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Federico Fellini

Federico Fellini and Giulietta MasinaFederico Fellini
and Giulietta Masina

Federico Fellini was born in Rimini in 1920, the year in which Walt Disney made his first cartoon. Cartoons and comic strips were the great passions of Fellini's youth. He debuted in Rome as a creator of comic strips and vignettes for magazines of the time. During a radio transmission he met actress Giulietta Masina and married her soon thereafter. It was the encounter of his life; together they wrote several of the most important pages in Italian cinema.

Federico FelliniFederico Fellini

In the '40s he worked alongside directors like Rossellini and Germi. In this way he began a fantastic adventure marked by international recognition and five Academy awards. For half a century Fellini would tell audiences of the world, through film, his dreams, his fantastic obsessions. For his inimitable style, an adjective would be coined; anything that is a mysterious dream, an extraordinary, unusual and bizarre fantasy, is defined today as "Felliniesque". Federico Fellini died on October 31, 1993; his lifelong companion, Giulietta, followed him a few months later.

Federico Fellini - His Work

Scene from 'I Vitelloni'Scene from 'I Vitelloni'

Fellini released his first film, Luci del varietá in 1950. Lo sceicco bianco in 1952 on the world of the fotoromanzo (soap operas in print), was a failure. I Vitelloni, an autobiographical portrayal of youths from provincial Italy, suspended between dreams of glory and the inability to act, on the other hand, met a different fate, winning an award at the Festival di Venezia.

Giulietta Masina in 'La Strada'Giulietta Masina in 'La Strada'

Success arrived with La strada, 1956 Oscar-winner, that gave the world the moving character of Gelsomina, sweet and defenseless in the face of life's cruelty, as acted by an extraordinary Giulietta Masina. His next films were Il bidone, on the world of penniless swindlers, and Le notti di Cabiria, another Oscar and further acclaim for Masina in the role of the prostitute who dreams of a better life. With La dolce vita and Otto e mezzo (8 1/2), Fellini began his long association with Marcello Mastroianni, the "Fellinian" actor par excellence.

Le Notti di CabiriaLe Notti di Cabiria

It was 1963; having won the Oscar for Otto e mezzo, Fellini was already one of the greats of world cinema. Religious superstition, the mystery of the great beyond and death, nostalgia for the provincial world, the obsession for women, the circus: these themes most dear to Fellini unwind in the following films: Giulietta degli spiriti in 1965, Satyricon in 1969, I clowns, Roma, Amarcord, a 1975 Oscar-winner, Casanova, Prova d'orchesta, La cittá delle donne in 1980.

Fellini. Masina with Academy AwardsFellini and Masina
with Academy Awards

And further the visionary E la nave va, Ginger and Fred in 1985, L'intervista in 1987, and finally La voce della luna, 1990, the story of a young man obssessed by the moon and by distant voices of the dead that he believes to hear emanating from wells scattered throughout the countryside, a poetic film that closed a fantastic career.

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