Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Old Postcard Wednesday--Fellini • Portrait of a Film Director

You exist only in what you do.

                                                        ~Federico Fellini

I love this old postcard, and I love the above Fellini quote. It seems such a simple concept but once you begin thinking about it layers peel off from layers and there is so much there.

As I exist right his moment--writing this post for your consideration--what I am going to do is tell you something I am not pleased with about myself: I have never seen a Fellini movie. So I am asking for your advice in selecting which of his movies you think I should definitely purchase. The full list is available at Ranker.


Talking about dreams is like talking about movies; since the cinema uses the language of dreams, years can pass in a second and you can hop from one place to another. It’s a language made of image. And in the real cinema, every object and every light means something, as in a dream.

                                                        ~Federico Fellini

I have had some bad dreams lately, something unusual for me and something I am aware is going on because I have remembered a few in those first seconds after waking only to have them a total wipe from my brain by the time my feet hit the floor. Not remembering them is probably a gift I am subconsciously giving to myself, in spite of telling myself to analyze them later on.

Silverton's local theater, The Palace, had a fire last week that was a real nightmare for this small town. The owners had just completed an near $100,000 upgrade to state-of-the-art digital and The Hunger Games was in a second week showing (we hadn't seen it yet). A woman who lives in an apartment upstairs in a building in the block said her little Chinese Crested dog just would not let up in asking to go outside. It was around
7:00 a.m. when she walked the dog to the corner where The Palace is and saw the lobby in flames. Her quick thinking--she ran back to her place, called 911 and the owners of the business and the building--probably saved The Palace. The situation as it stands now is that the cause is unknown, but deemed accidental, and the theater will be closed for an undetermined time for evaluation and repairs. There was smoke damage inside, but perhaps the machinery itself escaped it. We are all hoping for the best.

Our mayor, Stu Rasmussen, is co-owner of The Palace, where he worked as a boy and fell in love with the place. Stu is the first transgendered mayor of an American city and I think Fellini himself would find him a fascinating person (and fellow movie buff). Click to see a photo of Stu lookin' gorgeous at his re-election website in the "Reality Check" page. In the video below, taken the morning of the fire, he is interviewed sans makeup.



A good opening and a good ending make for a good film provide they come close together. 
                                                        ~Federico Fellini

The same is true for most blog posts so I am keeping the opening and ending of this one confined as is. I'll be looking forward to your Fellini movie recommendations!



mythopolis said...

Oooh, I think I have seen most of his films. If you watch one and like it, you will probably like any/all the others. If you search Fellini on Youtube you can get glimpses or trailers of many of his films. Amarcord, Satyricon, 8 1/2, La Dolce Vita, and Roma, are a few that come to mind.

izzy said...

I think: Satyricon ,8 1/2
(and maybe La Dolce Vita)
I absolutely adore his work-

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

of the five cinemas we had near us when i was a kid one is now a run down snooker hall, another is a pizza place with a casino above, a third is now an arts academy, the fourth is sitting empty after a brief period as a nightclub and the fifth is a sports shop. Fortunately we do have two multiplexes, but i generally go to the local arts cinema if i'm going to go - partially to support them and partially because they show more interesting films.

I have to admit that i didn't know the name Fellini - but i recognise the title La Dolce Vita - so i would recommend that one.

A good film to watch if you've never seen it is Cinema Paradiso - very simply made, but all the better for it

The best story i have ever heard about a cinema, which is actually quite relevant because a) we've just passed the 100th anniversary of the original event and b) it's just been re-released in 3D - was about Titanic

Apparently there was a late showing in progress when a local river burst its banks and water came rushing into the cinema!

Now that's what i call 3D

hedgewitch said...

Not much of a film buff, but this was fun--the only Fellini movie I've seen is La Dolce Vita--I do recommend it, but it is very much a movie of its time, I think. I loved this article, the quotes, and your mayor--s/he looks like someone I'd love to drink tea with and talk politics-and this whole post. Good luck with the Palace, and the nightmares--sometimes the best analysis is done under the conscious surface.

Amber Lee said...

I haven't seen any of his film's, alas! I do love his quote about film as a language of images. Wholly appropriate, in my mind at least, considering language is inherently symbolic! Now I need to go check out that list and see what I can find :)

Mark Kerstetter said...

I've only seen a few of his films, but 'La Strada' is on my all time favorite films list. It's so beautiful and Anthony Quinn does something in the closing scene that I think is extraordinary.

Lydia said...

mythopolis~ Hey, that's a great idea to find some trailers on YouTube! Thanks for the tip.

izzy~ Thank you for your recommendations. The title "Satyricon" peaks my interest, most definitely. Good to know he is a favorite of yours.

Pixies~ Fun to read about the cinemas in your old home area. I agree about those multiplexes; we love our local theater and the one in Salem that shows art films.
Did that "special" 3-D water effect happen when Titanic was first released years ago, or actually during the 3-D re-release of the film? Funny either way!

hedgewitch~ Thank you for being so appreciative of the post. Regarding your last sentence, I do believe you are right!

Amber Lee~ It'll be fun to swap impressions after we've each seen a Fellini film in the future. If we remember to do that!

Mark~ Having La Strada on your all-time favorite films list really moves it way forward on my list to view it. And, if you note the Anthony Quinn image on my sidebar, I'm all the more interested because of what you said about his part in the film. Many thanks.

Brian Miller said...

i will have to check out more of his films...i do like the postcard, has a cool look to it...ok have to check out the one mark mentions as well..

Lydia said...

Brian~ Yes, do. And let me know your impressions (on the off-chance that you might remember to do pressure, of course ;)



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