Famous Italians and Italians

Federico Fellini


Childhood and youth

Federico Fellini was born on January 20, 1920 in the family of salesman Urbano Fellini and Ida Barbiani. The family lived in Rimini, a small resort town in southern Italy. The boy grew painful, doctors suspected heart failure. Little Federico liked everyone's attention, pretty quickly he learned to imitate fainting and dizziness. Studying at a Catholic college was easy for the boy; he liked to read and read a lot.

The beginnings of stage talent showed up early: the boy made outfits for dolls, composed scripts and played puppet plays. But the street also attracted the young Federico: the tents of a traveling circus, dusty roads and small shops of Rimini will be transferred to his best films, becoming the scenery.

The independent life of the future master began in Florence (Firenze), where he worked as a cartoonist in an anti-fascist newspaper. Then there was Rome, the same work plus writing scripts and sketches, a short study at the law faculty. The latter, however, only in order not to get into the army of Mussolini (Benito Mussolini). The skill of disease simulation, honed in childhood, also helped in this.

Love and creativity

The fate of one of the greatest directors was decided when he began to write scripts for the radio about the life of lovers Chico and Polina. Polina was the radio host Juliet Mazina (Giulietta Masina). Acquaintance, mutual sympathy, a brief time for courtship - and the young people, turning around, settled in the house of Aunt Juliet.

Family life was successful in everything except one thing - the couple could not have children. The first pregnancy came quickly, but ended in a miscarriage. The long-awaited son was born in 1945, but died, not having lived even a month. Later, Fellini offered to adopt the baby, but his wife did not agree. Since then, they considered joint films their children.

Federico Fellini and Juliet Mazina were an unusual couple. She was an inexhaustible source of his creative inspiration. Beloved woman, best friend, muse - all of her, incomparable Juliet. Without his wife, Fellini could not shoot, it did not matter if she played in the film or not. They seemed to create and complement each other - husband and wife, a famous director and actress with an unsurpassed dramatic gift.

He did not start making films immediately, but by the beginning of his directorial career he had a great experience as a screenwriter. Films by Federico Fellini accurately reflect the stages of his life. "Road" and "Amarcord" - reminiscences of childhood spent in the Italian province. In the film "Nights of Cabiria" there are types that he studied during his stay in a cheap apartment near the Roman station. “Sweet Life” and “Eight and a Half” - the peak of his prime and the sad evidence that the best films have already been made.

Sunset maestro

The filmography of Federico Fellini was rich, but not himself. They could not be called a fashionable couple - they lived in Rome, and not outside the city, spent the summer in Rimini, Mazina, unlike most famous actresses, did not have expensive jewelry. But the life of the spouses was full of emotions, which later appeared in the scripts and on the screen.

In 1993, Fellini received an Oscar, the 5th in a row, for his contribution to the art of cinema, and on October 31 of the same year he died of a stroke. The faithful muse died just five months later, wishing to be buried with a photograph of her husband in her arms.

The great director was the true son of his homeland, Federico Fellini's films are seasoned with emotions and humor, like Italian food with cream and spices. Italy honored the posthumous maestro - the airport and central park of Rimini are named after Federico Fellini.


The Road (La Strada, 1954)

The film "Road" was the first collaboration between Fellini and Mazina. The picture is dedicated to circus life, the central figures of the plot are strongman Zampano (Anthony Quinn) and young gymnast Jelsomina (Juliet Mazina). The film was shot in 1954 and won many awards. He received the Oscar in the nomination "Best Foreign Film" (1957) and the Silver Lion (1954). The film brought Fellini commercial success and ... the deepest depression that the maestro subsequently dubbed "Soul Chernobyl." "The Road" glorified Mazina - previously a minor Italian actress received the nickname "Chaplin in a skirt."

