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Fellini's Fantasies

MUBI Special

The legacy of Federico Fellini cannot be reduced to one film, or one iconic masterpiece. After an international breakthrough (La Strada) that left the legend with a nervous breakdown and an Academy Award, the versatile maestro produced a steady series of successes, developing his increasingly-fanciful so-called ‘Felliniesque’ style for which he is now popularly remembered.

We are pleased to present a retrospective focus on the the multifaceted, boundary-pushing Fellini, who began in the tradition of Neo-Realism and ended somewhere else entirely: a self-referential, self-reflexive cinema at the same time outwardly surreal, introspective and personal.

“Realism is a bad word. In a sense everything is realistic. I see no line between the imaginary and the real.” —Federico Fellini

The White Sheik

Federico Fellini Italy, 1952

In his solo directorial debut, Federico Fellini already set a high standard with the deft, often delirious The White Sheik—a romantic comedy that flows between real life, dreams, worries, desires & fantasies. Co-written with Michelangelo Antonioni (!) and starring Fellini regular Giulietta Masina.

Nights of Cabiria

Federico Fellini Italy, 1957

Giulietta Masina took home the best actress prize from Cannes for her spectacular turn in this Fellini classic. Before his baroque surrealist epics, Fellini made the most intimate of character driven films, of which Nights of Cabiria stands at the forefront with unmatched warmth, charm, and heart.

Federico Fellini Italy, 1963

Winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, there is strange undeniable magic to Federico Fellini’s semi-autobiographical, self-referential film about film. It is an iconic, modernist work of absolute genius that manically flits between the fantastic and the realistic.

La dolce vita

Federico Fellini Italy, 1960

One of the most renowned masterpieces in all of cinema, La dolce vita stands beside Federico Fellini’s 8 1/2 as an immortal work of art. It’s a rousing yet sobering look at living the sweet life in ’60s Rome, as a culture of celebrity and glamour began to eat away at one founded on faith.

Il bidone

Federico Fellini Italy, 1955

The follow-up to his breakthrough La strada, Il bidone is a blend of Neo-Realism and fantasy, amusingly satirical and achingly sad. Recognizably, fully, Fellini, in its intertextual links to his previous work, and a standout party scene that could be straight out of La dolce vita.

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