Lo Sceicco Bianco

A quintessential Roman comedy on a provincial honeymoon couple in the big city for the first time. He wants to see the sights, the Pope, and the relatives. She wants to meet the idol of her dreams, The White Sheik of movie fame.

Gene Wilder saw himself in it, and his cast, thereby producing a great analysis set in Hollywood, “like the memory of a posterior life.”


I Vitelloni

Not too much longer and there was Reisz’ Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, Schlesinger’s Billy Liar etc.

Mark Twain has the same anecdote of Hannibal that comes to Delbert Mann’s Marty in the end.

And the filming is just that, an Italian New Wave.


Agenzia matrimoniale
L’Amore in città

“A true story, it happened to me.Agenzia Cibele, Rome.

The wolf man and the farmer’s daughter, strictly from hunger. Cocteau’s La Belle et la Bête in a newspaper account, “would you let him marry your sister?”

Naturally the pivotal point in Fellini’s understanding of the art, the discovery of something akin to Hitchcock’s crosscutting on movement (the music certainly recalls The Wrong Man) and Resnais’ dolly shots turned to account “in un quartiere della vecchia Roma.”


La strada

La strada opens with the same lunar image of a woman carrying sticks on her back that closes Il Bidone. This is Gelsomina, a moonstruck Pierrette.

Moonlight thus complains, in her voice, “I’m no good at anything—what am I here for on this earth?”

The style is elucidated for us by Truffaut on altogether another subject, “it sometimes seems that the element of truth is all the more powerful as the framework, ambience or genre of the film are all the more phony and artificial.Hence the cool reality of all the exteriors, the dispassionate ease of the voice that answers the camera after the bare allegory.

A bedrock formation, elevated to a sturdy realism as Il bidone, largely superstructured for the vast ship of Amarcord.

The windbag and the magpie and the cretin are puppets in a Punch and Judy of furious sensibilities, endowed with life by their maker (Fellini/Pinelli), registering the shocks of creation named by Cocteau’s Orphée, “what does the stone say as it is carved?”

Zampano chooses Beckett’s bowler for Gelsomina, the Fool gives her the crumpled top hat in Charles Walters’ Easter Parade.

The cruel aperçu of a flat bare city block comes without comment. The explicit relationships are identified in Amarcord, the postwar vision anticipates the conclusion of Lang’s Die Tausend Augen des Dr. Mabuse by way of Cocteau’s guardian angel (Le Sang d’un Poète), who in neither instance saves the life of his charge.

The fatal tale is told by a housewife hanging her laundry up to dry, Zampano listens across a barbed wire fence not far from a kiosk advertising Maté’s D.O.A. (like the kiosk in D.O.A. selling LIFE). The circus strongman is nevertheless not strictly speaking the fascisti, it’s Aurelio the building foreman and paterfamilias in Amarcord who asks, when all are at sea to view the voyage of the Rex, “What the hell is keeping the stars up there, anyway?”


Il bidone

Il bidone was fifty years ahead of its time, as everyone knows who has ever used the World Wide Web and therefore been the object of the very fraud portrayed in the opening scene. But there is still another reason why observers at the time found it tedious, and that is simply a failure of imagination, they looked at the Golden Lion nominees in Venice that year and thought it would ever be thus.

Nowadays the world of Il bidone is perfectly familiar, there’s nothing outré or fantastic about it, on the contrary. All of its details and subtleties make for an accurate portrait of things as we know them, not as they present themselves.

Consequently it isn’t tedious at all but a great masterpiece from start to finish, in which Jesus chases the moneychangers away from the temple, and Fellini takes stock.

The con has a priest and a monsignor drive up to a poor farm, pitching a deathbed confession of robbery and murder. The body is buried on the farm, there is a treasure willed to the farmer, on condition of 500 masses said for the criminal benefactor. This requires a cash payment in advance.

Another version takes down payments on housing units to be built by the government in a slum.

The takings are spent lording it in a nightclub, sustaining the pretensions of a would-be painter, or on a little spree by a con man who wants someday to take lessons and be a pop singer.

Even skimming the life savings of the poor doesn’t mean the big time. A cocktail party thrown by a heavy swindler exposes the crawling insecurity of these fly-by-nights.

The evil is suggested by a reference to the penicillin scheme in Reed’s The Third Man. This rap is beaten by the senior man, who’s pushing fifty and has a daughter in need of a job to stay in school, and of money to get the job.

