Auditorium - DAMSLab > 18:45


Federico Fellini
Introduced by

the producer Peter Goldfarb 


Friday 28/06/2019


Original version with subtitles


Film Notes

In 1966, Federico Fellini experienced in real life the distressing reality he had imagined three years before in 8½: devastated by a psychological and creative crisis, the director backed out of making his new film, Il viaggio di G. Mastorna, even though the sets were already in place and the contracts signed. Two years later, when he had already presented the Toby Dammit segment and was getting ready for the great enterprise of Satyricon, he was invited by the American Tv company NBC for an interview, which was to be part of a programme about his work. The invitation sparked a new film by Fellini, A Director’s Notebook, the first film where ‘The Magician’ shows, with digressive frivolity, the circus of film as it is being made, a behind-the-scenes movie that is actually staged, simulating the spontaneity of documentary filmmaking. It starts on the abandoned set of the film he never made, where Fellini wanders around scenery and costumes, revealing his (ephemeral) fondness for young hippies and shooting some scenes of Mastorna, almost like an exorcism. Combinations of the past and present take over with the reconstruction of the smoky and wild cinemas of the 1920s – where a beautiful Italian silent film (by Fellini himself) is being screened – and then continues with excerpts from mediums and phony historians, a re-invented audition of Mastroianni for Mastorna, another (brilliantly fake) audition at the slaughterhouse in Rome for Satyricon, a parade of extras and background artists from which the director chooses the most suitable faces. The film also surprisingly includes an excerpt of a sequence from Nights of Cabiria, which was cut by De Laurentiis due to pressure from the Vatican. These notes in film form have the charm of a confession told as a story, in which a lie, as usual, is the key to the truth. The only Fellini film made exclusively for television, it was not broadcast in Italy by Rai until 1972 and was unjustifiably cut by a quarter of an hour. The full version will be presented at Il Cinema Ritrovato.

Roberto Chiesi

Cast and Credits

Scen.: Federico Fellini, Bernardino Zapponi, dialoghi inglesi Eugene Walter. F.: Pasqualino De Santis. M.: Ruggero Mastroianni. Mus.: Nino Rota. Int.: Federico Fellini, Giulietta Masina, Marcello Mastroianni, David Maumsell, Cesarino, Lina Alberti, Caterina Boratto, Marina Boratto, Bernardino Zapponi, Alvaro Vitali. Prod.: Peter Goldfarb per National Broadcasting Company (NBC). DCP. D.: 50’. Col.