|January 20, 1920|
|October 31, 1993|
Federico Fellini or Frederico Rimini-Fellini, as his contemporaries referred to him, (January 20, 1920 – October 31, 1993) was one of the most influential and widely revered Italian film-makers of the second half of the twentieth century.
Fellini is generally considered by film critics and scholars, as well as fellow film directors, to be one of the finest film directors of all time. Every decade, starting in 1952, Sight and Sound, the official magazine of the British Film Institute, has conducted a worldwide poll of film critics and film directors. In its latest such poll, conducted in 2002, Fellini was listed as No.7 on the critics' list of the top ten directors of all time, and No.2 on the directors' list. Fellini's movie 8½ was No.9 on the critics' list of the top ten greatest films ever made, and No.3 on the directors' list. Important contemporary filmmakers such as David Lynch, David Cronenberg, Stanley Kubrick, Martin Scorsese, Tim Burton, Pedro Almodovar, Terry Gilliam, and Emir Kusturica have all cited Fellini's influence on their work.
Throughout the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and 1980s Fellini's films were widely acclaimed. Four of his movies, La Strada (1954), Le Notti di Cabiria (1957), 8½ (1963) and Amarcord (1973) were nominated for Oscar awards for "Best Foreign Language Film," and all four movies won the award. La Dolce vita (1960) and Il Casanova di Federico Fellini (1976) also won Oscars, for best costume design.
Fellini's films typically combine memory, dreams, fantasy, and desire, and there is frequently a strong autobiographical content and tone in them. His earlier films followed in the genre of Italian Neo-Realism, and his later films moved into fantasy, dream, symbolism, and surrealism. In fact, his films—especially the later ones—have led to usage of a term to describe his film style and that of others who follow or imitate him: Felliniesque.
Life and Work
Fellini's father Urbano (1894-1956) was a traveling salesman and wholesale vendor. In August 1918 he married Ida Barbiani (1896-1984) in a civil ceremony (with the religious celebration the following January). After Federico's birth in 1920, two more children arrived: Riccardo (1921-1991) and Maria Maddalena (m. Fabbri; 1929-2002). Urbano Fellini was originally from Gambettola, where the young Federico vacationed at his grandparents' house for several years.
Federico Fellini was born and raised in Rimini, and his childhood experiences would later play an important part in many of his films, in particular, I Vitelloni (1953), 8½ (1963), and Amarcord (1973). It is misleading, however, to assume that all his films contain autobiographical anecdotes and fantasies. Intimate friends such as screenwriters Tullio Pinelli and Bernardino Zapponi, cinematographer Giuseppe Rotunno and set designer Dante Ferretti have insisted that Fellini invented his own memories simply for the pleasure of narrating them in his films.
During Mussolini's Fascist regime, Fellini and his brother, Riccardo, were part of the Avanguardista, the fascist youth group that every adolescent Italian male was obliged to join. It must be clearly stated, however, that Fellini and his family were not fascists or in sympathy with fascism.
After moving to Rome in the spring of 1939, Fellini landed a well-paid job writing articles for the hugely popular satirical weekly, Marc’Aurelio. During this time Fellini interviewed Aldo Fabrizi, inaugurating a friendship that would lead to professional collaboration and radio work. Of conscription age since 1939, Fellini had nonetheless managed to avoid being drafted through a suite of clever ruses. Commenting on this turbulent epoch, Fellini biographer Tullio Kezich notes that although "the Marc’Aurelio period was happy, the happiness masked a phase of shameless political apathy. Many living under the Mussolini dictatorship during its last years experienced the schizophrenic tug between official loyalty to the regime and the intrinsic freedom of humor." (Kezich, 36)
In 1942, Fellini met Giulietta Masina and a year later, on October 30, 1943, they were married. Thus began one of the great creative partnerships in world cinema. Several months after their marriage Masina fell down the stairs and suffered a miscarriage. Then, on March 22, 1945, Pierfederico (nicknamed Federichino) was born but died a mere month later on April 24. These family tragedies affected the couple in profound ways, particularly in the conception of La strada (1954). Giulietta Masina often appeared in his movies, especially La Strada (1954), Il Bidone (The Swindle) (1955), La Notti di Cabiria (Nights of Cabiria) (1957), Giulietta degli spiriti (Juliet of the Spirits) (1965), and Ginger e Fred (Ginger and Fred) (1986). Although they were not always faithful to each other, they remained a devoted couple and lived together for the rest of their lives.
