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Week 8 | Date: 3/14/12 | Postwar Challenges to the Movies | Reading: Short History of Film 6


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Title: Week 8 | Date: 3/14/12 | Postwar Challenges to the Movies | Reading: Short History of Film 6

Week 8 Date 3/14/12 Postwar Challenges to
the Movies Reading Short History of Film 6
Film History
Film History
Before the indies and even before the French New
Wave, Italian neo-realism staked out new
cinematic territory. One of those blanket terms
that mean all things to all people, neo-realism
has few absolutes, though there are elements that
set the Italian version distinctly apart.
Screenwriter and poet Cesare Zavattini wrote an
actual manifesto to guide these films, but their
creation was just as much a result of timing,
chance and fluke. Unquestionably, their greatest
single influence was the anti-Fascism that marked
World War II's immediate postwar period. Key
elements are an emphasis on real lives (close to
but not quite documentary style), an entirely or
largely non-professional cast, and a focus on
collectivity rather than the individual.
Solidarity is important, along with an implicit
criticism of
Film History
the status quo. Plot and story come about
organically from these episodes and often turn on
quite tiny moments. Cinematically, neo-realism
pushed filmmakers out of the studio and on to the
streets, the camera freed-up and more vernacular,
the emphasis away from fantasy and towards
reality. Despite the rather short run - 1943 to
1952 - the heavyweight films of the period and
the principles that guided them put Italian
cinema on the map at the time and continue to
shape contemporary global filmmaking.Megan
Ratner, Neo-Realism GreenCine website on
Film History
  • Rome, Open City (1945)
  • Paisan (1946)
  • Germany Year Zero (1947)
  • Stromboli (1950)

Roberto Rossellini (1906-1977)
Film History
Roberto Rossellini
Film History
Ingrid Bergman (left) and Isabella Rosselini
(above) the daughter granddaugher of Roberto
Film History
  • Shoeshine (1946)
  • The Bicycle Thief (1948)
  • Miracle in Milan (1951)
  • Umberto D (1952)