Again the farm con is played, but the farmer’s daughter is crippled and hopeful. The monsignor refuses to take the money, his new confederates stone him, beat him, find it in his shoe and leave him for dead.

A day and a night he lies beside the road, then climbs up painfully to see the lunar sight of women carrying sticks on their backs, trailing little children. He expires trying to reach this unattainable vision.

Which anticipates the last film Fellini made, all but unseen.


Le Notti Di Cabiria

Sublime in its realism and attaining at the outset the kind of surrealism sometimes incorrectly associated with his later films, which are not surreal but abstract (Claudia Cardinale in Otto e mezzo is an abstraction of health as a desideratum, the various incarnations of Seraghina, the Rex and Il Duce in Amarcord, etc.), here is the thing seen, later the effect it produces is filmed. A direct homage to De Sica in the very last scene (Ladri di biciclette, Umberto D.) points up the stylistic dilemma. A kinship to Antonioni is in La dolce vita, Le Notti Di Cabiria is a remake of Il bidone, the swindler is now a whore, the resolution is by way of De Sica (for whom Miracolo a Milano was not susceptible of repetition or needful), the bag of tricks is impressive in every way, consider the hypnotist’s act, nothing fails, but Fellini is caught up in the necessity of finding a clear expression, every film invents a language for his theme. The fall from grace that was Mussolini is not forgotten by Rossellini’s colleague. The great and cultured actor Alberto Lazzari with his strong resemblance to Errol Flynn is the high-class crook who dismisses the swindler in Il bidone, the ubiquitous image of moonlight as salvation in a woman carrying sticks on her back (La strada, Il bidone) is transferred to the man carrying a sack for the poor living in caves (cp. Miracolo a Milano, Fellini’s scene was incomprehensibly censored, the ban is now lifted). The bundle of joy on the Passeggiatta Archeologica (sometimes the Via Veneto) is robbed by a lover and pushed into the river, rescued, swept up in the actor’s loneliness of a night, appeals to the Madonna, reveals herself on the hypnotist’s stage (like Casanova dancing with the automaton), meets her beau, he robs her.

Fellini’s terrible realism in all this is the great accomplishment as much as anything else, he proved himself the match of anyone in this regard (cf. Russell’s Women in Love) and more than that laid the basis for all his future language, every shot is his in full force exactly as a snapshot would give it (Hitchcock in England has an immediacy at times felt nowhere else), they are the same shots later used as signposts and imagery, what matters is not style (a mere matter of collision between material and maker) but expression, the style is secondary to the consciousness of his theme and the adequate expression of it. Cabiria is one of his greatest inventions, the shift from the swindler (who was Zampano in La strada) gives him a dual range of character that accounts for the sublimity of execution. The rocket never flies in Otto e mezzo, just as Cabiria’s marriage doesn’t come off, but the director (now the central character) joins his puppets in a dance (echoed by Bergman in Fanny and Alexander) like Cabiria’s walk through the woods with the revelers. The bag of tricks, the Romans called up by the hypnotist act out Scene 1 of The Tempest, Cabiria the lone woman onstage dances with her imaginary Oscar (who introduces himself outside), the very masterfulness of the scene is a dismissal and here is the surprising kinship with Hitchcock. The stinging, stintless unequivocation of realism encompasses the human figure (Cabiria’s rescuers), a variety of characters and extras by the hundreds with no effort, a seemingly limitless art as inexhaustible as I Vitelloni promised, Fellini attains a vision of Rome (Oscar and Cabiria by the tracks on the street) more intimate than Roma, and a cliffside lake view more accurate than any. And all of this is nothing next to the fate of Cabiria, who takes that same walk (now a betrayed housewife) at the end of Giulietta degli spiriti.

At the shrine of the Madonna of Divine Love, Cabiria (whose real name is Maria) prays, the crippled pimp collapses crying “I am a worm!Answered prayers in a way, the bag of tricks like Valéry’s incipit that must be followed. Il bidone is a drama (La strada, of which it is a remake, is symbolic), Le Notti Di Cabiria is a representation in the line of high Italian art (those figures by the river) of which Fellini is at all times a most illustrative performer.


La dolce vita

Circo Giraffa—Circo Medini—Circo Bidone (Cinecittà—Roma—the great city personified somehow or other, city of art, the dependencies of money, the argument of talent, the faux pomposity of acclaim, artlessness of the very poor, clamor and ennui the artist’s ordering signature).

We should nowadays say “the glossy life” and be done with it, Fellini severely pronounces this a treatise on “the strange woman” with all that implies.