The Fascist regime fell on July 25, 1943, and the Allies liberated Rome on June 4, 1944. During that euphoric summer, Fellini set up The Funny-Face Shop with his friend De Seta, drawing caricatures of Allied soldiers for money. The shop contained works from Fellini and De Seta, Verdini, Camerini, Scarpelli, Majorana, Guasta, Giobbe, Attalo, Migneco (all writers, directors or otherwise intellectuals working for Italian cinema). A major inspiration for Fellini was Goethe.
During this time Roberto Rossellini—later on the husband of Swedish-born actress Ingrid Bergman from 1950 to 1957, and one of the leading exponents of what came to be known as Italian neo-realist cinema—came to see Fellini about his project, titled Roma, città aperta (Open City) (1945). Rossellini wanted the young man to introduce him to Aldo Fabrizi and collaborate on the script (with Suso Cecchi D'Amato, Piero Tellini, and Alberto Lattuada). Fellini accepted, contributing gags and dialogue. Rossellini is best known for his post-World War II films Roma, città aperta (1945), Paisà (1946), and Stromboli (1950).
Fellini was never a cineaste in the way that many other directors, including especially the members of the French New Wave, were. Instead, Fellini was a cartoonist and creator of drawings and comic sequences before he became a filmmaker, and he would continue to create such drawings throughout his life. His drawings (mostly pencil on paper) were often humorous portraits. Through these works young Fellini encountered cinema: his first success was in drawing advertising pictures for movies. He also much preferred the movies of the American comedians: Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, the Marx Brothers, Laurel and Hardy, and the Spaniard Luis Buñuel to the cerebral movies loved by the Italian and other arthouse critics.
In addition to making films, Fellini also wrote scripts for radio shows, for movies for other directors (mainly for Rossellini), and comic gags for well known actors like Aldo Fabrizi. Fellini also took part in writing another of Rossellini's movies, Paisà. He wrote also for other directors including Alberto Lattuada, Pietro Germi, and Luigi Comencini.
Other actors with whom Fellini frequently worked include Marcello Mastroianni, Alberto Sordi, and Anita Ekberg.
In 1948 Fellini acted in Rossellini's Il Miracolo.
In 1991 Fellini's text "Trip to Tulum" was translated into English by Stefano Gaudiano and published in a graphic form in the magazine Crisis with artwork by Milo Manara.
In 1993 Fellini received an Oscar for his lifetime achievement; his wife Giulietta Masina was at the ceremony with him and broke out crying when he was on stage receiving the award. In his brief remarks on that occasion, Fellini said:
I would like … to say a long, long thanks. What can I say? Well, I really did not expect it, or perhaps I did. But not before another twenty-five years. I come from a country and I belong to a generation for which America and the movies were almost the same thing. And now, to be here with you, my dear Americans, makes me feel at home. I want to thank all of you for making me feel this way. In these circumstances, it's easy to be generous and thank everybody. I would like, naturally, first of all, to thank all the people that have worked with me. I cannot name everyone, only one name, of an actress who is also my wife. Thank you, dearest Giulietta. And please stop crying. (Quoted in Chandler, 362-363.)
Although many people did not realize it, both he and Giulietta were quite sick at the time. He died that same year in Rome at the age of 73; Giulietta Masina died less than five months later on March 23, 1994.
Federico Fellini, Giulietta Masina, and their son Pierfederico are buried in the same tomb in the main Cemetery of Rimini. Their monument, sculpted in iron by Arnaldo Pomodoro, is shaped as a prow in the water and is located at the entrance of the cemetary.
The Federico Fellini International Airport in Rimini, is named in his honor.