Vittorio De Sica (1901-1974)
Film History
Vittorio De Sica
Film History
Vittorio De Sica
Film History
La Strada, La Dolce Vita, 8½, Juliet of the
Spirits, Fellini-Satyricon, Fellinis Roma, The
Clowns, Amarcord
Federico Fellini (1920-1993)
Il PoetaFederico FelliniFilm History, Week 8
(Spring 2012)
Film History
Film History
Film History
Film History
Everything and Nothing by Jorge Luis
Borges   There was no one in him behind his face
(even the poor paintings of the epoch show it to
be unlike any other) and behind his words (which
were copious, fantastic, and agitated) there was
nothing but a bit of cold, a dream not dreamed by
anyone. At first he thought that everyone was
like himself. But the dismay shown by a comrade
to whom he mentioned the vacuity revealed his
error to him and made him realize forever that an
individual should not differ from the species. At
one time it occurred to him that he might find a
remedy for his difficulty in books, and so he
learned the small Latin and less Greek, of
which a contemporary spoke.
Film History
Later, he considered he might find what he sought
in carrying out one of the elemental rites of
humanity, and so he let himself be initiated by
Anne Hathaway in the long siesta hour of an
afternoon in June. In his twenties he went to
London. Instinctively, he had already trained
himself in the habit of pretending he was
someone, so it would not be discovered that he
was no one. In London, he found the profession to
which he had been predestined, that of actor
someone who, on a stage, plays at being someone
else, before a concourse of people who pretend to
take him for that other one. His histrionic work
taught him a singular satisfaction, perhaps the
first he had ever known. And yet, once the last
line of verse had been acclaimed and the last
dead man dragged off stage, he tasted the hateful
taste of unreality. He would leave off being
Ferrex or Tamburlaine and become no one again.
Film History
Thus beset, he took to imagining other heroes and
other tragic tales. And so, while his body
complied with its bodily destiny in London
bawdyhouses and taverns, the soul inhabiting that
body was Caesar unheeding the augurs warnings,
and Juliet detesting the lark, and Macbeth
talking on the heath with the witches who are
also the Fates. No one was ever so many men as
that man like the Egyptian Proteus he was able
to exhaust all the possibilities of being. From
time to time he left, in some obscure corner of
his work, a confession he was sure would never be
deciphered Richard states that in his one person
he plays many parts, and Iago curiously says I
am not what I am. The fundamental oneness of
existing, dreaming, and acting inspired in him
several famous passages.
Film History
He persisted in this directed hallucination for
twenty years. But one morning he was overcome by
a surfeit and horror of being all those kings who
die by the sword and all those unfortunate lovers
who converge, diverge, and melodiously expire.
That same day he settled on the sale of his
theater. Before a week was out he had gone back
to his native village, where he recuperated the
trees and the river of his boyhood, without
relating them at all to trees and
rivers--illustrious with mythological allusion
and Latin phrase--which his Muse had celebrated.
He had to be someone he became a retired
impresario who has made his fortune and who is
interested in making loans, in lawsuits, and in
petty usury.
Film History
It was in character, then, in this character that
he dictated the arid last will and testament we
know, from which he deliberately excluded any
note of pathos or trace of literature. Friends
from London used to visit him in his retreat, and
for them he would once more play the part of the
poet.   History adds that before or after his
death he found himself facing God and said I,
who have been so many men in vain, want to be one
man, myself alone. From out of a whirlwind the
voice of God replied I dreamed the world the way
you dreamed your work my Shakespeare one of the
forms of my dream was you, who, like me, are many
and no one.
Film History
Lavery, David. To Discover That There Is Nothing
to Discover Imagination, the Open, and the
Movies of Federico Fellini. Doctoral
Dissertation, University of Florida, 1978. ___.
Major Man Fellini as an Autobiographer. Post
Script 6.2 (1987) 14-28. ___. News From Africa
Fellini/Grotesque. Post Script 9.1 2 (1990)
Film History
the suspicion--the extreme test of his
topicality, the total congruence of the director
and his time--that Fellini, a man who has
exhausted himself and his life in images, doesn't
exist. --Liliana Betti on Federico Fellini
Film History
When you work with Federico you only learn to
discover that theres nothing to discover.Lina
Wertmuller, assistant director on 8 ½ and
director of Seven Beauties, Swept Away, Which Way
is Up?
Film History
A flight of fantasy, whether in dreams or
daydreams, is no mere sleight of mind. But only
children will accept it as being equally as
profound as the arbitrary awareness we are taught
to regard as reality, and hence, only they are
nurtured by it. Later, of course, many of us
comprehend our self-imposed poverty and try to
double back, but the bread crumbs are always
missing and our failures are immense. A true
belief in the validity of non-ordinary
reality-with all that it can teach us-seems
beyond the capabilities of every practicing