Journalistic nightlife is seen almost as in Godard’s À bout de souffle, there are several transmutations of other films in the service of this. Ray’s In a Lonely Place, for example, “you shouldn’t have done it, honey. No matter how much money that pig’s got.Aldrich’s The Legend of Lylah Clare in turn picks up Sylvia’s press conference, whereas Wellman’s or Cukor’s A Star Is Born is subtly defined in the remainder of the sequence. The mighty scene at the miracle tree is Billy Wilder’s Ace in the Hole writ large and small again, with a lady explicator who comes in handy for Hitchcock’s The Birds. Il bidone is an essential preparation, especially for the last scenes. Rafelson’s Five Easy Pieces takes up Steiner’s soirée, his mental condition is also described in Bergman’s Winter Light. Marcello’s father comes to us from Richardson’s The Entertainer in a way, Nichols’ Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? notes the outdoor argument between Emma and Marcello. Lastly, in this survey, the farm girl covered in chicken feathers is a recherché remembrance of Sternberg’s Der Blaue Engel.

Golden mediocrities people the piece, lukewarm, incapable, neither this nor that. Steiner’s world crumbles, a formidable linchpin of middle-class æstheticism, “I’m too serious to be an amateur, not good enough to be a professional.”

The grasping poor and the bored rich complete that circle. Out of the Roman ruins rises Jesus on a helicopter past new blocks of flats to bikinied girls in a rooftop sunbath and the crowd at St. Peter’s, a statue of Jesus. Robert Browning’s or D.W. Griffith’s Pippa Passes.


Le tentazioni del dottor Antonio
Boccaccio 70

Anita Ekberg sells milk on a divan, she wears a Milky Way evening gown and black gloves, a citizen is alarmed, it’s a billboard, he’s quite mad.

Fellini’s contribution to science-fiction films, the rocketship of Otto e mezzo notwithstanding.


The nature of the work, since we’re dealing with the work itself, is not a matter of fragmentary implications, and since it bears this critical analysis within its confines, we have to thank the critics generally for staying away (it’s of no importance really) since all roads lead to Rome... all signs direct the traffic there.

The last shall be first, he is the critic Daumier who does not recognize the Muse even at the Castalian spring, and later is hanged by the production team.

The muse of movies (Carla) suffers l’acte créateur with eyeliner and comes to resemble Virginia Mayo in Saville’s The Silver Chalice. Cocteau has the precedence in films about the poetic condition, Losey’s Eva is the Muse herself, Truffaut reviewed and incorporated his remarks into La Nuit américaine.

Guido Anselmi, the famous film director, is pictured in the throes. The commendatore, his producer, pays his respects to the director’s late father in person, whose aged widow is Guido’s young wife. Guido dresses like Hitchcock (but for his trim cowboy hat) and insists on jackets for the crew. Vertigo turns up on the set.

ASA NISI MASA is a treasure from Poe (“The Gold-Bug”) or Frost (“Directive”), l’actrice with her agent sells herself for a part, can Guido direct a love story? No, and old Conocchia can’t understand his indecision. A “really honest film” would have Claudia Cardinale as the museum guard’s daughter, she laughs, Baudelaire’s Beauté.

Carla the movie muse, a little trashy in Vogue, with a husband in fuels, comes down with a fever.

The prelate at the spa hears the mournful Diomed singing, Guido remembers la Saraghina’s rumba for paying schoolboys in their uniforms, la mariée mise à nu par ses célibataires, driven away by priests like young Humbert Humbert and his Annabel Lee (Huston’s Moulin Rouge is a great remembrancer) to a rebuke out of Russell’s The Devils and Dreyer. Kubrick dollies-in (Paths of Glory, 2001: A Space Odyssey) to the arcane confessional, the critic introduces His Eminence at the universal steambath citing Origen (“extra ecclesiam nulla salus”) and Augustine (Civitas Dei/Civitas Diaboli).

Luisa at the trade fair, Guido’s wife, joins the trip to the costly spaceship set, a full-size launch pad ready for the glass painting, a Noah’s Ark picture after Earth is destroyed by war.

“No lies,” says Guido, he means “to bury the dead things in us.The mentalist at the production party and Guido’s spiritualist sister-in-law Rosella prepare his mental condition. Luisa takes tranquilizers and laughs at his betrayal. Eppure,” says Guido Galilei, his harem wants to know “why does he have to tell everything to anyone, he can stand up for himself.”

