Edit
Federico Fellini Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (4) | Trivia (28) | Personal Quotes (25)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 20 January 1920Rimini, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
Date of Death 31 October 1993Rome, Lazio, Italy  (heart attack)
Nicknames FeFe
Il Maestro
Height 6' (1.83 m)

Mini Bio (1)

The women who both attracted and frightened him and an Italy dominated in his youth by Mussolini and Pope Pius XII - inspired the dreams that Fellini started recording in notebooks in the 1960s. Life and dreams were raw material for his films. His native Rimini and characters like Saraghina (the devil herself said the priests who ran his school) - and the Gambettola farmhouse of his paternal grandmother would be remembered in several films. His traveling salesman father Urbano Fellini showed up in La Dolce Vita (1960) and (1963). His mother Ida Barbiani was from Rome and accompanied him there in 1939. He enrolled in the University of Rome. Intrigued by the image of reporters in American films, he tried out the real life role of journalist and caught the attention of several editors with his caricatures and cartoons and then started submitting articles. Several articles were recycled into a radio series about newlyweds "Cico and Pallina". Pallina was played by acting student Giulietta Masina, who became his real life wife from October 30, 1943, until his death half a century later. The young Fellini loved vaudeville and was befriended in 1940 by leading comedian Aldo Fabrizi. Roberto Rossellini wanted Fabrizi to play Don Pietro in Rome, Open City (1945) and made the contact through Fellini. Fellini worked on that film's script and is on the credits for Rosselini's Paisan (1946). On that film he wandered into the editing room, started observing how Italian films were made (a lot like the old silent films with an emphasis on visual effects, dialogue dubbed in later). Fellini in his mid-20s had found his life's work.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Dale O'Connor

Spouse (1)

Giulietta Masina (30 October 1943 - 31 October 1993) (his death) (1 child)

Trade Mark (4)

Bizarre, abstract plots peppered with risque humor
Score by Nino Rota
Includes dream like imagery and nostalgia

Trivia (28)

Inspired the word "Felliniesque"
One of his first writing jobs was the Italian language script for the Flash Gordon comic strip.
He was a big fan of Stan Lee and Marvel Comics (publishers of superhero comics like Spiderman and the Hulk).
In 1966 he abandoned his planned film project "The Journey of G. Mastorna". In 1990 the storyline for the film was later adapted into a graphic novel entitled "Trip to Tulum: From a Script for a Film Idea", illustrated by Milo Manara.
He was the inspiration and his voice was sampled for the album "Fellini Days" (released in 2001) by former Marillion singer Fish.
The term "paparazzi" comes from a character named Paparazzo in his film, La Dolce Vita (1960), who is a journalist photographing celebrities.
Died on the same day as actor River Phoenix.
He had a bombastic, short-tempered personality when shooting films, a personality he made no attempt to hide when cameras were on him.
Was voted the 10th Greatest Director of all time by Entertainment Weekly.
Biography in: John Wakeman, editor. "World Film Directors, Volume Two, 1945-1985". Pages 330-341. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1988.
His movies The Road (1954), Nights of Cabiria (1957), (1963) and Amarcord (1973) were Oscar-nominated for "Best Foreign Language Film". All 4 movies won.
The main character, Guido Contini, in the Maury Yeston musical "Nine" is inspired by Fellini.
Was an admirer of director Ken Russell's work.
The Broadway musical "Sweet Charity" was inspired by Fellini's Oscar-winning film, Nights of Cabiria (1957).
Is buried in the same bronze tomb as his wife Giulietta Masina and their son Pier Federico, located at the main entrance to the Cemetery of Rimini.
His hometown Rimini named the Federico Fellini International Airport in his honor.
Many of his movies such as (1963) or Fellini Satyricon (1969) are influenced by the work of Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung and his ideas on the "anima" and the "animus", the role of archetypes and the collective unconscious.
His son Pier Federico was born on 22 March 1945, but died just one month later.
Born to Urbano Fellini (1894-1956), a salesman and wholesale vendor, and his wife Ida Barbiani (1896-1984), he had two younger siblings, Riccardo (1921-1991) and Maria Maddalena (1929-2002).
Died the day after his 50th wedding anniversary.
Dino De Laurentiis originally hoped that Fellini would direct Flash Gordon (1980).
A great admirer of Georges Simenon's novels. They shared a letter friendship for many years.
Profiled in "Conversations with Directors: An Anthology of Interviews from Literature/Film Quarterly", E.M. Walker, D.T. Johnson, eds. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2008.
Has been described as a major influence by, among others, Ingmar Bergman, Stanley Kubrick, Martin Scorsese, Bernardo Bertolucci and Rainer Werner Fassbinder.
In the 5th edition of 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die (edited by Steven Jay Schneider), 7 of Fellini's films are listed: The Road (1954), Nights of Cabiria (1957), La Dolce Vita (1960), (1963), Juliet of the Spirits (1965), Fellini Satyricon (1969) and Amarcord (1973).
Denied his film Amarcord (1973) is autobiographical, but agreed that there are similarities with his own childhood.
Like his fellow World Cinema masters, Ingmar Bergman (who started in live theater) and Akira Kurosawa (who started in the Japanese art world) he came to cinema via circumvention after working as a journalist.
Mentioned in the song 'Radio Blá' by Lobão.