adult, with the possible exception of Federico
Fellini---Garry Trudeau
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Fellini himself once even proclaimed the need for
a cine-mendacity to replace cinema-verite
because a lie is always more interesting than
the truth (Playboy 58).
Film History
Federico only blushes when he tells the
truth.Giulietta Masina
Film History
David Thomson, to cite an extreme example, has
ruthlessly assaulted Fellini (in his Biographical
Dictionary of Film) as an "obsessional vacuous
poseur . . . a half-baked, play-acting pessimist,
with no capacity for tragedy," whose films are a
"doodling in chaos."
Film History
Fellini is not honest, he is not dishonest, he
is just Fellini. . . . he has no limits he's
just like quicksilver--all over the place. I have
never seen anybody like that before. . . . He is
enormously intuitive he is creative he is an
enormous force. He is burning inside with such
heat. Collapsing . . . . The heat from his
creative mind, it melts him. . . . He is
rich.Ingmar Bergman (Simon 221-22)
Film History
Fellini the Autobiographer
Fellini the Autobiographer
Film History
Making a film is something quite other . . .
than a simple professional fact. It's a way of
realizing myself and giving my life a meaning.
That's why, when you ask me which of my films I
prefer, I'm stuck. I don't know what to say. I
don't consider my films as professional facts if
I did so, I might be able to look at them
objectively enough to say this one seems more of
a success than that. But as it is, I find getting
such a detached position absolutely impossible.
The way I want to speak about a film is, not to
say what I'm expressing in it, but the stages of
my life I pass through making it. I have just the
same difficulty as I would if somebody asked me
"Which do you prefer, your military career, or
your marriage, your first love, or meeting your
first friend?" They are all facts of my life. I
like it all, it's my life and consequently I
can't choose. (Burgeon 91)
Fellini the Autobiographer
Film History
My work can't be anything other than a testimony
of what I am looking for in life. It is a mirror
of my searching . . . for myself freed. In this
respect, I think, there is no cleavage or
difference of content or style in all my films.
From first to last, I have struggled to free
myself from the past, from the education laid
upon me as a child ("Interview," Playboy 58).
Fellini the Autobiographer
Film History
"If I set out to make a movie about a fillet of
sole, it would turn out to be about me" (Costello
Fellini the Autobiographer
Film History
The pearl is the oysters autobiography (Walter
36). --Federico Fellini
Fellini the Autobiographer
Film History
At bottom, I am always making the same film. I
am telling the story of characters in search of
themselves, in search of a more authentic source
of life, of conduct, of behavior, that will more
closely relate to the true roots of their
individuality (Kast 182-83).
Fellini the Autobiographer
Film History
Fellinis Creative-Life
Fellinis Creative Life
Film History
For the "real," he has explained, is not what we
assume it to be it is neither an enclosure nor
a panorama that has just a single surface. A
landscape, for example, has several textures, and
the deepest, the one that can be revealed only by
poetry, is no less real. It is said that what I
wish to show behind the epiderm of things and
people is the unreal. It is called my taste for
the mysterious. I shall readily accept this
description if you will use a capital "M." For me
the mysterious is man, the long irrational lines
of his spiritual life, love, salvation. . . . For
me, the key to the mystery--which is to say,
God--is to be found at the center of the
successive layers of reality . . . (Murray 35).
Fellinis Creative Life
Fellinis Creative Life
Film History
For me the only real artist is the visionary
because he bears witness to his own reality. A
visionary--Van Gogh, for instance--is a profound
realist. That wheat field with the black sun is
his only he saw it. There can't be greater
realism (Samuels 226).
Fellinis Creative Life
Film History
Film History
Fellini creates the way he sees" (Hughes 157).
--Dadaist/Surrealist Hans Richter
Fellinis Creative Life
Film History
My films happen because I sign a contract. I get
an advance I dont want to repay so I have to
make the film. Ill say it again you may think
Im being facetitious, but its absolutely true.
I dont believe in total creative freedom. A
creator, if he is given total creative freedom,
would tend, I think, to do nothing at all. The
greatest danger for an artist is total freedom,
to be able to wait for inspiration, that whole
romantic discourse. Psychologically, the artist
is an offender. He has a childish need to offend,
and to be able to offend, you need parents, a
headmaster, a high priest, the police. . . . I
need opposition, someone who annoys me, someone
who opposes me, to work up the energy that I need
to fight for what Im doing. I need an
enemy. Federico Fellini in Damian Pettigrews
documentary Fellini Im a Born Liar
Fellinis Creative Life
Film History
One day I met an angel who stretched out his
hand to me. I followed him, but after a short
time I left him and went back. He stopped and
waited at the same place for me. I see him again
in difficult moments and he says to me, Wait,
wait, just as I do to everyone. I am afraid that