“Happiness,” he says, “consists in being able to tell the truth without making anyone suffer at all.Screen tests reveal too much and miss the mark. A journalist’s question earlier on about Catholicism and Marxism comes back to haunt despondent Guido, “because he does not know how to love,” Cummings on “kumrads” cited by Claudia, she of the Spring.

A cocktail party for the press takes place at the launch pad, besieged by questions Guido slides under the table and shoots himself, the film is over, all preparations for naught, nothing but naked truth “descending a staircase” and dancing in a circus ring alla Bergman’s The Seventh Seal.

Which is how the musician described Furtwängler’s fabulous beat, “I close my eyes and when they open we’re all playing.”


Giulietta degli spiriti

The fall of Rome, the Christian martyrdoms, these are all associated in the mind with the Twenties and the decadence and the Fascist infliction. No external rescue is sufficient, only by conscious assent to the sequence can the hellish Temptation of a survivor’s guilt be dispelled and the true knowledge received.

All of this is presented in oblique terms and a minutely detailed structure of terrible strength, describing a neurosis like a clinician, the redundant motion of a mental block finally released, the vicious circle “again goes unvexed to the sea.”

And also the necessary recognition of a time as good as any for the full introduction of Eastmancolor diffused through Wellman’s Lady of Burlesque down to the anima of what is, perhaps, the ordinary dilemma of the century.


Toby Dammit
Histoires extraordinaires

There it is, the “bridge out” (Thornton Wilder) and the “rupture” (Samuel Beckett), nothing but the genius of the histrion can save him.

One of those pure applications of the cinema, with a lacerating script.


Fellini—A Director’s Notebook

He was going to make a film about the dead, but God is not cuckolded, as Dali says.

Therefore he made Satyricon, and this is how he went about it, or rather this is another film between the two, made for NBC and therefore in English.

Thus we have Mastrona’s arrival, nightlife at the Colosseum, the subway, Latin-speaking Romans, Marcello Mastroianni the movie star, his screen test for Mastrona (after La dolce vita and ), the slaughterhouse...

And then the parade of auditioners in Fellini’s office (the last a giant just outside), one of the greatest among his satires.

“The earth has not yet dragged me down into the abyss, nor has the sea swallowed me up, ready as she is even to take the innocent for herself. I fled from justice—” and there the director on the set of his next film halts the actor.



A device, through which float the specters of the Arbiter’s satire on rhetoricians and their desires, along with other respectable phantoms (Greek, libidinous, artistic) in a comfortably Christian perspective translated as it were out of the old Roman.

Like The Birds of Hitchcock, this is in some ways the supreme creation of Fellini’s œuvre. A great literary satire, the greatest of them all, made into cinema.


I clowns

The grand theorem of a stunning and self-evident film might be stated: you are Fellini, imagine, researching and demonstrating the truth about clowns. Your proof is in your pudding, you stand there dripping afterward saying to no-one at all, “J’ai seul la clef de cette pa—”...

The trap is sprung from La dolce vita, the trumpeting clown.

Fellini makes the phony documentary you would make, he is the clown portraying you as himself with the crew and technicians you would have, the questions and answers that would be yours. He goes to the same places you would go, films the same people. The clown is dead, his funeral is enacted under the big top in a rare homage to Clair’s Entr’acte.

The gag ending has him summoned by a trumpet, you (madman, zany, fool) by Fellini, a significant preparation for Amarcord.



That Rome is Rome, puttana di Roma. Expended on the highway is all the energy ever contained in the Colosseum. To walk by night through the town is to possess it utterly.

It leads to the end of the city, and by ways that are known. A city of memories, that now as in ancient times is too weak to resist the barbarians, but they will go, edified by the sight.

The most beautiful whore in the posher sort of house, and after an air-raid the blonde from Düsseldorf on the variety stage.

Hierarchies of ecclesia, vintages of Roman essere. One simply there in the midst, under Duce and Kilroy.

Canby took it for a fire sale.



What Fellini remembers is fascismo, Amarcord is La strada writ large. It begins with the symbolic burning of a witch, and ends in the marriage of Gradisca (“please do”) to a carabiniere. Ninola’s nickname is legendarily explained by her acquiescence to a prince on behalf of the mayor, à laBoule de suif”, in support of harbor improvements. Il Duce leads a vigorous run through the town and presides over a schoolboy’s wedding fantasy.

