Anders Bergstrom's blog on Words, Films, and Music

Monday, September 19, 2005

I'm lucky. I got to see my first Fellini film in theatres. It was La Dolce Vita and it was playing at the Broadway Theatre in Saskatoon. I went into the theatre not realizing that it would be a 3 hour series of vignettes on the emptiness of pursuing "the sweet life." But I also left, not realizing how long it was until I looked at the time. That's how good the film was. While not a whole lot may happen in the film, it's done in such a way that I was entranced.

Federico Fellini's 8
½ (1963) is another brilliant film that works as almost a kind of continuation of some of the themes in the earlier film. Marcello Mastroianni, who Ewan has dubbed one of the coolest guys of all time (and I'm beginning to agree), stars in the film as Guido, a film director, and obvious stand in Fellini himself, who is having a problem getting his latest film off the ground. The film explores both the loss of creative and inner vision in classic Fellini style. Some sequences are surrealist, some are real, but the every part is fascinating. Whether it's Guido's opening nightmare(?) of suffocation and isolation as he drifts away from the traffic jam, or the problems of all the various women in his life as Guido juggles his wife, mistress, actresses and dream woman, the film presents us with an amazing mix of music, and amazing visuals.

This is a film that people who are interested in filmmaking need to see. It's a film that explores it's ideas in a primarily visual manner. As
Roger Ebert points out in his review of the film for his "Great Films" series, Fellini understood that the language of cinema is primarily images. The beauty is that Fellini has both ideas and images, and never subjugates his visuals to the high-concepts of his film. Even in a sequence with two characters talking, Fellini uses the camera in such a unique way that it's a wonder to watch. In case anyone can't tell, I'm fast becoming a Fellini fan (my visit to Rome this past spring didn't hurt at all either). I'm looking forward to exploring more of his films in the near future.

1 comment:

GoldNboy said...

Just a question Anders. Are you going to go see see Lord of War because I want to see it and Ebert gave it good reviews. Just a question.