The nights of Cabiria (Le notti di Cabiria, 1957)

Another work of the Fellini duet is Mazin. This time he took off his wife in the role of a sentimental and gullible prostitute in Cabiria. “Nights of Cabiria” is a recollection of his youth, which passed in the dysfunctional Roman quarter, and an attempt to show good through sadness and sadness, and hope for the best, no matter what. The final scene - the smile of Kabiriya through dry tears - is one of the strongest in the history of world cinema.

Sweet Life (La Dolce Vita, 1959)

Fellini's best film is Sweet Life. It was filmed in 1960, is the fruit of the collaboration of another great duet. The main role (a famous writer and journalist Marcello) was played by Marcello Mastroianni. The film is full of contrasts and hides a deep meaning: sharp satire and hopeless sadness, the charm of luxury and the severity of satiety, the richness of choice and the inability to choose one thing.

The hero rushes from one woman to another, treating each in his own way, can not decide who he is and what he wants from life. One of Mastroianni's partners in the film was the French actress Anouk Aimée. A deep moral dead end against the backdrop of defiant Roman luxury depicted with all the talent of the great visionary Fellini. The “Sweet Life” provoked the Vatican’s indignation, the church was especially indignant at the beginning (the statue of Christ on a helicopter) and an explicit striptease scene. For viewing threatened with excommunication, which served as an excellent free advertisement. The painting enriched the modern language with the word “paparazzi” and the steady expression “sweet life”. The main award of the film is the Golden Palm Branch.

Eight and a half (8 1/2, 1963)

The film "Eight and a half" (1963) has something in common with the picture "Sweet Life". This is also the story of a successful person who has fallen into a moral impasse, this time as a director. The main role (directed by Guido) is again Mastroianni, again we have to choose between women, again a “sweet life” with bitter disappointments. The difference is that in the movie "Eight and a Half" the hero solves his problems more successfully, although this is not a very happy ending. According to Mastroianni, his game is an attempt to portray Federico Fellini himself. The awards of the painting "Eight and a half" - "Oscar" and the main prize of the Moscow Film Festival.

Rome Fellini (Fellini Roma, 1972)

“Rome Fellini” is a peculiar answer of the master to the question of how he sees the Eternal City. The movie is almost documentary, but it is completely imbued with Fellini's love for the streets and squares of the main city in his life.

Amarcord (A m'arcòrd, 1973)

The film Amarkord is largely autobiographical. If "Eight and a half" can be considered a reflection of Fellini's maturity, then he turned to his childhood. The name of the film is the phrase “I remember”, uttered in a dialect of Rimini, the language that was familiar to little Federico.

Amarkord served as a tracing-paper for many directors who wished to recreate barefoot childhood on the big screen. Critics considered such imitation not always successful, grumbling that with the light hand of Fellini, each director had his own Amarkord. One of the best imitations is the painting by Tengiz Abuladze “Khevsurskaya ballad”. Amarkord abounds with frank scenes of teenage life, but the Soviet director had to do without it. Like The Road, the Amarkord painting reflects the director’s fantasies mixed with childhood memories.

Casanova (Il Casanova di Federico Fellini, 1976)

The film "Casanova Federico Fellini" was conceived and shot fantastically, but it disappointed critics, viewers, and especially the director himself. He said that Casanova was disgusting, and his memoirs looked like a telephone directory.

Rehearsal of the orchestra (Prova d'Orchestra, 1979)

In the film “Orchestra Rehearsal,” Fellini again turned to the genre of pseudo-documentary. A movie in the format of an interview that a journalist takes from each of the orchestra’s musicians. “Orchestra rehearsal” is an interesting interpretation of the hierarchy of the musical world, at the top is the one who feels the music better.

And the ship is sailing ... (E la Nave Va, 1983)

In the film “And the ship is sailing ...” Fellini revealed himself in the historical genre. A ship on the high seas, its passengers are a company consisting of bohemians and a musical orchestra. The reason for the cruise is the funeral of an eccentric opera diva who bequeathed to dispel her ashes above the sea. A ship with a bohemian, luxurious and serene-looking life, and suddenly - the news of the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand! Many critics believe that the film “And the ship is sailing ...” is a free variation on the theme of the death of the Titanic.

