American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theatre Presents...
Making Movie History for 80 Years!

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Series compiled by:  Dennis Bartok, Camilla Cormanni of CinecittÓ Holding and Gwen Deglise. Additional Program Notes by Chris D. and John Palmer.

The Fellini Retrospective was organized with the generous cooperation of:

Alberto Grimaldi Productions; Cecchi Gori Group FIN.MA.VI; Compagnia Leone Cinematografica; Filmauro di Aurelio De Laurentis; Gaumont; Hollywood Classics; Ibrahim Moussa; Intra Movies; Mediaset-Cinema Forever; Mercurio Fincom; Minerva Pictures Group; RAI Cinema; Studio Canal Image; Surf Film di Massimo Vigliar; Titanus; Warner Bros.

Fellini Series Pass: $100 (This special ticket price includes general admission to all programs in the Retrospective, including documentaries in the Spielberg Theatre.)

Special Thanks to: Sarah Finklea/JANUS-CRITERION; Jessica Rosner/KINO INT’L.; Eric Di Bernardo/RIALTO PICTURES; John Kirk and Latanya Taylor/MGM-UA; Amy Lewin/PARAMOUNT REPERTORY; Paul Ginsburg/UNIVERSAL; Jonathan Howell/NEW YORKER; Marilee Womack/WARNER CLASSICS; Peter Cimino/CASTLE HILL; Carmen Piccinni.

 

 

 

 

Tickets available 30 days in advance. Tickets are $9 general admission unless noted otherwise.
Sold out programs will be indicated here if sold out 24 hours in advance of screening date.
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The Film Programs of the American Cinematheque are presented at the magnificently renovated, historic 1922 Grauman's Hollywood Egyptian Theatre. Located at 6712 Hollywood Boulevard.
Photo Credit: Randall Michelson. Detail of Egyptian Theatre Ceiling.

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<<< May 21 - 31, 2004 >>>

Dreams, Longings & Memories: The Cinema of Federico Fellini

 

A complete Fellini Retrospective featuring brand-new 35mm prints of all 20 of the master’s films.

logoCinecitta Holdingweb.jpg (5330 bytes)Presented in association with CinecittÓ Holding

 

"I have invented myself entirely … A childhood, a personality, longings, dreams and memories, all in order to enable me to tell them." – Federico Fellini

One of the most fabulously creative, often imitated and idiosyncratic artists of the 20th century, on par with such titanic figures as Pablo Picasso in painting and Igor Stravinsky in music, Italian director Federico Fellini (1920 – 1993) remains in a category all his own, godfather to a carnivalesque gallery of prostitutes, strongmen, film directors, vaudevillians and clowns, who share a sympathetic bond with each other against the often cruel and unfeeling "civilized" world outside of theirs and Fellini’s. His greatest works, including 8-1/2, LA DOLCE VITA, NIGHTS OF CABIRIA, LA STRADA and AMARCORD, seem to spring from an almost unbridled imagination, but one which is connected to a profound understanding of the human experience. Fellini observed, "[In my films] there is an effort to show a world without love, characters full of selfishness, people exploiting one another, and, in the midst of it all, there is always – and especially in the films with Giulietta – a little creature who wants to give love and who lives for love."

Born on January 20, 1920, in the Adriatic resort town of Rimini, the son of a travelling salesman and a housewife, Fellini was frail and sickly as a child from a thyroid imbalance, and spent much of his youth in the local cinema, where he soaked up films by the Marx Bros., Laurel & Hardy and Chaplin. Fellini developed a talent as a sketch artist and caricaturist at a young age, along with a fascination for vaudevillians and circus performers, even claiming famously that he ran away to join the circus for months (although he later confessed, "it was more like an afternoon"). After graduating from college in 1937, he eked out a living doing cartoons for a satirical magazine; during the war he wrote for a radio show, "Cico and Pallina," which starred a young actress, Giulietta Masina, whom he married in 1943 (and remained married to for over 50 years until his death). After WWII, he opened the Funny Face Shop, a caricature studio, where he first encountered director Roberto Rossellini, who wanted Fellini’s help in convincing an actor acquaintance to appear in ROME OPEN CITY, which Fellini eventually contributed to as a screenwriter. He worked as a writer for Rossellini and other directors through the rest of the 1940’s, and co-directed his first feature, VARIETY LIGHTS, in 1950, with Alberto Lattuada, as a starring vehicle for their wives, Masina and Carla Del Poggio.

