7.2/10
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Fellini: I'm a Born Liar (2002)

Fellini: Je suis un grand menteur (original title)
A look at Fellini's creative process. In extensive interviews, Fellini talks a bit about his background and then discusses how he works and how he creates. Several actors, a producer, a ... See full summary »

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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Himself / La Voce della Luna
Luigi 'Titta' Benzi ...
Himself / Ami d'enfance
...
Himself / Ecrivain
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Himself / Chef décorateur
Rinaldo Geleng ...
Himself / Peintre
Tullio Pinelli ...
Himself / Scénariste
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Himself / Directeur de la photographie
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Himself / Toby Dammit
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Himself / Casanova
Daniel Toscan du Plantier ...
Himself / Producteur
...
Himself (archive footage)
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Storyline

A look at Fellini's creative process. In extensive interviews, Fellini talks a bit about his background and then discusses how he works and how he creates. Several actors, a producer, a writer, and a production manager talk about working with Fellini. Archive footage of Fellini and others on the set plus clips from his films provide commentary and illustration for the points interviewees make. Fellini is fully in charge; actors call themselves puppets. He dismisses improvisation and calls for "availability." His sets and his films create images that look like reality but are not; we see the differences and the results. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language and sexual content | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

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Release Date:

2 April 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Federico Fellini: I'm a Big Liar  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$8,981 (USA) (4 April 2003)

Gross:

$106,080 (USA) (30 May 2003)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

| (archive footage)
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Federico Fellini: I love to work with actors.
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Connections

Edited from Fellini's Casanova (1976) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Expertly Judged
12 February 2008 | by (France) – See all my reviews

I watched this feature doc with fascination. I read somewhere (LA Times, I think) that all the interviews (save those with Mastroianni and Masina)including the priceless one with Fellini were culled from director Pettigrew's private archives. This explains why I didn't feel I was watching archive footage leftovers like so many other Fellini docs. What I saw were in-depth archival interviews shot with a very specific purpose: To craft a balanced testament of the man. It's what makes this portrait of the Maestro the best I've seen.

There's a genuine personal vision behind the film, a comprehensive knowledge of Fellini that's weighed objectively, warts and all: The deviousness, the vulgarity, the narcissism, the childish tantrums (Fellini's not above screaming at an actress, especially if she's a bit player, or insulting Mastroianni, his so-called alter-ego), the capacious charm (I love the few moments when Fellini speaks English), the guilt-ridden seducer, the jet set director who skewers his own pretentiousness, the astute theoretician of artistic processes, the maniacal maker of a legendary self, the genius puppet-master, the silly perfectionist of plastic oceans, the wise old man who's seen and done and shown it all on film.

The great strength of this doc lies in the fact that what's presented is expertly judged. For me, the finest aspects of Fellini's mind displayed here are the insights into women and creativity, and the interpretations of life, art, and death. If you understand Italian, it will knock you for a loop. If you don't, you'll be moved nonetheless. To be frank, only a boor would miss the meaning of the Maestro's simple eloquence.

I understand this was Fellini's last filmed discussion. It shows: You can feel him haunted by death in the doc's disturbingly tight close-ups. It's an edgy, almost Shakespearean touch that thrilled me, made it a privilege to witness. Would that we had the last of Kubrick captured on film in this way.

I've often wondered if Fellini had a big screen in place of a heart. After watching this doc, I'm convinced there's absolutely no difference.


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