Velazquez’s Feast of Bacchus is achieved in the peanut vendor, Pinwheel. Webern by way of Jean Renoir (La Grande illusion) is indicated by the representation of the mother’s death. The Stage Manager of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town introduces a formal counterpoint, as when the founding of Rome is commemorated and the Fascists appear.

Gelsomina is much changed, in various guises. The Fool on his tightrope (and his violino piccolo) is the gramophone recording of a violin playing the Internationale, heard from the bell tower. Zampano’s grief is Aurelio’s bewilderment at the stars.

The family luncheon is remembered in Bergman’s Fanny and Alexander. The Grand Hotel recalls Hitchcock’s To Catch a Thief. Aurelio’s fit of anger, when his mad brother climbs a tall tree and shouts all day, “Voglio una donna!”, is the captain’s wrath in Huston’s Beat the Devil. “Toby Dammit” is reflected in the auto race (the same boy still dreaming of his disdainful girl drives off, saluting her with a vulgar sign). Pinwheel’s Arabian fantasy is filmed like a Hollywood musical. The Dunkirk sequence in Wyler’s Mrs. Miniver is remembered in the fantastic excursion to see the S.S. Rex. The Count’s peacock flaps down into the snowball fight directly from Cocteau’s Le Sang d’un Poète, an image of the guardian angel also related to the Fool.

The course of a year from spring to spring, a long fugue of desire and frustration, images of the grandiose culminate in the fat Carmen who overcomes the scion, his mother dies tending him after his unexpected collapse.

The white bull of autumn fog gives way to record snowfall (the Stage Manager is mocked in his account, like the circus performers in La strada), the bewitching Gradisca is married outdoors in the spring under the sign of Paradiso.

There is the briefest of allusions to a Graham Greene story in the ghostly outline of a ship’s timbers during another schoolboy’s walk through the fog.

The camera’s in/out up/down on Gradisca and the prince is a joke. A neon sign reads BAR 2000. The Fascist slogans across the town’s main street read WE PROCEED ONWARD, etc.

The specific problem addressed by Fascism is given by a local educationalist as the disunity of Church and State. The æstheticism of the Church is gently satirized (as much more comprehensively in Roma).


Il Casanova di Federico Fellini

A Venetian nobleman who escaped from the Inquisition to see the courts of Europe as a cultured man of parts. Conquests of women are easy to him, and then the world is divided between queers and brutes on either hand.

His last adventure is with a mechanical doll in Württemberg.

The inexpressible poesy of this marvelously articulate film did not fall on lively ears. Canby liked best the scene in which the hero is castigated by his elderly mother for not writing to her.

One of the greatest actors in the cinema, one of his greatest roles, with a smashing cast, unfailing designs, and a most complicated score by Nino Rota. Fellini was probably influenced, it would appear, by Russell’s The Music Lovers. Russell in turn may have taken a few notes for Salome’s Last Dance. Dot Matrix in Mel Brooks’ Spaceballs, also Athena’s owl in Davis’ (and Harryhausen’s) Clash of the Titans, almost certainly originated here in various ways.

Fellini’s thinking on the subject reportedly underwent a transformation during pre-production and filming, but that may be legend.


Prova d’orchestra

The parable of the strong leader is plainly founded on memories of Il Duce and the Germans, this is a straightforward analytical reading of political formations and countermovements that is meant to answer the ones who say one is needed.

The idiosyncrasy of the nation, “mysterious as the universe” in Borges’ phrase, can be seen in the musicians of the orchestra, rigorously observed from nature like Fellini personaggi on the set.

Of course Orchestra Rehearsal is like I Clowns and the TV spectacle in La dolce vita, but it makes a major study for E la nave va.


La città delle donne

A sequence of nightmares and dream memories. It entirely exists as a Cocteau matter-of-moments while a train approaches a tunnel.

A triad of associations revolved in the mind. The fair passenger, the maenads, the wife. The strict sequence of the serial exposition is generous in its allowances for the oneiric quotient as finely surrealistic.

The city of Dis and the museum that guards outlawed knowledge (with its female attendant quietly sipping a drink) against the darkness, its gate is ivory (the waking city has the gate of horn).

Buñuel’s Cet obscur objet du désir, Hitchcock’s North by Northwest, and John Osborne’s play, The End of Me Old Cigar, share respectively in the mode, the nightmare, and the dissipation thereof.


E la nave va

Survivors of the Rex, the Stage Manager, and Ionesco’s rhinoceros or nearly (“she gives good milk!”), on the high wide sea of the Italian sound stage, with a camera to the camera on the camera.