In his great films of the 1950’s such as LA STRADA and NIGHTS OF CABIRIA, Fellini increasingly became focused on universal stories of human suffering and the redemptive power of love. In the 1960’s, he developed the cinematic style that became famous as "Fellini-esque," combining intense introspection, satire, a carnivalesque atmosphere often of extreme decadence and spiritual despair, and a fantastical symbolism – crystallized in such memorable images as the statue of Christ floating beneath the helicopter and Anita Ekberg cavorting in the fountain in LA DOLCE VITA, and a whip-bearing Marcello Mastroianni confronting the images of women in his life from 8-1/2. His key collaborators throughout much of his later career included his wife Masina, actor Marcello Mastroianni, and composer Nino Rota, who became synonymous with Fellini for his work on LA DOLCE VITA, 8-1/2 and AMARCORD. To the end of his life, Fellini was also influenced by his childhood in the seaside town of Rimini, by "the backdrop of the sea … whence arrive the pirate ships, the Turks, the King, the American battle cruisers with Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire dancing in the shadow of the guns."

Four-time winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film (for LA STRADA, THE NIGHTS OF CABIRIA, 8-1/2 and AMARCORD), Fellini was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Oscar in 1993. The maestro passed away on October 31, 1993, two months after suffering a stroke at the Grand Hotel in his childhood hometown of Rimini, where he was later buried.

 

Friday, May 21 – 7:00 PM

New 35mm Print:

VARIETY LIGHTS (LUCI DEL VARIET└), 1950, Janus/Criterion, 106 min. Fellini’s first feature (co-directed with Alberto Lattuada) shows many of the characters and themes of his later films already in place, in this loving, wistful story of a rag-tag group of traveling performers and their passions, jealousies and insecurities. Peppino De Filippo stars as the leader of a small-time vaudeville troupe – whose fortunes dramatically change when a beautiful ingenue (Carla Del Poggio) joins. Fellini’s wife and muse Giulietta Masina co-stars as De Filippo’s long-suffering girlfriend. Superb B&W cinematography by veteran D.P. Otello Martelli, who started in the silent era and went on to shoot many of Fellini’s greatest films including LA STRADA and LA DOLCE VITA.

 

Friday, May 21 – 9:15 PM

New 35mm Print:

8-1/2 (OTTO E MEZZO), 1963, Kino, 144 min. Arguably Fellini’s greatest masterpiece, and one of the most singular achievements in the history of cinema, 8-1/2 stars the great Marcello Mastroianni as a very Fellini-like director trying to escape the self-made chaos of his artistic and personal lives at an Italian health spa, where he’s pursued by jealous mistresses, demanding producers and surreal fantasies of his own past, present and future. Co-starring Claudia Cardinale, Anouk Aimee, Sandra Milo, Rossella Falk and Barbara Steele, with a gorgeous score by composer Nino Rota. Winner of Academy Awards for Best Foreign Film and Costume Design. Print restored by Mediaset-Cinema Forever.

 

Saturday, May 22 – 2:00 PM [SPIELBERG THEATRE]

"The Lost Ending of 8-1/2," 2003, Sciarlo’ Film, 50 min. Director Mario Sesti, after finding an intriguing photograph, discovered there was an original (and lost) ending to Fellini’s widely-seen, widely-analyzed masterpiece 8-1/2. This documentary is a fascinating look at a remarkable discovery, as Sesti sets out to unearth the film’s forgotten final scene.