Personal Quotes (25)

There is no end. There is no beginning. There is only the infinite passion of life.
My work is my only relationship to everything.
You exist only in what you do.
In the myth of the cinema, Oscar is the supreme prize.
In the mythology of the cinema, the Oscar is the supreme prize.
Our dreams are our real life. My fantasies and obsessions are not only my reality, but the stuff of which my films are made.
You have to live spherically--in many directions. To accept yourself for what you are without inhibitions, to be open.
Put yourself into life and never lose your openness, your childish enthusiasm throughout the journey that is life, and things will come your way.
It's easier to be faithful to a restaurant than it is to a woman.
All art is autobiographical. The pearl is the oyster's autobiography.
Cinema is an old whore, like circus and variety, who knows how to give many kinds of pleasure. Besides, you can't teach old fleas new dogs.
Censorship is advertising paid by the government.
It's absolutely impossible to improvise. Making a movie is a mathematical operation. It is like sending a missile to the moon. It isn't improvised. It is too defined to be called improvisational, too mechanical. Art is a scientific operation, so I can say that what we usually call improvisation is in my case just having an ear and eye for things that sometimes occur during the time we are making the picture.
I always direct the same film. I can't distinguish one from another.
Happiness is simply a temporary condition that proceeds unhappiness. Fortunately for us, it works the other way around as well. But it's all a part of the carnival, isn't it.
[on Akira Kurosawa] I think he is the greatest example of all that an author of the cinema should be. I feel a fraternal affinity with his way of telling a story.
We don't really know who woman is. She remains in that precise place within man where darkness begins. Talking about women means talking about the darkest part of ourselves, the undeveloped part, the true mystery within. In the beginning, I believe man was complete and androgynous-both male and female, or neither, like angels. Then came the division, and Eve was taken from him. So the problem for man is to reunite himself with the other half of his being, to find the woman who is right for him-right be she is simply a projection, a mirror of himself. A man can't become whole or free until he has set woman free-his woman. It's his responsibility, not hers. He can't be complete, truly alive until he makes her his sexual companion, and not a slave of libidinous acts or a saint with a halo.
I'm just a storyteller, and the cinema happens to be my medium. I like it because it recreates life in movement, enlarges it, enhances it, distills it. For me, it's far closer to the miraculous creation of life than, say, a painting or music or even literature. It's not just an art form; it's actually a new form of life, with its own rhythms, cadences, perspectives and transparencies. It's my way of telling a story.
Anyone who lives, as I do, in a world of imagination must make an enormous and unnatural effect to be factual in the ordinary sense. I confess I would be a terrible witness in court because of this--and a terrible journalist. I feel compelled to a story the way I see it and this is seldom the way it happened, in all its documentary detail.
No doubt there's a connection between pathology and creation, we can't deny it. Yet I view with pleasure the work of film professionals I love, such as Bunuel, Kurosawa, Kubrick, Bergman.
With the death of Sergei Parajanov cinema lost one of its magicians. (July, 1990)
[on Akira Kurosawa] Kurosawa is the greatest living example of what an author of the cinema should be.
Talking about dreams is like talking about movies, since the cinema uses the language of dreams; years can pass in a second and you can hop from one place to another. It's a language made of image. And in the real cinema, every object and every light means something as in a dream.
The visionary is the only true realist.
Even if I set out to make a film about a fillet of sole, it would be about me.

See also

Other Works | Publicity Listings | Official Sites | Contact Info

Contribute to This Page