about La Gioconda when someone asked what was the opera that brought Edmea her most grief.

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"Life is a comedy for those who think and a tragedy for those who feel."
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bocce
Posted: Tue Jul 26, 2005 5:09 am Reply with quote
Joined: 24 May 2004 Posts: 2428
Ghulam wrote:
some thought that Fellini could have been a great producer for opera on stage.


yeah, i'd love to see what he would have done with LULU!!!
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censored-03
Posted: Tue Jul 26, 2005 5:24 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 24 May 2004 Posts: 3058 Location: Gotham, Big Apple, The Naked City
If you guys don't mind I'd like to postpone our last film (Intervista) until a week from tomorrow. I'll be back before then and we can discuss it then, or feel free to earlier if you want. Then we will wrap up this Fellini Forum the following week.

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"Life is a comedy for those who think and a tragedy for those who feel."
-- Horace Walpole
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bocce
Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 5:35 am Reply with quote
Joined: 24 May 2004 Posts: 2428
yeah, yeah, sure...

you get to go to the beach, smoke good cigars and drink makers mark in a casino while blowing the kid's college fund and whattah we get, huh???

where's your fucking sense of responsibility...caggacazzo.







have fun!!!
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censored-03
Posted: Mon Aug 01, 2005 2:19 am Reply with quote
Joined: 24 May 2004 Posts: 3058 Location: Gotham, Big Apple, The Naked City
Thanks bocce, I did have fun.

Now, I think we better get on with the matter of watching our final Fellini film and then duck outta here as best we can. I'm learning subtitles can be annoying even to film society folk, (never bothered me) at least that has to be one of the reasons so few members of Third Eye have participated regularly in this great artists forum.

For those of you who have stuck with our series, you have watched the amazing Federico Fellini go from filming his local life as a youth all the way to filming his local life as a youth with many surreal and sublime twists and turns in-between. His take on Italian life (from small town to big city) has a sympathetic and humorous feel for his fellow countrymen overall. His films show a pride, as well as a screemingly funny thumbing of his nose at Italy's (and the rest of the world's) many traditions. He often exposed the hypocrisy of it's institutions as well as many of it's individuals. All the while he created antagonists whom we feel for and want to see do well, this is the way I think Fellini felt (for the most part) for his fellow-man. He certainly shows a common loneliness in the human condition, but, as in the ending of Nights of Cabiria (some thought it a bit too corny), Fellini shows man's ultimate ability to pick one's self up by the bootstraps and keep on keeping on, to use a saying from the more exploratory 1960's, a time Fellini's art seemed to fit into and mature during. His film-making peaked then in many ways.

We have also been privy to some of the finest and most emotionally charged, (yet always mellow) music ever composed to accompany film greatness. Thank you Nino Rota !

The actors ? As for Giulietta Masina, Marcello Mastroianni and all of the rest of the regulars, there are few words to describe their watchability, perhaps that is the best word to describe them, other than...great.

It's been a pleasure to see familiar and not so familiar movies by the maestro in such an intensively thorough and concentrated way, I have truly enjoyed being the moderator for The Federico Fellini Directors Series Forum.

Our last film...'Intervista'



Arrivederci il Terzo Occhio !


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Ghulam
Posted: Mon Aug 01, 2005 12:15 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 4727 Location: Upstate NY
Fellini's mockumentary Intervista is set in the form of a fake interview by a Japanese TV crew visiting Fellini in his studio Cinecitta. Fellini's reminiscing takes us to scenes of a very young Fellini as a newspaper reporter visiting a studio to interview a female superstar. Then there is a piece on how Fellini picked all those interesting faces to play the different parts in his movies. There is a visit that Fellini makes with the now aging Marcello Mastrianni to the mansion of the now fat Anita Ekberg, with a lot of reminiscing about the making of La Dolce Vita. The movie is made in the style of Roma, with the difference that the stories of the Eternal City are much more interesting than the stories of Cinecitta. I was wondering why, of all his movies, I liked Eight and a Half and Intervista the least, although both were critically acclaimed and both won international awards. The reason is hinted at by Fellini himself when talking of Intervista. He mentions "narcissism". Although some of his greatest work is about his own experiences (I Vitelloni, La Dolce Vita, Amarcord, Roma), he sometimes forgets that not everything about him is interesting, especially not his funks and not his drudgery.
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bocce
Posted: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:45 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 24 May 2004 Posts: 2428
i don't think of fellini as remotely narcissistic in any personal sense but rather as auteuristic (in the definitive sense of the term)...