And the Ship Sails On is structurally a remake of La dolce vita with the impossibly happy ending, Marcello marries his lovesick rhinoceros of a mistress and survives contentedly in a lifeboat on the great seas minus the attractions and fripperies of his métier. That is a great concession to form, so is the period setting, both are prepared by Prova d’orchestra and Amarcord (not to mention the costumes and settings of Il Casanova).

The journalist Orlando (Freddie Jones) is Marcello, the S.S. Gloria N. on its operatic funeral voyage is something like Rome, now there are elements kept in apposition before, principal among them the two-headed Austro-Hungarian Empire standing in for something else, same for the Serbian refugees. All this is rather an advancement of Fellini’s technique after many years spent shaping his themes to just this complex level of expression.

The filming, even the editing (by Ruggero Mastroianni), is most peculiar or particular, beginning and ending in noise over silent footage, it’s shown delicately just before the end to have taken place at Cinecittà.

Several critics appear to have misconstrued the effect of an interview with the Grand Duke conducted in Italian and German, stumbling over the translation of “Schlund eines Berges” as “volcano crater”.

There is a curious coincidence in Antonioni filming Il Mistero di Oberwald at about this time.

Zanzotto’s texts are not given in the English subtitles, which probably sank the film abroad.

Nothing like it since Buñuel’s El Ángel exterminador, except Lumet’s Bye Bye Braverman.

Borges (“The Wall and the Books”) is practically cited, “this imminence of a revelation, which does not happen...”


Ginger e Fred

The show (Ed ecco a voi....) has precedents for its studious nullities, such as Michael Ritchie’s Smile and Andrew Sinclair’s Under Milk Wood. The show must go on or there is only a void (the security gag is from Mel Brooks’ High Anxiety).

The railroad station first, and then the Manager Palace Hotel (Club Satellit is a savage sideshow), finally there is the Centro Spaziale Televisivo (Interstellare), and then the railroad station again.

The artistic experience honed to fine perfection. It was lost on critics, just as you would expect, perfectly.

The city by day, full of garbage and hawkers, by night the planet Mars.

The boy stood on the burning deck, the admiral went down to the engine room.



The Nature Theater of Oklahoma, a joke from Antonioni (Identificazione di una donna) and Truffaut (La Nuit américaine) by way of Mel Brooks (Blazing Saddles, where the faux townspeople are from “Toby Dammit”).

Ekberg has grown up to be la Seraghina, therefore the consummation of La dolce vita (journalist, movie star) projected at Villa Pandora.

The Japanese (Sony Corporation of Japan) subsequently bought Columbia.

Apartment houses encroach on all studio lots.

A film that rather went by observers at the time, perfect as it is.

A splendid trick, a prestidigitation showing nothing in the hat, the head or the studio but a ray of light athwart reviling sky-painters like Dante and Leopardi (one “so high”, the other a little less, “so high” and a certain lateral distance).


la Voce della Luna

The model of form is doubtless La Città delle donne, which builds to a point of blinding terror that dissolves in a joke on the end of man, similarly there is Il Casanova on the end of woman.

The end of art is contemplated in the literal capture of the moon, hooked by sewer workers and brought down to Earth to be hogtied as a spy and informer (cf. Robert Browning’s “How It Strikes a Contemporary”, and we shall see how Rimbaud figures in), even shot at.

In a prismatic rendering of the problem, the moon is another face like the prefect’s archetypal son, “a Platonic idea”. All these things pale like the moon beside the necessary quality, inspiration.

Fellini’s greatest film, containing within it all or nearly all the rest and many others, notably Russell’s The Planets for King and Queen Dumpling (“Jupiter”), also his Amelia and the Angel for Pinocchio on the ladder.

The necessity of good English subtitles is paramount, to say the least.

“What’s that to us,” the end of it all, Rimbaud asks, with a punchline.

A brief but happy marriage, Miss Farina ‘89, the moon brought down to earth, these are the main points.

Various arguments are advanced and dismissed, social, political, æsthetic.

Gaz’d on unto my setting from my rise

Almost of none, but of unquiet eyes.

The film, if it was shown in Los Angeles (i.e., Hollywood) at all, was a fly-by-night.

For the bande-annonce he directed the director asks, in the very words of Gelsomina, “What did I come here for? What was I born to do?” American critics were faced with the ordeal of Amarcord all over again. God rot Time Out Film Guide, which ignorantly reviled it.