La Strada, 8 1/2, Roma, Satyricon, La Dolce Vita, The Clowns, Amarcord – all films by Italian director Federico Fellini and some of my all-time favourite movies. Fellini’s vision welled up from a creative dreamland unsurpassed in cinematic history, leaving behind (he died in 1993 at 73) a legacy of genius. Just ask Scorsese, Kubrick, Allen, Lynch, Fassbinder or Gilliam, all of whom claim Fellini as a major influence.
Fellini Satyricon was released in 1969 and uses Petronius’ stories of decadent ancient Rome around Nero’s time as its base. (Nero eventually ordered Petronius to commit suicide which he did very slowly and very dramatically in 66 A.D.) Fellini`s film is a visual feast, a sumptuous seven-course dinner served up with sides of surreal strangeness and sexual ambiguity, a rich banquet of marvellous faces, bizarre food and wry comedic events.
This clip shows Fellini directing one of the more erotic scenes in Satyricon, the three young stars in bed together. Actress Hylette Adolphe and actors Martin Potter (blond) and Hiram Keller follow Fellini`s intense and intimate direction to a tee. Part of the resulting scene as it appears in the final film follows. Click the picture to see Fellini direct.