Some Fellini Films
Fellini's first solo-directed film was Lo Sceicco Bianco (1951) with Alberto Sordi, and written by Michelangelo Antonioni and Ennio Flaiano. In making this movie Fellini met Nino Rota, the musician who would follow him successfully for the remainder of his career. This comedy-drama deals with the first two days of a marriage. Ivan, the new husband and a clerk, brings his new and virginal bride to Rome for a honeymoon; they are also to have an audience with the Pope, and Ivan also wants to present her to his uncle. They arrive early in the morning, and, while he takes a nap, she—star struck—sneaks off to find and meet "The White Sheik," the hero of a soap-opera photo strip. She ends up 20 miles from Rome on a boat alone with the sheik. Ivan covers for her by claiming that she's ill. In their wandering the streets alone that night she is tempted by suicide, he is tempted by prostitutes. Their papal audience is at 11:00 a.m. the next day and the question is whether things can get righted so they make it.
I vitelloni (1953), "young bullocks," is about four friends from a seaside province: Fausto (Franco Fabrizi) a womanizer, Leopoldo (Leopoldo Trieste) a would-be playwright, Alberto (Alberto Sordi), a mamma's boy who lives with his mother and on the wages of his sister, and Moraldo (Franco Interlenghi), the conscience and narrator of the group. Fausto tries to avoid marrying Moraldo's sister after she becomes pregnant. He has many affairs after their marriage and is whipped by his father into behaving, at least for the time. Leopoldo thinks that a traveling actor is interested in his plays, but the actor really wants to seduce him. Alberto's sister elopes; this leaves him with no means of support, despite his empty proclamations about family honor. Fausto cheats on his wife with Moraldo's sister. In the end, Moraldo takes a train for Rome, forsaking his home and his fellow vitelloni.
La strada (1954) stars Giulietta Masina as a clown-like waif and naif, named Gelsomina, whose mother sells her to brutish Zampanò (Anthony Quinn), who has a small-time circus-like act as a traveling strongman. Gelsomina accompanies his act on trumpet. A Fool (Richard Basehart) also accompanies them; his act is walking a tightrope over village squares. Zampanò accidentally kills the Fool and Gelsomina goes mad and dies. Although he had treated her brutally and with complete insensitivity, her death brings tears to Zampanò at the end of the film. This film is a emotional and expressive version of Beauty and the Beast, playing out a grim account of relations between the sexes, and dealing ultimately with salvation and conversion. The leftist-Marxist oriented critics hated the film and excoriated Fellini for abandoning the neo-Realism of his beginnings.
Il bidone (The Swindle) (1955), stars the American veteran actor Broderick Crawford as confidence man Augusto Rocca. His and his henchmen's standard scam is to bury bones and bogus treasure on provincial farms. Then they return, disguised as a priest and his assistants, and tell the poor owners of the farms that a thief has murdered his partner and buried his body and very valuable stolen treasure on their land, and has confessed this on his deathbed. The poor farmers will receive and own the recovered treasure if they pay for very expensive masses to be said for the dead thief. So the peasants raise the exorbitant fees in expectation of receiving the stolen fortune, and give this money to the fake priest and his assistants. But after a successful sting Agusto has a struggle of conscience when he meets his neglected daughter; she needs money to post bond for a clerk's job she hopes to get. Then a former victim recognizes him and he is arrested in front of his daughter. Finally he returns to doing the priest swindle again, but this time the daughter of the victim is crippled and the money paid to the swindlers was intended for her support. Augusto tells his henchmen that he cannot go through with the swindle, so they take the ransom, stone him, and leave him for dead. At the end of the film the dying Augusto, crying for help, reaches out to a passing religious procession. The film ends ambiguously without answering the question whether or not Augusto joins the procession after his death: is his salvation lost or gained?
Le notti di Cabiria (1957) opens with Cabiria—a Roman prostitute (Giulietta Masina) who is looking for love—taking a stroll with her lover. We expect to see them kiss, but instead he pushes Cabiria into the river Tiber and steals her purse. Some boys save her from drowning, and she then tells them to go mind their own business. She strolls Rome's Via Veneto and meets a famous actor who is having a fight with his girlfriend. He takes Cabiria to his place but the girlfriend arrives and Cabira is forced to hide until dawn. Cabira then goes on a pilgramage to a religious shrine, praying for a change. But the shrine is ineffective; it does not help a crippled man who is trying to walk and Cabiria does not receive an answer to her prayers. Cabiria sells her shack-like home to marry Oscar, who has convinced her he loves her. But he takes her on a cliff for a view of the sunset and there robs her of her life's savings. Unlike Augusto, Cabiria climbs back to join their procession and participates in a kind of salvation through music.