when I call him one day, I shall not find him. It
is the angel who has always awakened me from my
spiritual torpor. When I was a boy, he was the
incarnation of an imaginary world, and then he
became the symbol of a vital moral need (quoted
in Murray 75).
Fellinis Creative Life
Film History
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When infamous critic Leslie Fiedler turns to the
subject of the grotesque in his Freaks Myths
and Images of the Secret Self, it is, of course,
Fellini he thinks of.
Film History
Fellini is the patron saint of the freaks of
Rome. --Theologian Harvey Cox
Film History
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Jamake Highwater's Ritual of the Wind North
American Indian Ceremonies, Music, and Dances. I
showed him a passage in which Highwater,
considering the contrariness of American Indian
sacred clowns, known for their scatological and
obscene parodies of tribal holy men, naturally
thinks of Fellini when he seeks to explain the
revulsion missionaries experienced confronting
the clowns behavior
Film History
The shock techniques of Dadaism and the late
films of Federico Fellini, have a great deal in
common with the contrariness of sacred clowns,
especially those of the Southwest.
Film History
When I introduce rather odd characters into my
films, people say Im exaggerating, that Im
doing a Fellini. But its just the opposite in
comparison with what happens to me all the time,
I feel Im softening things, moderating reality
to a remarkable degree (Strich 52).
Film History
The ideal imposes impossible standards and
unattainable aspirations that can only impede the
spontaneous growth of a normal human being, and
may conceivably destroy him. You must have
experienced this yourself. There arrives a moment
in life when you discover that what you've been
told at home, at school, or in church is simply
not true. You discover that it binds your
authentic self, your instinct, your true growth.
And this opens up a schism, creates a conflict
that must eventually be resolved or succumbed to.
In all forms of neurosis there is this clash
between certain forms of idealization in a moral
sense and a contrary aesthetic form. Federico
Fellini, Playboy Interview
Film History
For me theres no difference between a scent and
a stink. Perhaps if wed been taught that a stink
is nice and scent nasty, the world would see
things in a different light. God knows why
theres all this fuss about a bit of shit! Its a
human product, just as much as our thoughts
are!-- Eau de Cologne in Amarcord Portrait of a
Town (36)
Film History
Film History
In Italo Calvinos Invisible Cities, Marco Polo
regales Kublai Khan with the story--one of five
in the book designated as tales of Cities the
Sky--of Perinthia, a metropolis which, from its
very inception, had been intended as a utopia,
its ordering cosmologically inspired. In
Perinthia, we learn, all aspects of the city are
laid out according to the highest wisdom of
astrology and astronomy. Buildings, for example,
are cited in such a way as to receive the proper
influence of the favoring constellations. The
astronomers who oversaw Perinthias development
from the ground up guaranteed the city that it
would, without question, reflect the harmony of
the firmament.
Film History
Reality, of course, turns out to be anything but
ideal. For, Marco Polo informs us,   In
Perinthias streets and squares today you
encounter cripples, dwarfs, hunchbacks, obese
men, bearded women. But the worse cannot be seen
guttural howls are heard from cellars and lofts,
where families hide children with three heads or
six legs. (144)   Such grotesques bring the
astronomer/architects of Perinthea to an
intellectual impasse, one that crops up all
through Calvinos splendid fictions/thought
Film History
Either they must admit that all their
calculations were wrong and their figures are
unable to describe the heavens, or else they must
reveal that the order of the gods is reflected
exactly in the city of monsters. (145)   In the
grotesque cinematic world of Federico
Fellini--Calvinos contemporary, countryman, and
close friend--clearly the second alternative
seems the only viable one, and yet Fellini does
not embrace it out of deductive necessity. Filmed
on location in Perinthia, his movies celebrate
the revelation that the order of gods is
reflected exactly in the city of monsters. They
bring us news from Africa.
Film History
There is a nature that is grotesque within The
boulevards of the generals. Why should We say
that it mans interior world Or seeing the spent,
unconscious shapes of night, Pretend they are
shapes of another consciousness? The grotesque is
not a visitation. It is Not apparition but
appearance, part Of that simplified geography, in
which The sun comes up like news from Africa.
--Wallace Stevens, A Word with Jose
Film History
  • Variety Lights (1950)
  • The White Sheik (1951)
  • I Vitelloni (1953)
  • Love in the City (1953)
  • La Strada (1954)
  • Il Bidone (1955)
  • The Nights of Cabiria (1957)
  • La Dolce Vita (1960)
  • 8 1/2 (1963)
  • Juliet of the Spirits (1965)
  • Spirits of the Dead (1969)
  • Fellini-Satyricon (1969)
  • The Clowns (1971)
  • Fellini's Roma (1972)
  • Amarcord (1974)
  • Fellini's Casanova (1976)
  • Orchestra Rehearsal (1979)
  • City of Women (1980)
  • And the Ship Sails On (1984)
  • Ginger and Fred (1986)
  • Intervista (1987)
  • The Voice of the Moon (1989)

