Fellini News Update #18
1) Tutto Fellini Texas
The BIG news is the fulfillment of a ten year struggle to bring Tutto Fellini to my hometown, Fort Worth, Texas. After many false starts and dead ends, I finally found the right organization and the right people who were able to pull of such a daunting event.
Tina Gorski of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, bless her heart, hung in there for what turned out to be a much bigger challenge than originally expected. I’m sure she wanted kill me and maybe a few Italians along the way. But I never doubted success if we remained focused on the goal. We did, and that persistence has finally paid off.
There were many other good people who made essential contributions, not the least of which is Mrs. Young. My wife, Debora, has had to endure many a whine and moan from me as this event slowly unfolded. Her encouragement and support has been vital.
Many thanks, as well to, Laila Gleason, Dink, Dr. Ted Price, Ben L, Mona M, Frank B, Christina E, Eric B, Aldo V, Marco, Peter B, Joshua, Steve and Orchestra Nostalgico, to my kids for depriving them of food to buy Fellini posters and to all my friends whom I have pestered into watching Fellini films over the years. Now I’m asking you again. We need to fill those seats or I’m in big trouble!
In addition to the films, lectures and live music from Orchestra Nostalgico, there will also be a major poster exhibition. See details at bottom of page.
Schedule for The Modern.
Schedule for MFA Houston
One of the first people I approached with my insane idea to bring Tutto Fellini to Cowtown was local film critic and Renaissance man, Mike Price. Actually, he’s one of the few people I know whose eyes light up at the very mention of Fellini’s name. Mike will introduce, Fellini Satyricon at The Modern on, August 27. Here, he explains why you should not miss this chance to see Tutto Fellini in Fort Worth:
Fellini makes the Fort Worth Star-Telegram Society page.
Kultur column of The Fort Worth Weekly:
2) Olympiad: Fellini style
In case you missed the Felliniesque closing ceremony of the 2006 Olympiad from Torino, Italy, you can see a lovely photo of the clown performers, here.
Few men can resist the face of Magali Noel. Fellini was no exception. The Turkish born beauty, born June 27, 1932, was a Fellini favorite and had roles in La Dolce Vita (Fanny) and Fellini Satyricon (Fortunata). But with her role as the lovely Gradisca in the 1974 classic, Amarcord, Noel earned a place in the Fellini iconography. In addition to being an actress, Noel had a career as a singer. Read her bio and film/discography, here.
California resident and iconoclast, Aldo Vidali, sees parallels between Nazi Germany and contemporary America. He ought to know since he was there when Mussolini ruled. In a recent essay, he discusses a film project that combines the ideas of Berkeley professor, George Lakoff and the cine-magic of Fellini. Read all about it, here.
In his review of the new Fellini biography by Tullio Kezich, film critic, Peter Cowie ends up writing a loving tribute to the Maestro.
Read it in The Nation, here.
American Film Institute co-founder, George Stevens, Jr. is the editor of the mammoth, 710 page, Conversations With The Great Moviemakers Of Hollywood’s Golden Age At The AFI.
Ironically, this book on American film closes with interviews from Renoir, Bergman, Ray and Fellini, men who worked far from Hollywoodland. Read a review, here.
Eminent Fellini scholar, Peter Bondanella, has written a new lecture titled, Fellini and Fantasy, the subject of which are the various and surprising influences on Fellini’s work. Prof. Bondanella will present this lecture at the upcoming, Tutto Fellini film festival, at The Modern Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, and the Fine Arts Museum of Houston. Read an abstract, here.
Notable EXTRAS are the best part of this DVD review of Fellini’s late work, And The Ship Sails On. British based, DVD Times, does it best. Read it here.
Another late period Fellini, Ginger and Fred, gets the DVD Times treatment. Once again, it’s the EXTRAS that are most notable. (Both of these discs are Region 2 and not playable on MOST U.S. DVD players. However, I bought a Philips brand DVD player at Target for $60. that plays ALL DVD’s.) Read the review, here.
For another take of, And The Ship Sails On, check out this review by Rollo Tomassi of, IOFILM:
Former showgirl, erotic novelist and mother of Paula Yates, Helene Thornton has written a tell-all biography that includes an anecdote of an alleged tryst with Fellini. True or not, this excerpt from, Big Girls Don’t Cry, IS hilarious. Scroll about halfway down and read it, here.
Christina Engelhardt worked 14 years to bring Verso La Luna Con Fellini (Towards The Moon With Fellini) to the public. It finally premiered in April at the Beverly Hills Film Festival . The actress/producer and her director, Eugenio Cappuccio were rewarded with the Best Foreign Film prize. The film has been called a semi mocumentary of Fellini shooting his final film, Voice of the Moon.
Read more, here.
Christina was also the inspiration for the character of Helen in the Fellini penned, Milo Manara illustrated graphic novel, Trip To Tulum. Not only that, as a member of Fellini’s inner circle, she actually played a similar role in real life.
Read more, here.
Dallas Morning News film critic, Chris Vognar, reviews the new Fellini bio by Tullio Kezich. Chris will introduce the first three films at Tutto Fellini in Fort Worth on August 18. Read his review, here.
The Criterion Collection is reissuing Amarcord on DVD with a new high definition digital transfer and lots of other goodies. Included in this cornucopia of goodies is a second disc of commentary (Peter Brunette and Frank Burke), interviews (Magali Noel!), a new documentary, a deleted scene AND...a large selection of rare posters and other ephemera from the Felliniana Archive in Fort Worth, Texas.