La dolce vita (1959) is set in the Italy of late 1950s through the 1960s, with its economic boom and rise of consumer society and celebrity culture. It has been called a modified sequel to I vittelloni, with Marcello Rubino (Marcello Mastroianni) as Moraldo, now a photo-reporter in Rome. (7) Fellini's structure here is different from previous films; he uses a modernist, somewhat deconstructionist structure in which plot is subsumed to the role of image. We see Marcello in a series of episodes: Affairs with his sometime mistress (Anouk Aimée); escorting an American actress (Anita Ekberg) around Rome to wade through the Trevi Fountain; meeting with his mentor Steiner (Alain Cuny); covering a sighting of the Virgin by two children; attending a party of Steiner's in which people engage in empty intellectualizing; wearing out his father in the course of the older man's short visit; discovering Steiner's suicide and murder of his two children; drunkenly riding a young woman on her hands and knees at a decadent orgy; and stumbling upon a monster fish on the beach at dawn. All this is told like a series of tabloid events. Intellectual debates are seen as worthless, religion as having only exploitation value, and love affairs as sterile. The opening shot of a helicopter towing a statue of Christ over the city and ending image of the massive dead fish can be understood as two takes on symbols of Christ. Marcello's failure to hear the words of the innocent young person at the end indicate his unchecked descent and Fellini's increasing pessimism after his previous films about grace.
In 8½ (1963), Fellini shifted from location to studio shooting, and from the construction of real, public events to private, inner fantasy. 8½ is by nearly universal agreement Fellini's masterpiece and one of world cinema's greatest films. The title is an opus number; Fellini calculated that his previous directorial work added up to a total of 7½ films (the original working title was The Magnificent Confusion). In this film the turn toward dream, fantasy, and memory that had begun in La dolce vita becomes fully developed. The theme of 8½ is a film director who is stuck and does not know what to do next; meanwhile everyone: his wife, his mistress, his dream woman whom he first sees at a spa, his friends, the actors and actresses, a critic, his producer, the writers, the financier, and everyone involved in the supposed film that is to be made is importuning and bothering him, trying to find out what he is doing and what they should do. Fellini has said that the idea for the film came to him when he was in such a state of uncertainty and confusion about what film to make next.
8½ should thus be seen as a precisely constructed and realized film about the confusion of a film director who does not know what to do. Guido Anselmi (Marcello Mastroianni), plays a Fellini-like director, caught in this malestrom of confusion and indecision, trying to find a way out. The film shifts back and forth between dream and reality so that they become blurred. People shift, as when his mistress turns into a whore and his mother into his wife. All the women from his past life appear, including his childhood nanny, and there is a dream scene set in an in which he imagines all his women together in a harem, with him herding all them with a whip. In the end, all the characters join with him in a dance around the set of the supposed film he is making, a kind of salvation through art. But 8½ is also a film of doubling and even tripling–it is about its own making as much as it is about Guido and his predicament. It is the greatest film ever made about making a film. From the opening shot of Guido escaping from a trapped car in a traffic jam and floating above the city, only to be pulled down by people working on his new film, to the ending circus-like circular procession-dance, this is a film of surpassing imagery and imagination.
Giulietta degli spiriti (1965) depicts an identity crisis of a middle-aged Italian housewife, played by Giulietta Masina, as almost a female counterpart to Guido. It was Fellini's first color feature film, and has a structure something like 8½. Giulietta's search for psychic freedom is hindered by her philandering husband and the critical and reprimanding women around her, especially her mother and sisters. She has a gift for seeing spirits, and this brings up a series of ghosts from her past with whom she must reconcile.