Film History
The Jungian psychologist James Hillman has
suggested that artists be thought of as
obsessional neurotics--like Lady Macbeth in
Shakespeares play, perpetually washing and
washing her handsOut, out damn spotfixated on
a particular sign or symbol. Or, they are like
the veteran who has lost a limb in battle and
returns again and again to the scene of his loss.
The artist obsesses over a decisive moment or
theme or symbol, following a repetition
compulsion until he or she gets it rightfinds a
way to make sense of it via story or image.
Film History
Variety Lights (1950)
Fellinis Movies
Film History
The White Sheik (1951)
Fellinis Movies
Film History
I Vitelloni (1953)

Fellinis Movies
Film History
Amore in città (Love in the City)
(1953)contributed Un'agenzia matrimoniale ("A
Marriage Agency)
Fellinis Movies
Film History
La Strada (1954)
Fellini Ending in Despair LaStrada (1954) Watch
on YouTube Il Bidone (1955) Watch on YouTube Le
Notti di Cabiria (1957) Watch on YouTube
Fellinis Movies
Film History
Il Bidone (1955)
Fellini Ending in Despair LaStrada (1954) Watch
on YouTube Il Bidone (1955) Watch on YouTube Le
Notti di Cabiria (1957) Watch on YouTube
Fellinis Movies
Film History
The Nights of Cabiria (1957)
Fellini Ending in Despair LaStrada (1954) Watch
on YouTube Il Bidone (1955) Watch on YouTube Le
Notti di Cabiria (1957) Watch on YouTube
Fellinis Movies
Film History
Cabiria The Voyage to the End of
Neorealism Andre Bazin
Fellinis Movies
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La Dolce Vita (1960)
Fellinis Movies
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8 1/2 (1963) The Opening Sequence of 8
1/2 (1963) Watch on YouTube
The death of cinema as a public
spectacleRichard Schickel
Fellinis Movies
Film History
Juliet of the Spirits (1965) Fellinis First
Color Film The Final Sequence of  Juliet of the
Spirits (1965) Watch on YouTube
Fellinis Movies
Film History
Fellini-Satyricon (1969)
You should take your friends to see Satyricon to
see if they are in fact your friends.Federico
Fellinis Movies
Film History
Fellini Does Acid
Fellinis Movies
Film History
Spirits of the Dead(1969)contributed Toby
Fellinis Movies
Film History
The Clowns (1971)