 

Saturday, May 22 – 5:00 PM

New 35mm Print:

LA STRADA, 1954, Janus/Criterion, 107 min. Dir. Federico Fellini. When peasant Gelsomina (the dazzling Giulietta Masina) is sold to boorish strongman Zampan˛ (Anthony Quinn) as his on-the-road assistant, she quickly becomes both an adept carnival performer and victim of her master’s cruelty. This magical, poetic tale of love, loss and loneliness was one of Fellini’s favorites. With Richard Basehart. Winner of the first-ever Best Foreign Language Film Oscar in 1956. "Giulietta has the lightness of a phantom, a dream, an idea. She possesses the movements, the mimic skills and the cadences of a clown." – Fellini.

 

Saturday, May 22 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature – New 35mm Prints:

THE WHITE SHEIK (LO SCEICCO BIANCO), 1952, Janus/Criterion, 92 min. Dir. Federico Fellini. "Our real life is in our dreams," muses newlywed wife Wanda (Brunella Bovo), who uses her honeymoon in Rome to escape husband Ivan (Leopoldo Trieste) and pursue the real object of her fantasies: "The White Sheik" (played by the great Italian comic Alberto Sordi), star of a series of popular fumetti (photo comic books). Fellini’s first full feature as director brought together many of his key collaborators including composer Nino Rota and actress Giulietta Masina, who co-stars as a prostitute named Cabiria (a role she reprised famously in 1957.) Co-written by Fellini and Michelangelo Antonioni. Print restored by Mediaset-Cinema Forever.

I VITELLONI, 1953, Kino, 114 min. Dir. Federico Fellini. Fellini’s tender and satirical portrait of a group of young vitelloni – jobless, middle-class layabouts – follows them through the discontent of their small-town daily lives. A surprise success in its initial release, I VITELLONI influenced later coming-of-age films such as AMERICAN GRAFFITI and DINER, and presaged the "slacker" films of the 90s by nearly 40 years. With Alberto Sordi, Leopoldo Trieste. Print restored by Mediaset-Cinema Forever.

 

Sunday, May 23 – 3:00 PM

New 35mm Print:

JULIET OF THE SPIRITS (GIULIETTA DEGLI SPIRIT), 1965, Rialto Pictures, 145 min. Dir. Federico Fellini. The incomparable Giulietta Masina stars as a sweet, neglected upper-middle class housewife experiencing a mid-life crisis when she begins to doubt her husband’s fidelity. A beautiful meditation on the female psyche and a mesmerizing companion piece to "8-1/2," JULIET features some of the most intuitively delightful visuals to be found in Italian cinema. Fellini is reported to have attended seances and visited tarot card readers and mediums as research for the film! Print restored by Mediaset-Cinema Forever.

 

Sunday, May 23 – 6:00 PM

Double Feature – New 35mm Prints:

THE SWINDLE (IL BIDONE), 1955, Titanus Films, 120 min. Dir. Federico Fellini. Broderick Crawford stars as small-time con man Augusto, cheating local villagers with the help of pals Picasso (Richard Basehart) and Roberto (Franco Fabrizi). When Augusto inadvertently stumbles into his estranged daughter, he begins to question his lifestyle. The film’s final, touching moments are stunning and unforgettable. With Giulietta Masina. Print restored by Cineteca di Bologna and Fondazione Federico Fellini.

NIGHTS OF CABIRIA (LE NOTTI DI CABIRIA), 1957, Rialto Pictures, 125 min. Dir. Federico Fellini. Giulietta Masina won the Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival for her unforgettable portrayal of a Roman prostitute named Cabiria who endures life’s tragedies with a heartbreaking, almost Chaplin-esque innocence and resilience. Winner of the Best Foreign Film Oscar, NIGHTS was later remade as the musical and film SWEET CHARITY – but the original remains unbeatable. Print restored by Canal +.

 

Wednesday, May 26 – 7:15 PM

Double Feature – New 35mm Prints:

Fellini Rarities Program:

TOBY DAMMIT (episode from TRE PASSI NEL DELIRIO), 1968, Janus/Criterion, 48 min. This was director Federico Fellini’s installment for the Edgar Allan Poe trilogy called SPIRITS OF THE DEAD here in the U.S. (the other two were directed by Roger Vadim and Louis Malle). Caught somewhere on the borderland between the nightlife of LA DOLCE VITA and the decadent nightmare of SATYRICON, mod movie heartthrob Toby Dammit (Terence Stamp) arrives in Rome to star in a spaghetti western about Jesus (financed by the Vatican no less!). The only problem is Toby has ingested one too many lysergic sugar cubes of late, and his already fragile sanity begins to unravel when he starts seeing a ghostly little girl (Ó la Mario Bava’s KILL, BABY, KILL) following him everywhere he goes. Regarded by many as one of Fellini’s finest achievements.

THE TEMPTATION OF DR. ANTONIO (LE TENTAZIONI DEL DOTTOR ANTONIO – episode from BOCCACIO ’70), 1962, 62 min. Dir. Federico Fellini. In this spoof of moral righteousness and hypocrisy, Dr. Antonio (the hilarious Peppino De Filippo) begins a crusade against a suggestive milk billboard. As his efforts risk being undermined by a repressed obsession with the ad’s sexy model (Anita Ekberg), Antonio’s integrity and sanity come under assault. Fellini’s segment is the first in an originally four-part collection. Plus, ultra-rare Fellini TV commercials for Barilla, Campari and Banca Di Roma (1986 – 1992).

AND THE SHIP SAILS ON (E LA NAVE VA), 1983, Janus/Criterion, 131 min. Dir. Federico Fellini. At almost 70, Fellini delivered one of his most lighthearted, fanciful and still-underrated films, a typically carnival-esque portrait of a group of passengers on a luxury liner in 1914 carrying the ashes of a famous Italian opera singer. Production designer Dante Ferretti’s superb, theatrical sets are almost a character in themselves – and cinephiles should note that controversial French director Catherine Breillat (ROMANCE) contributed to the script. With Freddie Jones, Barbara Jefford, Victor Poletti.

 

Friday, May 28 – 7:00 PM

New 35mm Print:

SATYRICON, 1969, MGM/UA, 128 min. Director Federico Fellini’s astounding adaptation of Petronious’ classic looks at ancient Rome as it’s never been seen before – appearing at times as if it were filmed on another planet. The production design by Luigi Scaccianoce is just one of the many reasons for the dreamlike feeling one gets on viewing this uncanny feast for the senses. Punctuated by an eerily beautiful, atonal score by Tod Dockstader and Nino Rota -- amongst others – SATYRICON follows na´ve idealist Encolpio (Martin Potter) on his perilous odyssey to win back the love of androgynous boy slave Gitone (Max Born) from his streetwise rival, Ascilto (Hiram Keller). The audience is invited along but must leave its preconceptions at the door. Controversial and underrated on its first release, SATYRICON remains one of Fellini’s most hypnotic, phantasmagorical masterworks.

 

Friday, May 28 – 9:30 PM

Double Feature – New 35mm Prints:

THE CLOWNS, 1970, Cinematografica Leone/RAI Cinema, 97 min. Dir. Federico Fellini. Fellini’s quasi-documentary about the making of a documentary follows the director himself, with film crew in tow, in search of "the clowns of [his] childhood." His obsession with the sometimes-funny, sometimes-frightful circus stars leads to an examination of the history of clowns and a look at some of the day’s best performers. A joyful and often somber tribute to one of the director’s favorite subjects. "It is likely that if the cinema had not existed … I should have liked to be the director of a big circus." – Fellini. Restored by RAI Cinema.

ROMA, 1972, MGM/UA, 122 min. Dir. Federico Fellini. Here, Fellini takes viewers on a romantic and sometimes gritty journey into the heart of his beloved Rome, a city he considered his "private apartment." In making this part-documentary/part-fantasy/part-autobiography, Fellini sought to capture, "a Rome anthropomorphised, seen like a woman who one loves and hates at the same time; or like a universe which one believes one knows well because it has always been there, and which, all of a sudden, reveals itself completely unknown, like an unexplored jungle." Restored by SNC.