Roma (1972) presents a collection of images from Fellini's subjective memories and opinions of Rome. There is a slide lecture to schoolboys about Roman monuments that is interrupted by a sexy slide of a naked woman. The schoolboy grows up and moves to Rome, where his landlady's adult son curls up with her in bed. There are scenes from underground where excavation is going on for the Roman subway. Nearly all of Fellini's films contain processionals; here the processional is the process of making the film itself, as Fellini's film crew enters the city on the autostrada in pouring rain. This scene culminates in a traffic jam at the Colosseum. The most noteworthy sequence in the film may be the ecclesiastical fashion show, including cardinals and the pope.
Amarcord (I Remember) (1973) takes us back to Fellini's childhood in Rimini during the fascist era, and shows us his subjective memories of that time and its events. As in almost all of his films, sexual desire and tension, and its being thwarted by various ideas, conventions, forces, and religious and political structures in a central point of the film. This too is one of Fellini's great movies, arguably the best after 8½.
La città delle donne (1980) shows Snàporaz (Marcello Mastroianni) at a feminist convention. The subject is male anxiety in the face of the womens' movement. In fact, male anxiety in the face of women—Fellini clearly both loved and feared women—is a central theme of all of Fellini's oeuvre.
Some quotes about Fellini and his work
From director Billy Wilder:
Fellini’s camera is always in the right place, exactly where it should be for each shot. Most important, you are never conscious of the camera, of him showing off his directing. He never had distracting camera angles. He follows the story. I go to the movies to be entertained, as Federico did, and I never like to be conscious of the director as a performer.
In the movie theater, you always know a Fellini film. He had individual style. There are things you cannot take a course in. You are born with it. He was a first-class clown, with a unique, great concept. In life, when you were with Fellini, you always knew you weren’t with anyone else. He was in his own orbit. When someone like Fellini dies, there is no way to pass on a formula, because there is no formula. What he did came out of the person, out of him. People will study and analyze and copy, and maybe someone will achieve to the point it is said of him, “His film is like a Fellini.” (Quoted in Chandler, xi.)
Anthony Quinn, who starred as Zampanò, the strong but mentally weak man loved by Gelsomina, in La Strada:
Fellini had his dream world. Like Cervantes—Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. Or Shakespeare. Fantasy is the richness of life, and that is what Fellini dealt with. Reality isn’t cinema. Cinema is imagination. He had a passion for what he did. There are very few artists in the movies. Fellini was one. Federico had an amazing characteristic which I call his infant quality. He was so open. He was naïve in the best sense of the word. He learned form every person. He was an emotional sponge. But he had an attention to detail that was very adult, personal, and meticulous. (Quoted in Chandler, 376)
Nadia Gray, who played Nadia in La Dolce vita:
The bad directors arrive late, unshaven, and they yell. They yell because they don’t know what they want to do. They think if they yell at somebody, people will think the temperament means they are gifted. Mr. Fellini came on the set always on time, with a tie, smiling, discussing everything with the actors, the technicians, including everybody. He was like that because he knew what he wanted. He improvised, but he knew. He never came on with a scream. (Quoted in Chandler, 379)
Director Lina Wertmüller, who began her professional career as Fellini’s assistant on 8 ½:
He was so curious. He loved freedom. He had a lot of fun, which you shared with him. When you were with him, you were at the core of a whirlwind. If you could only follow him. He said, “Follow me, and jump.” One had to have faith and not hesitate. You could be injured if you were afraid and hesitated.
I’ve thought about what most attracted me and I know what it was. It was that he talked to my imagination. Federico never forgot the comical, ironic side. He always looked for freshness and avoided the frozen. I knew Federico the man, the director, the artist, the scoundrel. Being close to him, as his assistant, I understood how important choice was to him. He wanted the world of choice, but then he wanted to eliminate what he decided not to use. He wanted to get rid of all the papers that didn’t get used. I said, “No, don’t tear those up,” but he didn’t listen to me. Tearing up was a positive act because it eliminated something he no longer had to carry around in his mind. Knowing Federico was like opening a window on a larger landscape. The Time after World War Two was exceptionally vital and alive. There was so much creative energy. It was a golden period. I was lucky to be around then, beginning. Federico is the most “artist” of anyone I ever knew….
