NBC Experiment in Television: Season 3, Episode 6

Fellini: A Director's Notebook (15 Mar. 1969)

TV Episode  |   |  Animation, Comedy, Drama
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Fellini discusses his views of making motion pictures and his unorthodox procedures. He seeks inspiration in various out of the way places. During this film viewers go with him to the ... See full summary »


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Episode credited cast:
Ennio Antonelli ...
Marina Boratto ...
Pasqualino De Santis ...
Alvaro Vitali ...


Fellini discusses his views of making motion pictures and his unorthodox procedures. He seeks inspiration in various out of the way places. During this film viewers go with him to the Colisseum at night, on a subway ride past Roman ruins, to the Appian Way, to a slaughterhouse, and on a visit to Marcello Mastroianni's house. Fellini also is seen in his own office interviewing a series of unusual characters seeking work or his help. Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

15 March 1969 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This documentary is featured on the 2-Disc Criterion Collection DVD for (1963). See more »


Featured in Marcello Mastroianni: I Remember (1997) See more »

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Throwaway Fellini
17 December 2001 | by (Saint Paul, MN) – See all my reviews

When The Voyage of G. Mastorna came to a halt in 1968, Federico Fellini began plans to film a version of Petronius' Satyricon. In between the two films, he quickly put together this hour-long semi-documentary for NBC. It is an unwieldy and somewhat nonsensical 50 minutes (the running time without commercials) that might as well be forgotten by everyone except Fellini biographers and fanatics (and I am certainly one of the latter). So what is there of worth here? The best scene is the interview with Marcello Mastrioanni, who exploits to the hilt his reputation as a Grade-A Womanizer in a scene that resembles the scene in Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless where a group of reporters, Jean Seberg among them, interview a novelist played by the film director Jean-Pierre Melville. The tiniest bit of The Voyage of G. Mastorna is also shown, and some of its ideas are expressed, which is always interesting. If you've never heard of this film, well, that's because it doesn't exist. Fellini developed director's block during its early stages. It was to be about a cellist's journeys in the afterlife. Much of his loss of reputation during this period was a result of its scrapping and the enormous amount of money lost by the producers, among whom, I believe, was Dino de Laurentiis, Fellini's frequent collaborator and arch-enemy. Another point of interest is an interview with the spiritual medium Genius. I haven't seen it for years, but I believe he co-stars in Giulietta of the Spirits. In reality, as far as the word "reality" works in this situation, Genius was Fellini's personal medium. It was partly because of his predictions that Fellini scrapped Mastorna. The rest of the film closely resembles Fellini-Roma, which might just be my least favorite Fellini film. This semi-documentary ends with footage from the shooting of Fellini-Satyricon (which is another of my least favorite; however, I need to see these two and Giulietta again; they're the only features I do dislike at the moment). The documentary is to be found on the new Criterion DVD of 8.5. 5/10.

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