A Tribute to Fellini on the 20th Anniversary of His Death

Thu, 10/31/2013 - 06:00

Twenty years ago, on October 31, 1993, the great Italian director Federico Fellini died.

To remember him, the Rome Film Festival, scheduled to begin Nov. 8, will present the world premiere of a documentary, “Federico degli Spiriti – L’ultimo Fellini”, documenting the three days immediately following Fellini’s death, through the memories of his friends and colleagues.

To remember him, we at ITALY Magazine present clips from three of his masterpieces: La dolce vita, 8 ½ and Amarcord.

Fellini was born in Rimini, Italy in 1920. He moved to Rome in 1939 to attend law school at the request of his parents, but soon took a job with a humor magazine instead of attending class. In the years leading up to his personal cinematic breakthrough, Fellini worked drawing caricatures, selling cartoons and writing jokes for small papers. Fellini’s start in cinema began during World War II thanks to his growing circle of professional acquaintances in Rome. By 1947, Fellini had been nominated for an Oscar for his collaborative efforts on the screenplay titled Roma Città Aperta (Rome, Open City) and in 1951 he completed his first solo-directed film, Lo Sceicco Bianco (The White Sheik).



Today, Federico Fellini is best known for his 1960 masterpiece La Dolce Vita. It is the story of a philandering journalist's week in Rome, and his search for both happiness and love that will never come. La Dolce Vita won the Golden Palm at the 1960 Cannes Film Festival and the Oscar for Best Costumes. It was in that iconic film that Fellini invented the term “paparazzi”, and artistically critiqued the emerging celebrity culture.


8 ½

8 ½ is a 1963 comedy-drama film starring Marcello Mastroianni. Its title refers to Fellini's eight and a half films as a director. His previous directorial work consisted of six features, two short segments, and a collaboration with another director, the latter three productions accounting for a "half" film each. The story of a harried movie director retreating into his memories and fantasies, won two Academy Awards, for Best Foreign Language Film and Best Costume Design. Recognized as an avant-garde film and a highly influential classic, it was among the top 10 on the British Film Institute 50 Greatest Films of All Time.



Amarcord is a 1973 comedy-drama film, a semi-autobiographical coming of age tale about Titta, an adolescent boy growing up among an eccentric cast of characters in the village of Borgo San Giuliano, near Rimini in 1930s fascist Italy. The film's title is a Romagna dialect neologism for "I remember." The film won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film and was nominated for two Academy Awards, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay.


Finally, watch this fantastic video of Federico Fellini receiving an honorary Oscar at the 1993 Academy Award ceremony, presented to him by Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni: