Fellini News Update #13

  • February 22, 2005

1) Happy Birthday Giulietta Masina

First and foremost, February 22, is the birthdate of Giulietta Masina, aka: Mrs. Fellini, aka: Gelsomina, Cabiria, Ginger, et al., aka: La Maisna. Her career was pretty much defined by her work with Federico. She appeared in eight of his films. Although she won numerous awards for her acting across Europe, it was only the films that won Academy Awards. Both La Strada (which was the first ever film to win an Oscar for Best Foreign Film) and Nights of Cabiria won Oscars and both are difficult to imagine without Masina's inspired acting. She was certainly as deserving of those golden stauettes as much as her director.

With that in mind, I propose a toast in hommage to and in memory of La Masina. Cheers!

2) The Smiles of Rome

Author Susan Cahill adds a twist to the literary anthology genre by selecting passages by 29 writers using them as a launch pad into a notated tour of the Eternal City. From Ovid to Updike to...Fellini, of course! The book will be available March 1. Read the complete New York Times review here.

3) Cabaret Nino Rota

Going to Umbria this summer? Aren't we all. An intriguing theatrical performance featuring the music of Nino Rota will be performed in June as part of the Orvieto Musical Cinema Festival, a marriage between music and cinema. Reckon it will make it to Texas? Nah. Read the scoop at Tiscali and at Bellaumbria.

4) Amarcord

Amarcord, The quarterly, bi-lingual, journal published by Fondazione Federico Fellini in Rimini, has a new issue focusing on Fellini's La Strada, and featuring an essay by Peter Bondanella. (The mag is available stateside from Cineaste. Read about it here.

5) Intervista on DVD

Previously hard to find on DVD, Fellini's late film Intervista will be available March 1, from Koch-Lorber Films, the same company that released La Dolce Vita on DVD last October. Exciting news about other Fellini releases by K-L will be announced soon. Check it out here.

6) Fellini in effigy

The Italian town of Gambettola is famous for, among other things, it's Easter Monday Spring Carnivale -like a Macy's New Years Day parade with creatively designed floats parading through the narrow streets. In 1999 they had a float in ommage to Fellini. Very Felliniesque. Read all about it and see the float here and here.

7) Fellini Friday

This sounds like a good idea. Art After Dark, "a dynamic group of young adults exploring the visual arts" at the Honolulu Academy of Arts, presents Fellini Friday: "Fellini films, fabulous Italian eats and Ferrari's!" Sponsored by Fellini/Maserati of Hawaii. I don't make this stuff up.

8) Federico Fellini-Toulouse-Lautrec and Federico's Dream

Two immortal artists; Rome and Paris; Belle-Epoque and La Dolce Vita; The circus and and beautiful women. These and other comparisons are put forward in this 2003 book, edited by Alessandro Nicosia. (Not to be confused with the 1973 book on Lautrec with an introduction by Fellini entitled, "Why I Love Lautrec".) Read more here.

Another book published back in 1994 only recently came to my attention: Federico's Dream, by Monica Sangberg. It's a beautifully illustrated picture book for childeren ages 7 - 9 that tells the story of a small boy named Federico who is a magician with a traveling circus. Available in French, German, Italian and Spanish language. Read more here.

9) Seattle Conference

Word on the street is that the publication/release of the academic papers presented at the Felliniana Conference in Seattle 2003 as well as a documentary DVD is moving closer to reality. No definite word on exactly when that will be, however. Stay tuned.

10) Felliniana Archive News

I still have a few copies of my 2005 Fellini Eroticon calendar available. The cost is $20. which now includes free shipping.

Finally, DonYoungFellinianaArchive recently acquired one of the hardest to find of all Fellini posters: an original British quad of La Strada. Apparently, very few of these posters survived the initial British release in 1954. This is the first one I've seen in over 10 years of collecting Felliniana.

11) Fellini's Penance

I recently made contact with Dr. Theodore Price who is with the English department at Montclair State University in New Jersey. Along with his late wife, Barbara, he edited the gold standard Fellinian bibliography in 1976, Federico Fellini: An Annotated International Biblography. With the help of this book, I was able to build one of the most complete Fellini libraries in the USA. After recently discovering an obscure booklet he wrote on the subject of Fellini's Amarcord entitled, Fellini's Penance, I managed to track Ted down and offer my gratitude for his brilliant insight into Fellini's great work. You can find a few more copies of this out-of-print essay here.

Don't forget to raise a glass in memory of La Masina.