Fellini, Federico

(1920–1993)
   Born in the provincial seaside town of Rimini, Federico Fellini began his career in the cinema as a writer for popular comedians in the 1940s. His first solo film was Lo sceicco bianco (The White Sheik, 1953), which was followed by I vitelloni (The Spivs, 1953). This latter film won the Silver Lion at Venice and affirmed Fellini’s critical reputation. His next film, however, established Fellini as one of the best directors in the world. La Strada (The Road, 1954), which starred Fellini’s wife, Giulietta Masina, is a film of almost unbearable pathos. It is the story of a simple peasant girl called Gelsomina (Masina) who is sold to a circus strongman called Zampano (Anthony Quinn). Zampano’s brutish behavior drives Gelsomina to her death, at which point Zampano realizes the extent of his attachment for her. He realizes, in short, what it is to be fully human. Too poetic for Italy’s neorealist critics, the film won more than 50 awards, including the Silver Lion and the Oscar for best foreign picture.
   La Strada was the beginning of Fellini’s creative peak. Over the next eight years he enjoyed an astonishing burst of sustained creativity. La notti di Cabiria (The Nights of Cabiria, 1956), a touching film about a prostitute, was followed by La dolce vita (The High Life, 1959), which was both an ironic comment on high life during the Italian economic miracleand, more deeply, a meditation on how human beings should live. Otto e mezzo (Eight and a Half, 1962) is an equally complex film about a film director wrestling with his conscience. The latter two films provided Marcello Mastroianniwith two of his greatest roles.
   It is widely agreed that Fellini’s work fell off after the early 1960s. His films became uneven, repetitive, and overly grotesque, although this does not mean that they are unrelieved failures. The surreal brilliance of the ecclesiastical fashion show, complete with roller-skating priests, saves the otherwise somewhat episodic Fellini’s Roma (1972). The autobiographical and profoundly touching Amarcord (1973) won the Oscar for best foreign picture. Fellini’s death in November 1993 was marked by national mourning: Hundreds of thousands of people lined the streets of Rome to pay their last respects to the most poetic Italian artist of any genre in the postwar years.
   See also Cinema.

Historical Dictionary of Modern Italy. . 2007.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Fellini, Federico — born Jan. 20, 1920, Rimini, Italy died Oct. 31, 1993, Rome Italian film director. After collaborating with Roberto Rossellini on the screenplays for Open City (1945) and Paisan (1946), Fellini undertook his first solo venture in 1952. It failed,… …   Universalium

  • Fellini, Federico — • ФЕЛЛИ НИ (Fellini) Федерико (р. 20.1.1920)    итал. режиссёр. С 1937 во Флоренции, а затем в Риме работал как журналист. Был также страховым агентом, оформителем витрин, художником карикатуристом, репортёром. С 1940 гэг мен в кино (ф. с… …   Кино: Энциклопедический словарь

  • Fellini, Federico — (1920 1993)    Journalist, cartoonist, screen writer, director. The most nationally celebrated and internationally renowned of all Italian directors of the postwar period, Fellini was born and raised in the northern Italian coastal town of Rimini …   Guide to cinema

  • Fellini, Federico — (1920 1993)    Journalist, cartoonist, screen writer, director. The most nationally celebrated and internationally renowned of all Italian directors of the postwar period, Fellini was born and raised in the northern Italian coastal town of Rimini …   Historical dictionary of Italian cinema

  • Fellini, Federico — ► (1920 93) Realizador cinematográfico italiano. Colaboró con Rossellini en la redacción de algunos guiones hasta que en 1951 dirigió su primera película: Luces de variedades. En su obra destaca una influencia neorrealista. El jeque blanco (1950) …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Fellini,Federico — Fel·li·ni (fə lēʹnē, fĕl ), Federico. 1920 1993. Italian filmmaker whose works, including La Dolce Vita (1960) and Amarcord (1973), combine social satire with elements of fantasy. * * * …   Universalium

  • Fellini, Federico —  (1920–1993) Italian film director …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

  • Fellini — Fellini, Federico …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Federico Fellini — Données clés Naissance 20 janvier  …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Fellini — Federico Fellini Federico Fellini Naissance 20 janvier 1920 …   Wikipédia en Français

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