It’s so big a gift to have had Federico in my life. (Quoted in Chandler, 376)
"Fellini’s 8½ is the film that captures what it is actually like to be a film director." (Director Terry Gilliam, on the Criterion DVD of 8½)
Fellini on his own artistic vision or credo, reached after his work on neo-Realist films with Rossellini and going beyond neo-Realism: "looking at reality with an honest eye—but any kind of reality; not just social reality, but also spiritual reality, metaphysical reality, anything man has inside him." (in Bondanella and Gieri, eds., 217.)
Film Critic Roger Ebert:
The critic Alan Stone, writing in the Boston Review, deplores Fellini's "stylistic tendency to emphasize images over ideas." I celebrate it. A filmmaker who prefers ideas to images will never advance above the second rank because he is fighting the nature of his art. The printed word is ideal for ideas; film is made for images, and images are best when they are free to evoke many associations and are not linked to narrowly defined purposes. Here is Stone on the complexity of "8 1/2": "Almost no one knew for sure what they had seen after one viewing." True enough. But true of all great films, while you know for sure what you've seen after one viewing of a shallow one. (Roger Ebert, Review of 8½, May 28, 2000.  )
Although his greatest film, 8½ was released in 1963 and his last film came out in 1990 (almost 30 years later) Fellini's best films continue to resonate with contemporary audiences.
The film of tomorrow appears to me as even more personal than an individual and autobiographical novel, like a confession, or a diary. The young filmmakers will express themselves in the first person and will relate what has happened to them. It may be the story of their first love or their most recent; of their political awakening; the story of a trip, a sickness, their military service, their marriage, their last vacation… and it will be enjoyable because it will be true, and new…. The film of tomorrow will not be directed by civil servants of the camera, but by artists for whom shooting a film constitutes a wonderful and thrilling adventure. The film of tomorrow will resemble the person who made it, and the number of spectators will be proportional to the number of friends the director has. The film of tomorrow will be an act of love. (Published in Arts magazine, May 1957 Source:  Miami New Times.
All those criteria that Truffaut gave apply to the best of Fellini's films. Moreover, Truffaut once also declared, "I want a film I watch to express either the joy of making cinema or the anguish of making cinema. I am not interested in all the films that don't vibrate." Fellini's best films—the ones that won the Academy Award (Oscar) for Best Foreign Language Film (this is one case in which, unlike many other times, the Oscars got things right)—do indeed vibrate, and they still vibrate today.
Not everyone has liked Fellini's films, the American critics Pauline Kael and Andrew Sarris being two important examples. The Italian critics who were champions of neo-Realism especially despised Fellini's move from neo-Realism into the personal: dream, memory, autobiography, surrealism. But—as shown by the Sight and Sound polls of critics and other directors—most critics and directors have rated Fellini and his best film(s) very highly.
Antonia Shanahan expressed Fellini's legacy and importance this way:
The Fellini oeuvre departs from the neorealist dictum of character determined by historical circumstance to the personalized character steered, for better or worse, by his or her subjectivity (Luci del varietà, Lo sceicco bianco, I vitelloni). Character "subjectivity" includes questions of spirituality and salvation (Il bidone, La strada, Le notti di Cabiria), and La dolce vita points to the failure of the boom to promise either. 8½ takes up the theme of auteurial self-consciousness which then resurfaces in Roma and Intervista, and has its distaff expression in Giulietta degli spiriti. Fellini also supplied essays on fascist Italy (Amarcord), male/female relations (La città delle donne), and the death of variety showbiz (Ginger e Fred). His career compresses the comparable progress in literature from 19th century realism to the reflexive post-modernity of compatriots Italo Calvino and Luigi Pirandello…. It's as if Fellini critiqued realism as an impossible notion by pointing up its fabrication and adding the suppressed element of the fantastic. In his own words, "I make a film in the same manner in which I live a dream…." (Quote in Bondanella, 327) (From the Senses of Cinema website)
Critic Roger Ebert put it this way:
The conventional wisdom is that Federico Fellini went wrong when he abandoned realism for personal fantasy; that starting with "La Dolce Vita" (1959), his work ran wild through jungles of Freudian, Christian, sexual and autobiographical images. The precise observation in "La Strada" (1954) was the high point of his career, according to this view, and then he abandoned his neorealist roots. "La Dolce Vita" was bad enough, "8 1/2" (1963) was worse, and by the time he made "Juliet of the Spirits" (1965), he was completely off the rails. Then all is downhill, in a career that lasted until 1987, except for "Amarcord" (1974), with its memories of Fellini's childhood; that one is so charming that you have to cave in and enjoy it, regardless of theory. This conventional view is completely wrong. What we think of as Felliniesque comes to full flower in "La Dolce Vita" and "8 1/2." His later films, except for "Amarcord," are not as good, and some are positively bad, but they are stamped with an unmistakable maker's mark. The earlier films, wonderful as they often are, have their Felliniesque charm weighted down by leftover obligations to neorealism.(Ebert, Review of 8½, May 28, 2000)
Fellini's films are still full of charm, precise observations, and the tricks of a magician and the delight of a circus clown. They are one of the highest points of world cinema.
