Tag Archives: satyricon

Happy Deathday Federico Fellini

“Realism is a bad word. In a sense everything is realistic. I see no line between the imaginary and the real.” Not seeing a line between the imaginery and the real is probably a form of mental illness unless you happen to be Italian film director Federico Fellini, in which case, dream on baby! After living for 73 years and giving the world a unique body of work, Fellini died on this day in 1993 (as did River Phoenix who was 23). Some of Fellini’s thoughts on film and life bear acknowledging today. “A good opening and a good ending make for a good film providing they come close together.”  “All art is autobiographical. The pearl is the oyster’s autobiography.” “I think television has betrayed the meaning of democratic speech, adding visual chaos to the confusion of voices. What role does silence have in all this noise?” “The artist is the medium between his fantasies and the rest of the world.” “You exist only in what you do.” “There is no end. There is no beginning. There is only the passion of life.” You can find an earlier post about Fellini directing and watch an erotic scene from Fellini Satyricon  here. What’s with deathday?

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Fellini Directs

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.


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