Fellini News Update #15
1) Felliniana Archive News
Please check out the new Don Young Felliniana Archive website. Gradually, most of the 5,000 item collection will be available as an online gallery as well as this and all previous Fellini News Updates. Thanks for looking.
2) In Memoriam
July 26 marks the anniversary birth date of Maria Antonietta Beluzzi, the lovely, excitable tobacconist in Amarcord. Her small role made a big impact in the film and secured her place in the Felliniian iconography. (See Odds ‘n Ends below) She made few other films in a brief career, but she left an indelible mark with her sweet face and that blue angora sweater. I’ll definitely be raising a toast to her memory on Tuesday.You can read the Variety obit, here.
Alberto Lattuada, Italian film director, has died at age 90. He is probably best known as having co-directed Fellini’s first film, VARIETY LIGHTS (Luci del Varieta). You can read more about the man and his other Fellini connections, here.
Martin Scorsese has struck a deal with Philips Electronics Co. to promote their new Ambilight widescreen Flat TV.
Scorsese was asked to come up with 10 films that demonstrate masterful use of light and color. "Films use light and color to tell a story in a special narrative way, which delivers a strong emotional and intellectual impact on the viewer," Scorsese said. "That made a very strong impression on me and has affected how I try to use color in all of my films." Included in his selections is Fellini’s SATYRICON. I couldn’t agree more. Check out the complete lists and read more here.
Sandy Allen the 7’-7” giantess and world’s tallest woman, who had a role in Fellini’s Casanova, celebrates her 50th birthday. Read all about it here.
Read an interview with Eric Burritt, director of, Fellini Ungrateful Celebration, a documentary film of the Intl. Fellini Academic Conference, held in 2003, in Seattle, Washington.
Dante Ferretti, Fellini’s set designer from City of Women to Ginger and Fred, will head the jury for the 2005 Venice Film Festival this fall. He recently worked on The Aviator for Scorsese. Read more here.
Italian artist, David Parenti , creates strikingly beautiful works in pencil and mixed media. His works dedicated to Federico Fellini are now available in a new book, Fellini X. Please check out his work, here.
4) Six Degrees of Separation
According to media essayist, Jim Hill, no less than Federico Fellini is directly responsible for the existence of the Star Wars films of George Lucas. The story goes like this: Lucas’ dream project was to do a remake of Flash Gordon. Only problem was someone else owned the rights. Someone named Fellini! Unable to secure the rights, Lucas started work on a new idea featuring a guy named Skywalker. Read this fascinating story, here.
In a recent interview, film director, John Waters, reveals that he once took Federico Fellini to see his film, Pink Flamingos. Read more about him and his show at the Andy Warhol Museum here.
5) Festival News
Toronto, Ontario is the latest stop on the Tutto Fellini express as it travels to every corner of the globe, except Texas. (Yet.) All 24 of Fellini’s films will be screened through August 20. Read about that and other exciting events at Cinematheque Ontario, here.
6) Book/Music/DVD/Stage - News & Reviews
Rimini, a new book by the late Italian photographer, Marco Pesaresi, whose photo images are evocative of Fellini’s, will be available in September. Check out this link to a slide show of his work.
Amarcord, the indispensable periodical published by the Fondazione Federico Fellini in Rimini, has two new issues available. The most recent focuses on it’s namesake film, Amarcord, with a reexamination of the film. Read about it here.
Order in the U.S. from Cineaste in New York.
Nino Rota, Federico Fellini and the Making of an Italian Cinematic Folk Opera:Amarcord. Such is the cumbersome title of what may prove to be the most in depth study ever undertaken on the subject of the Fellini/Rota collaboration. Author, Franco Sciannameo, is a world class violist, scholar and teacher, whose book appears to be a fascinating examination of music and the film from a totally unique perspective. Prof. Paul Chiarra writes, “The story of Nino Rota and Federico Fellini may well come to be understood as the model for the future of classical composers and their music, rather than as a glamorous anomaly.” Read more here.
Pre-Order from Amazon here.
Van Cluburn Piano Competition medalist, Benedetto Lupo, has released a new CD featuring the adapted ballet suite from the film score of LA STRADA by Fellini musical collaborator, Nino Rota. Read a review here.
You can download a 529 word review, by Philip Booth of the Sarasota Herald Tribune, of the restored Fellini film, I Vitelloni, for $5.95.
Success: Advice for Achieving Your Goals from Remarkably Accomplished People , a new book edited by Jena Pincott, quotes J.K. Rowling and Federico Fellini, among others, on getting started. Read a review, here.
I recently discovered DVD Times, a web site that has very comprehensive DVD reviews, notably, several Fellini’s. They compare and contrast, in depth, the various international releases. The reviews are especially helpful for the newly initiated Fellini fan building a collection. Read about Amarcord here.
Juliet of the Spirits
The Criterion Collection, “the gold standard” for film restoration and DVD releases, has announced the launch of a monthly newsletter. Read about it and sign up, here.
Christina Applegate stars as Charity in the new Broadway production, Sweet Charity, which is based on Bob Fosse’s film and starred Shirley McClaine which is based on Fellini’s film, The Night’s of Cabiria and starred Giulietta Masina in the title role. Read more here.
A new book titled, Le Lettere di Ottavia, by Luigi Malerba, stirs a debate on what is, perhaps the most famous scene in Italian film history: Anita Ekberg’s romp in the Trevi Fountain in Fellini’s, La Dolce Vita. Read more here.
Foreign Films in America: A History, is the title of a recent book by Kerry Segrave, that traces the history of the foreign film in America from its domination in the early days to its low standing in the present. Read more here.
A new production of Rossini’s opera, Il Turco in Italia, opened recently in London’s Covent Garden. According to director Moshe Leiser, “Because this piece is not realistic, it gives us a freedom of approach, and we want to pay a tribute to the Italy we love and to that master of film, Federico Fellini.” Read more here.
7) Student Essay of the Month
Joe Holmes, a freshman at Germanna Community College in Fredericksburg, Virginia, wrote this mini review of Fellini’s 8 1/2. He gives it a “10”!. Say Amen, somebody! Read it here.
8) Odds ‘n Ends ‘n Trifles
Speaking of icons, GQ magazine, that bastion of all things male testosterone, has published a poll asking readers to vote for their “Favorite Pair “ from a list of 19 movie actresses. To my pleasant surprise, Maria Antonietta Beluzzi, who played the unforgettable tobacconist in Fellini’s AMARCORD, made the list. You can read ‘em all and vote, if you must, here.
U.N.E.S.C.O. first unveiled this commemorative medal at Cannes in 1994, in recognition of the centenary of the birth of cinema as well as Fellini’s enormous contributions. It features a profile of Fellini and is available in gold, silver and bronze. See the medal, buy one and read more here.
In other coin news, the 85th anniversary of his birth, the Italian Ministry of Finance has issued a commemorative 5 Euro silver coin bearing his image. You can an view an image of it here.
I learned a new word today: “Fortean”. The term, derived form the name of a Mr. Charles Fort, was coined to describe strange phenomena with no suitable explanation, such as out-of-body experiences, ESP, ghosts, UFO’s etc. It all sounds very Felliniesque, no? Nigel Watson has written an engaging essay on how all this relates specifically to Fellini. Read about it here.
In June, at the Pushkin Museum on Red Square in Moscow, there was a fashion show featuring the costumes from famous Italian films, including three of Fellini’s. Against a backdrop of film clips, models did their thing. Read more here.
Time Magazine’s film critics, Richard Schickel and Richard Corliss recently selected Fellini’s 8 1/2 as one of the 100 All Time Best Films. No surprise there. Read more here.