Fellinis Movies
Film History
Fellinis Two Clowns Theory White Clown
overbearing, pompous, rational, bossy, a
moralistic Auguste Clown impetuous,
emotion-driven, a screw-up, a sinner
Fellinis Movies
Film History
  • Sigmund Freud
  • C. G. Jung

Fellinis Two Clowns Theory
Film History
  • Adolf Hitler
  • Benito Mussolini

Fellinis Two Clowns Theory
Film History
  • Oliver Hardy (right)
  • Stan Laurel (left)

Fellinis Two Clowns Theory
Film History
  • Dick Cheney
  • George W. Bush

Fellinis Two Clowns Theory
Film History
Bud Abbott Lou Costello Moe Curly (from the
Three Stooges) Dan Rowan Dick Martin Dick
Smothers Tom Smothers Dean Martin Jerry
Lewis Johnny Carson Ed McMahon Ricky Ricardo
Lucy Ricardo Gracie Burns George Burns Jerry
Seinfeld George Costanza Ren Stimpy Marge
Simpson Homer Simpson Hillary Clinton Bill
Clinton Left Brain Right Brain Stephen Colbert
Jon Stewart
Fellinis Two Clowns Theory White (l)/Auguste (r)
Film History
Fellini's Roma (1972)
Fellinis Movies
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Amarcord (1974)
Fellinis Movies
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Though there's many a charming town And the world
abounds with beauty. At evening when the sun goes
down And finds you in some far-off place Sitting
at a stranger's hearth, The Borgo Rimini in
your heart will seem The loveliest place on
earth. Oh, how will you will live, so far from
home? (Amarcord 141)
Fellinis Movies
Film History
Fellini's Casanova (1976)
Fellinis Movies
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Orchestra Rehearsal (1979)
Fellinis Movies
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City of Women (1980)
Fellinis Movies
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About the time I completed my doctoral
dissertation To Discover That Theres Nothing to
Discover Imagination, the Open, and the Movies
of Federico Fellini in the summer of 1978, I
wrote Fellini to inquire whether I might visit
him in Rome and, perhaps, interview him. (My wife
of six months worked for Delta Airlines and we
could fly to Italy for next to nothing.) Fellini
respondeda scan of the letter is on the next
slide--and invited me to the set of City of Women
(1980), but he would not, alas, have time for an
Fellinis Movies
Film History
Fellinis Movies
Film History
I gave Fellini a copy of this poem on the set of
City of Women in November 1979 at Cinecitta
Studios in Rome. I also gave him a copy of The
Doonesbury Chronicles. He took out his glasses
there on the set, read the poem, and then touched
me on the cheek in a classic Italian gesture of
gratitude. _______________________________________
________ FELLINIESQUE Consummation of the
poet then the passage winds describe to
breadcrumbs in his iris, ambit of quicksilver
re-memberings, the center-ring agreements, invent
ions of the sesame (Asa Nisi Masa) "where the
eyes move" in amarcord's serenade
Fellinis Movies
Film History
"true friends" guide, dawns of angelic
exercise, the tour of la strada, vouching "Buena
seral"-- the mother's pedagogy, like a peacock's
benediction Auguste reconnoiterings, grotesque
sagas of confessed misogyny, prodigal from
wrapping sheets and afraid of being happy, ascend
trees wanting woman-- her glance of shy epiphany
Fellinis Movies
Film History
"there the treasures are" little hands of
spring in seminars of weather the photogenic
seasons Nothing to say 6/25/78
Fellinis Movies
Film History
On the set that day we met Giulietta Masina,
Fellinis wife (to our greeting she replied, in
perfect English, I am so sorry. I dont speak
English). On the way to be seated before
filming commenced, Joyce bumped into someone.
When we turned to look back we saw that it was
Marcello Mastroianni.
Fellinis Movies
Film History
Fellinis Movies
Giulietta Masina
Film History
Fellinis Movies
Marcello Mastroianni
Film History
And the Ship Sails On (1984)
Fellinis Movies
Film History
Ginger and Fred (1986)
Fellinis Movies
Film History
Intervista (1987)
Fellinis Movies
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The Voice of the Moon (1989)
Fellinis Movies
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Fellini Receives an Honorary Oscar
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And round and round, the merely going
round, Until merely going round is a final
good, The way wine comes at a table in a
wood.   And we enjoy like men, the way a
leaf Above the table spins its constant spin, So
that we look at it with pleasure, look   At it
spinning its eccentric measure. Perhaps The
man-hero is not the exceptional monster, But he
that of repetition is most master. --Wallace
Stevens, Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction
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