 

Saturday, May 29 – 2:00 PM – [SPIELBERG THEATRE]

"The Magic Of Fellini," 2002, 55 min. Dir. Carmen Piccinni. "The Magic of Fellini" is an exploration of the director's dreams, his drawings, and his sense of making films as making love. This documentary is a collage of rare interviews with actors who have worked with Fellini and the many directors who were influenced by his work. The interviews are intercut with clips from Fellini's films, behind-the-scene footage, drawings and photographs.

"The Mysterious Journey of F. Fellini," 2003, Prodigy Prod., 52 min. Dir. Maite Carpio. During the summer of 1965, Federico Fellini began writing a script for an epic film called THE JOURNEY OF G. MASTORNA. It was the story of a musician, G. Mastorna, who, following the emergency landing of a plane he was travelling in, and discovers he is really dead. The producer of this ghostly project was Dino De Laurentiis. After two years of hard work, the set was under construction, the troupe was ready, DinocittÓ at his complete disposal… but, mysteriously, Fellini decided to give up. The film was never to be made. Why? What caused the director to make such an unbelievable decision? Mastorna’s ghost, however, never abandoned Fellini’s side. "It is a story that has kept me company for almost thirty years…" – Fellini.

 

Saturday, May 29 – 5:00 PM

Restored 35mm Print!

LA DOLCE VITA, 1960, Paramount, 185 min. Director Federico Fellini feels his way from the neo-realist past to the illusory future in this incredible emotional travelogue of the soul of modern Rome. How better to open the free-wheeling 1960’s than with this alternately funny, feral, sweet and seductive meditation on what is truly meaningful (if anything) for the dusk-to-dawn Italian jetset? Marcello Mastroianni was catapulted into superstar status as the sensitive tabloid reporter juggling the affections of several women (voluptuous movie star Anita Ekberg, icy mistress Anouk Aimee and neurotic girlfriend Magali Noel) while making the rounds of the spirit-destroying nightlife of the Via Veneto. Mastroianni’s scene with Ekberg in the Trevi Fountain at dawn remains one of the most timeless, memorable images ever to emerge from world cinema. Print restored by Mediaset-Cinema Forever. "I feel that decadence is indispensable to rebirth." – Fellini.

 

Saturday, May 29 – 8:45 PM

Double Feature – New 35mm Prints:

FELLINI’S CASANOVA (IL CASANOVA DI FEDERICO FELLINI), 1976, Universal, 157 min. Dir. Federico Fellini. Adapted from Casanova’s autobiography – while also deconstructing many of the famous lover’s self-created myths – CASANOVA stars a masterful Donald Sutherland in the titular role. Fellini’s story follows Casanova’s sexual exploits throughout Europe, as his personae becomes increasingly rejected and deflated. With Tina Aumont, and beautiful score by Nino Rota. 1997 Oscar Winner for Best Costume Design.

Restored 35mm Print! ORCHESTRA REHEARSAL (PROVA D’ORCHESTRA), 1979, Mediaset Cinema Forever/RAI Cinema, 75 min. Dir. Federico Fellini. Restored by RAI Cinema. Shot on a single set over 16 days, this allegoric meditation was originally made for TV and was inspired by the terrorist kidnapping and murder of Italian politician Aldo Moro. With a television documentary crew observing, a Roman orchestra convenes to rehearse and swiftly dissolves into total anarchy – with arguments, instrument fanaticism and even lovemaking ensuing. As the orchestra’s conductor (Balduin Baas) turns to tyrant, the players unite and revolt. With Clara Colosimo.

 

Sunday, May 30 – 1:00 PM – [SPIELBERG THEATRE]

"Walt Disney & Fellini," 1987, 30 min. Dir. Vincenzo Mollica. An interview filmed in 1987 at the Lunapark of Rome (akin to Universal Studios) on occasion of the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney’s SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS. In reality, there is a preparatory script that took 10 days to be realized by Vincenzo Mollica (also the interviewer, and lifetime friend of Fellini), and Fellini himself, so that everything looked casual. This interview is a rarity because it is the only document in which Fellini deeply analyzes the work and style of another filmmaker, and his relationship with him. Disney also realized several sketches to illustrate Fellini’s LA STRADA, as it was his intention to make a cartoon. Those drawings were stolen from Fellini’s home, but the characters of LA STRADA have long survived in the Mickey Mouse cartoons.