he seems to have a rather good sense of himself thru the films as being both a painter and a caricature making portraits of the artist as it were. the films that might have seemed somewhat self absorbed (LDV, 8 1/2 and AMARCORD) still have a commonality of a more humanistic approach to the characters and their situations.

the pathos with which fellini treats all his characters would be in direct contrast to a narcissist who sees himself as hero. even in auteur mode, he seems to have a healthy sense of the irony inherent in the freedom and order necessary to any artistic output.

that's really what ORCHESTRA REHEARSAL was about: the dialectic of artistic production...the need to create a synthesis of disparate and, sometimes jarringly disjunct elements by force of will and love of ultimate compatability and synchronisity.

i think fellini considers himself to be the conductor of some grand symphony the end product of which will eclipse (by hundreds of participants and dozens of disciplines) a normal orchestra in its interpretation of a standard score. in INTERVISTA, he also allows himself to be portrayed as a bit the ambivalent but, ultimately final, dictator which is required to pull everything together.

i find a certain winsomeness to the scenes with mastroiani, eckberg and fellini which would also preclude narcissism. i thought his handling of the reporters (foreign) as opposed to the documentarians (orchestra rehearsal) was interesting.

frankly, i didn't care much for INTERVISTA other than the summa and vague chronicle of a fine career. i found the "film within a film" idea trite (DAY FOR NIGHT and FRENCH LT'S. WOMAN were better...and earlier).

but fellini was far from a narcissist...
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Ghulam
Posted: Tue Aug 02, 2005 3:56 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 4727 Location: Upstate NY
Fellini discusses Intervista in an interview which was on the DVD. He posits narcissism as an element in his motivation to make that movie, but he does not, of course, call himself a narcissist, nor was he one. We can perhaps see narcissism in the statement, "Look what I do!". Not all narcissism is pathological. Perhaps there is some narcissism in all art. Without narcissism we would not have all those wonderful self-portraits of van Gogh, nor the inspired lines of Whitman's Leaves of Grass. Fellini's narcissism probably contributed to the making of his best as well as his worst movies.
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marantzo
Posted: Tue Aug 02, 2005 6:15 pm Reply with quote
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Without narcissism we would not have all those wonderful self-portraits of van Gogh...


Well that's a novel theory of the reason behind the self portraits of Van Gogh. Innaccurate but novel. One of the reasons was that he didn't have the personality, money or reputation to attract many models. And when he did they were mostly people like his postman, his doctor, etc. Have you noticed how few women are his subjects? I can't think of any off the top of my head. Another reason is that virtually all artists do a number of self portraits throughout their career. Vincent did more than most, but he was amazingly prolific.
yambu
Posted: Tue Aug 02, 2005 7:05 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 23 May 2004 Posts: 6441 Location: SF Bay Area
marantzo wrote:
.....Have you noticed how few women are his subjects? I can't think of any off the top of my head....
I just remember one, a drawing of a street waif somewhere, sitting on a curbside. I can't remember if I saw the original, but it has stayed with me.
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marantzo
Posted: Tue Aug 02, 2005 7:08 pm Reply with quote
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There is also the woman in The Potato Eaters, but that's not really a good example of a female subject.
yambu
Posted: Tue Aug 02, 2005 7:11 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 23 May 2004 Posts: 6441 Location: SF Bay Area

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Ghulam
Posted: Tue Aug 02, 2005 7:45 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 4727 Location: Upstate NY
Gary, some people see narcissism even in his "Irises" ("I want you to see them as I see them"). As you know he had several episodes of psychotic depression. One way of looking at depression, according to some shrinks, is as a severe blow to one's narcissism. Somewhat removed from the common meaning of the word, but interesting.
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