The whole package from Criterion of this well loved Fellini classic has been lovingly put together. It's due in September. See the Criterion website for pics and more info.
Much of Fellini’s inner most thoughts and wisdom came out in the thousands interviews he gave. The University Press of Mississippi has published a series of interviews with Fellini, simply titled, Federico Fellini: Interviews.
The interviews, edited by Bert Cardullo, span the years from 1957 through Fellini’s death in 1993. Selections include, the 1966 Playboy interview and five others with Fellini friend and historian, Gideon Bachman. I have observed that some of the most candid interviews Fellini granted were to girlie magazines. In addition to the Playboy interview, the Don Young Felliniana Archive has many such, obscure girlie mag interviews featuring a robust Fellini at his charming best. Until those are published, I highly recommend this new collection.
5) Odds ‘n Ends ‘n Trifles
Last March, a slimmed down, Tutto Fellini took Turkey by storm with screenings of nine films at the Istanbul Modern Art Museum. Fellini friend, Gianfranco Angelucci, was on hand. Read more, here.
Peroni Beer is launching $50 million dollar campaign to promote it’s new product using Fellini’s, La Dolce Vita for inspiration. Commercials for the beer were filmed at Rome’s famous, Trevi Fountain, with a skinny model taking the place of Fellini film icon, Anita Ekberg, the very embodiment of the word statuesque. Hmmm...I wonder what Fellini would think about this. Read more, here.
Speaking of the always outspoken, Anita Ekberg, in an interview with The Australian, she talks about her life in the cinema and, what she thinks about those Peroni beer ads.
Read it, here.
Delia Bajo and Brainard Carey are artists of a different sort. They recently announced their intentions to remake Fellini’s psychological psychedelia from 1965, Juliet of the Spirits. But when these two, known together as, Praxis, talk about a remake, it’s probably not what you’d expect. Read more, here.
When Joel Brodsky designed the album cover art for The Doors classic LP, Strange Days, he drew inspiration form Fellini’s timeless film from 1954, La Strada.
See for yourself, here.
In a sign of Fellini’s long reach into contemporary culture, health guru Dr. Andrew Weil, uses the character of Cabiria in Fellini’s 1957 film, Nights of Cabiria, as an example of healthy acceptance of a bad experience.
In his newly published book, Healthy Aging, Weil calls the films finale, perhaps the greatest three minutes in film history. He writes, “It is a very powerful expression of the philosophy I urge you to apply in your own life.” See page 219.
OK. Let’s be honest. Chesty Morgan was famous for the size of her breasts: 77FF, to be precise. An observant Fellini cast her for a small role in Casanova, a film overflowing with feminine oddities. But is there more to Ms. Morgan than her, Deadly Weapons? That question is pondered by journalist Bill Gibron in PopMatters. Read more, here.
Australian poet, Peter Nicholson, uses the Circus Maximus of ancient times, as an apt metaphor for the phantasmorgoric world of Fellini. Read his appreciation, here.
For actor and director, John Turturro, it was love at first viewing with, Fellini’s 1957 Oscar winner, Nights of Cabiria. In a continuing series, The London Telegraph, lets film makers talk about their favorite films:
Fellini’s masterpiece, 8 1/2, would not be the same without the pivotal role of the character, Saraghina. Chicago native and former opera singer Eddra Gale was perfectly cast as the grotesque but sweet natured, coastal dwelling prostitute whose nickname was was derived from the fact that she would trade sex for sardines. More notably, she would do the rumba for little Guido and his friends for a coin or two, at least until the priest caught them red handed.
Among other roles, she played the woman on the bus in, The Graduate, but personally, I remember her most fondly as the Love Lady, aka: Kiss My Butterfly in, I Love You, Alice B. Toklas. But like many other actors, she will be remembered most for her role in a Fellini film.
Sadly, Ms. Gale died in 2001 at the age of 79. Be sure and remember this shining star of the Fellinian universe on her birthday, July 16. Ciao, Saraghina.
Fellini has had many imitators and emulators, from Bob Fosse to Woody Allen to Martin Scorsese to Cirque Soliel. I suspect there will be many more. Recently I was reminded of one that I missed when it first premiered: Gene Wilder’s 1977 remake of the White Sheik, The World’s Greatest Lover. Read about this and other appreciations, here.
7) Felliniana Archive News
The first major exhibition of posters from the Don Young Felliniana Archive will take place from, August 1 - 31, as part of the Tutto Fellini Film Festival. A select group of posters will be displayed in the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth theater.
A much larger group featuring hundreds of rarely seen posters from all over the world will be displayed inside the former Modern Art Museum building, now known as the Fort Worth Community Arts Center.
Opening reception will be, Friday, August 4, from 7 - 9 PM.
Yet another group of U.S. posters will be exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, from September 1 through October 8. The complete schedule of events for Tutto Fellini: Houston will soon be available at their website:
Recent acquisitions of note:
1) Very rare, Style B, original release, German, La Dolce Vita.
2) 1948 Italian poster from the film, Senza Pieta (Without Pity). Fellini wrote the screenplay for this classic neo realsit drama before his directorial career began.
3) Extremely rare programme from the British premiere of La Dolce Vita.
4) Two rare Italian posters from the first release of La Strada.
5) Christmas greeting card from Cineriz Studios in Rome, with cover photograph from the yet to be released film, 8 1/2.