"La Tivu’ Di Fellini," 2003, Istituto Luce/Alberto Grimaldi, 38 min. Dir. Tati Sanguinetti. During the shooting of GINGER & FRED in 1985, Fellini directed a number of satirical segments parodying Italian television, quiz shows and advertising, which were intended to be spread throughout the movie, but were later cut. "These crumbs, these shavings, these fragments," as Fellini affectionately called them, were finally rescued by Tati Sanguinetti and the Istituto Luce in 2003, and are assembled here.

 

Sunday, May 30 – 3:30 PM

New 35mm Print:

AMARCORD, 1973, Janus/Criterion, 126 min. Dir. Federico Fellini. One of Fellini’s most purely autobiographical films (and his last great critical and commercial success worldwide), AMARCORD is an episodic portrait of a 15-year-old boy’s bittersweet coming of age in a seaside resort town, among an alternately grotesque and sympathetic assortment of relatives, prostitutes, Fascists, Catholic priests and more. With Bruno Zanin, Pupella Maggio. "You can see from AMARCORD that I learned little in school. To compensate, I enjoyed myself a lot." – Fellini. Winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film.

 

Sunday, May 30 – 6:15 PM

Double Feature – New 35mm Prints:

CITY OF WOMEN (LA CITTA’ DELLE DONNE), 1980, New Yorker, 146 min. Snaporaz (Marcello Mastroianni) follows a voluptuously attractive woman (Bernice Stegers) off a train into the country and suddenly finds himself in a dreamlike province dominated by women. Fellini once again confronts his joys and fears, his loves and hates when it comes to all things female, examining the beguiling, beautiful mysteries of the opposite sex with Mastroianni as his surrogate. Revisiting familiar territory from LA DOLCE VITA to JULIET OF THE SPIRITS to FELLINI’S CASANOVA but in an even more tantalizingly erotic, tongue-in-cheek mode, CITY OF WOMEN is another of the maestro’s most entertaining films.

GINGER AND FRED, 1985, Warner Bros. Classics, 131 min. Dir. Federico Fellini. Giulietta Masina and Marcello Mastroianni star as Amelia and Pippo, performers famous for their 1940s dance impersonations of Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. Brought together again in the 1980s to perform for a TV variety show, "Ginger" and "Fred" are greeted by incompetent hotel and TV staff, technical difficulties and a freakshow guest line-up. While this is often a touching and nostalgic homage to a time past, it is also a biting satire of television and popular culture. Masina and Mastroianni dazzle in the starring roles.

 

Monday, May 31 – 7:15 PM

Double Feature – New 35mm Prints:

INTERVISTA, 1987, Castle Hill, 108 min. Dir. Federico Fellini. Fellini’s final "documentary" was crafted as a 50th anniversary tribute to the CinecittÓ studios. As he is interviewed by a Japanese TV crew, the director reflects upon the many films he made there, as well as upon his own life. As his tale unfolds, beautiful narratives are re-created (including Fellini’s first visit to the studios) and Fellini favorites Marcello Mastroianni and Anita Elkberg appear to pay respects. A sensitive, fantastic memoir of an illustrious career, INTERVISTA is pure "Fellini on Fellini." Winner of the Special Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

 

THE VOICE OF THE MOON (LA VOCE DELLA LUNA), 1990, Cecchi Gori Group/RAI Cinema, 123 min. Dir. Federico Fellini. "If things were a little quieter, we might understand something," observes the idiot-savant hero Ivo (played by famous Italian comedian and Oscar-winner Roberto Benigni), a former mental patient who wanders through a world of strange dreams, and often stranger realities, in Fellini’s final film, and a fitting coda to his five decades as one of the world’s foremost artists. Sadly, THE VOICE OF THE MOON was never released in the U.S. – so don’t miss this rare opportunity to see it on the big screen.