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Fellini: Je suis un grand menteur
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Fellini: I'm a Born Liar (2002) More at IMDbPro »Fellini: Je suis un grand menteur (original title)

Fellini: I'm a Born Liar -- Open-ended Trailer from First Look


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Damian Pettigrew (scenario) and
Olivier Gal (scenario)
View company contact information for Fellini: I'm a Born Liar on IMDbPro.
A look at Fellini's creative process. In extensive interviews, Fellini talks a bit about his background... See more » | Add synopsis »
1 win & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Fellini 101 See more (10 total) »


  (in credits order)

Roberto Benigni ... Himself / La Voce della Luna
Luigi 'Titta' Benzi ... Himself / Ami d'enfance
Italo Calvino ... Himself / Ecrivain

Dante Ferretti ... Himself / Chef décorateur
Rinaldo Geleng ... Himself / Peintre
Tullio Pinelli ... Himself / Scénariste
Giuseppe Rotunno ... Himself / Directeur de la photographie

Terence Stamp ... Himself / Toby Dammit

Donald Sutherland ... Himself / Casanova
Daniel Toscan du Plantier ... Himself / Producteur

Federico Fellini ... Himself (archive footage)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Claudia Cardinale ... Claudia (archive footage) (uncredited)
Alain Cuny ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Ennio Flaiano ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Ettore Manni ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Giulietta Masina ... Herself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Marcello Mastroianni ... Giuseppe Mastorna (archive footage) (uncredited)

Nanni Moretti ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
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Directed by
Damian Pettigrew 
Writing credits
Damian Pettigrew (scenario) and
Olivier Gal (scenario)

Produced by
Herlé De Pol .... associate producer
Daniel Denis .... associate producer
Olivier Gal .... executive producer
Thierry Garrel .... co-producer: arte
Noé Mendelle .... co-producer
Giovanni Quaregna .... co-producer
Cinematography by
Paco Wiser 
Film Editing by
Florence Ricard 
Makeup Department
Lydia Merola .... makeup artist
Sound Department
Manuel De Sousa .... sound editor
Jean-Paul Loublier .... sound mixer
Laurent Lévy .... foley artist
Andrea Moser .... sound
Camera and Electrical Department
Florent Duchaillut .... assistant camera
Nicolas Massart .... assistant camera
Vittoria Tempo .... assistant camera
Editorial Department
Jean Ousmane .... color timer
Other crew
Peter Bondanella .... presenter
Christine Renaud .... administrative director
Arnaud Wyrzykowski .... production administrator

Production CompaniesDistributors
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Fellini: Je suis un grand menteur" - France (original title)
"Federico Fellini: I'm a Big Liar" - USA (literal English title)
"I'm a Born Liar" - International (English title)
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Rated R for some language and sexual content
USA:105 min
Color | Black and White (archive footage)
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Dante Ferretti:Federico needed people to suggest to him his own ideas.See more »
Movie Connections:
References The Road (1954)See more »


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10 out of 118 people found the following review useful.
Fellini 101, 9 May 2003
Author: bluesdoctor from A Place is Just A Place

Fellini: One of the few who could coerce the inherently compromised medium of film into intimate personal expression and "art." How did he do it? Comprised of Fellini's own explication and the testimony of a few actors, his cinematographer, producer, and scenarists, this documentary offers only indirect evidence of how, which, after all, is the best one could hope for, for how can one translate that which exists only in its own terms?

There are no major surprises. There is much reflective talk (too much talk, mostly by Fellini himself) of the artist as empty vessel, unwitting medium for the Muse; as sham and imposter, as dictator and manipulator; of art as self-revelation and -fulfillment, the expression of dream, of the irrational or unconscious, the existential mystery of Now. This only obfuscates, adds theory to the essentially unreflective inexplicable act of creation. But, too, there are clips of Fellini actually directing, thus of the process itself, and these are the most illuminating, for combined with the excessive explanations, they demonstrate how it happened. We witness him badger and seduce his actors, control their every move, direct their eyes; and hear how while filming he even stroked the legs of one beautiful actress to make her purr with liquid sex.

How did he do it? First, there was intention, as embodied in the script, worked out in detail. Yes, Federico, knew exactly what he wanted from the start; there was an overall meticulously premeditated plan to guide him, perhaps pulled out of thin air or gossamer intuition, but given concrete form. In opposition to this was the noisy reality of filming, of actors, grips, sets, deadlines, and budgets, an arbitrary chaos which was his final canvas, which for him became the opportunity of serendipity. Finally, it was his personality, that unfathomable thing called Identity, who he was, which was the key, the catalyst which sparked life into the lumpen dead clay beneath his hands. He cites Picasso as an inspiration, and like him, he somehow preserved unspoiled the frail inner vision, navigated through all the draining social distractions of filmmaking, by impishness and sheer force of will to control, to impose his dream on perversely resistant raw material. Perhaps it was foolishness and egocentricity that permitted him to overcome doubt and inhibition--this is a very self-satisfied man; but more than anything it was joy. Look to children; art is grown-up play.

The film focuses on Fellini's later abstract, rather than earlier narrative, films, to my disappointment. Too much in evidence are "Casanova," "City of Women," and "Amarcord";too little, "La Strada," "Nights of Cabiria," "I Vitelloni," "The White Sheik," or "Variety Lights." (The works which bridged the two, halfway between surreality and reality,"8 1/2," "La Dolce Vita," and "Juliette of the Spirits" are, of course, included; they are his most famous.) Thus, the film focuses too much on film for film's sake, on artiness, to the exclusion of film as empathic story telling, its most potent form and, in my opinion, Fellini's greater achievement.

The actors interviewed--Donald Sutherland, Terrance Stamp, and Roberto Begnigi--are minor players in the history Fellini's movies. Conspicuously absent is Mastroianni, whose greatest gift, perhaps, was to understand that he had to play Fellini himself. What the others have to say adds only marginally to the film.

Settings used in the films are revisited and intercut with how they appeared in the films. More than all the theoretical chatter, these graphically illustrate Fellini's ability to transform humdrum reality into magical landscapes of the mind.

Fellini's filmography describes an arc that degenerates from concrete conventional narrative to abstract spectacle. Bridging the two is a fertile idiosyncratic transition of surreality. The overall evolution is inward. In my opinion, Fellini ultimately lost his way, got lost in himself, becoming irrelevant and impotent, a perfect reflection of our times. It's his work from the 1950's to the early '60's that matters. A clip from "La Dolce Vita" (1960) proves the point: All alone and unobserved, Mastroianni unselfconsciously skips down an empty hotel hall, whistling, a hat rakishly tilted on his head. He then enters an elevator full of somber clergy. In a mere 10 seconds or so, without a word of dialogue, cut out of shadow and light as if out air, centuries of religious oppression and hypocrisy collide with, shame Adam.

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