Filmography as director
Links to Fellini's drawings related to single films
- Luci del Varietà (1950) (co-credited with Alberto Lattuada)
- Lo Sceicco Bianco (1951)  
- I Vitelloni (1953) 
- L'Amore in Città (1953) (segment Un'agenzia matrimoniale)
- La Strada (1954) Oscar (best foreign language film) 
- Il bidone (1955)
- Le Notti di Cabiria (1957) Oscar (best foreign language film) 
- La Dolce Vita (1960) Oscar (best costumes)
- Boccaccio '70 (1962) (segment Le tentazioni del Dottor Antonio)
- 8½ (1963) 2 Oscars (best foreign language film, best costume design)
- Giulietta degli Spiriti (1965)
- Histories Extraordinaries (1968) (segment Toby Dammit)
- Satyricon (1969)
- I Clowns (1970)
- Roma (1972)
- Amarcord (1973) Oscar (best foreign language film)
- Il Casanova di Federico Fellini (1976) Oscar (best costume design)
- Prova d'orchestra (1979)
- La città delle donne (1980)
- E la Nave Va (1983)
- Ginger and Fred (1986)
- Intervista (1987)
- La voce della luna (1990)
- Baxter, John, Fellini. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1994. ISBN 0312112734
- Bondanella, Peter. The Cinema of Federico Fellini. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1992. ISBN 0691031967
- Bondanella, Peter and Manuela Gieri, eds. La Strada / Federico Fellini, Director. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1987. ISBN 0813512360
- Burke, Frank, and Marguerite R. Waller, eds. Federico Fellini: Contemporary Perspectives. Toronto; Buffalo; London: University of Toronto Press, 2002. ISBN 0802006965
- Chandler, Charlotte, I, Fellini. New York: Random House, 1995. ISBN 0679440321
- Fellini, Federico, "The Road Beyond Neo-Realism, " in Fellini, "La Strada," Federico Fellini, Director, ed. Peter Bondanella and Manuela Gieri. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1987.
- Kezich, Tullio. Federico Fellini: His Life and Work, trans. from the Italian by Minna Proctor with Vivianna Mazza. New York: Faber and Faber, Inc., An affiliate of Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2006. ISBN 9780571211685
- Pettigrew, Damian, ed. I'm Born Liar: A Fellini Lexicon. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 2003. ISBN 0810946173
- Shanahan, Antonia. "Federico Fellini," In Senses of Cinema website: Federico Fellini's Cinema. Retrieved October 29, 2007.
- Walter, Eugene and Katherine Clark. 2002. Milking the Moon: A Southerner's Story of Life on This Planet. New York: Three Rivers Press. ISBN 0609809652. The author describes his many years of working with Fellini in Italy.
All links retrieved April 4, 2017.
- Fellini's Foundation official site
- Federico Fellini at the Internet Movie Database
- Federico Fellini at the TCM Movie Database
- Federico Fellini Senses of Cinema
- Various short reviews
- Watch Federico Fellini's film Il Bidone
- One of Fellini's artworks
- Images and Archetypes: A perspective on the work of Federico Fellini
- In-depth excerpt from Fellini: A Life
- Fellini Bibliography (via UC Berkeley)
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