Interesting Facts

  • Federico Fellini - the only director in the history of world cinema to receive an Academy Award five times. Four Oscars received the films Road, Nights of Cabiria, Sweet Life, and Amarcord in the Best Foreign Film nomination. The fifth was awarded to the maestro for his overall contribution to the art of cinema.
  • Having become a famous director, Fellini did not abandon the art of drawing. His cartoons were admired by friends and acquaintances, and the master did not understand why everyone carefully kept restaurant napkins with his drawings.

    The first thing he did conceived new films - began to draw women with curvaceous. Fellini's drawings are mostly beyond decency, but the hand of a true master is felt.
  • The creative search and moral throwing of the incomparable maestro inspired the group “Spleen”. In 2001, the Fellini Tour was released - a joint album of the Bi-2 and Spleen groups. The best representatives of Russian rock turned out to be subtle connoisseurs of good cinema - the song contains quotes from the film "Eight and a Half."


Some scripts written by Fellini became independent books. This is Amarkord, co-authored by Tonino Guerra, Rehearsal of the Orchestra, And the Ship Sails ..., White Sheikh, Interview. The master, who is fluent in directing art, wrote books about this: "Making Films", "Fellini about Fellini" (this includes interviews from different years and detailed descriptions of the creation of several films), "My trick is directing." The last book was co-written with Charlotte Chandler, an American journalist and film critic with whom the maestro had long-standing friendships. Fellini's autobiography "I Remember ..." was also created with her participation.

View all books by Federico Fellini

A year after the death of Juliet Mazina, the scandalous novel "Types of Love" by the Dutch writer Rosita Steenbeek was released. In it, she described the fictional story of a love affair with Fellini and her Roman "dolche vita".

The main idea of ​​the book was that Fellini and Mazina did not love each other, their union was only a deal between two careerists.

The novel was forgotten shortly after release, as witnesses to the life of two Italian idols were still alive. There was one truth: the Dutch woman had a superficial acquaintance with the couple and even starred in the episode of the film "Ginger and Fred."

The romanticized version of the love story by Fellini and Mazina belongs to the pen of Nikolai Nadezhdin, the book is called "Federico Fellini:"My juliet"(2009).

In 2015, in the series "The life of wonderful people"book came out"Fellini"Its author, Benito Merlino, a popular composer, screenwriter and director of short films, was personally acquainted with Federico Fellini.


Federico Fellini was a skilled master of the word. His books, articles, scripts and statements were distinguished by a sense of style and accuracy of wording. Fellini's quotes are an important part of his creative heritage. The tendency to embellish was the result of a developed mind and rich creative imagination.

Quotes about the circus are interesting - for the first time seeing what it is, Fellini "felt that they were waiting for him here." This was his path to great art.

Other quotes from the master relate to life, human relationships, self-knowledge, and art. Fellini, the great visionary, never lied to himself. Therefore, his quotes are a reflection of his inner "I", unceasing creative quest and great life experience:

  • All art is autobiographical; a pearl is an autobiography of an oyster.
  • You exist only in what you do.
  • To make people laugh always seemed to me the most privileged of all callings, almost like a call of a saint.
  • The director is Columbus himself. He wants to discover America, and the whole team wants to go home.
  • Censorship is advertising at public expense.
  • Young people do not know what they want, but are determined to achieve this.
  • It’s easier to be faithful to a restaurant than a woman.
  • People could get rid of many illusions if they learned to read what is written on candy wrappers!
  • Nothing much was achieved in the world without passion.
  • There is no end. There is no beginning. There is only the passion of life.

Watch the video: Martin Scorsese interview on Federico Fellini 1993 (April 2020).


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