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Week 8 | Date: 3/14/12 | Postwar Challenges to the Movies | Reading: Short History of Film 6 Film History.

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Presentation on theme: "Week 8 | Date: 3/14/12 | Postwar Challenges to the Movies | Reading: Short History of Film 6 Film History."— Presentation transcript:

1 Week 8 | Date: 3/14/12 | Postwar Challenges to the Movies | Reading: Short History of Film 6 Film History

2 Neo-Realism “Before the indies and even before the French New Wave, Italian neo-realism staked out new cinematic territory. One of those blanket terms that mean all things to all people, neo-realism has few absolutes, though there are elements that set the Italian version distinctly apart. Screenwriter and poet Cesare Zavattini wrote an actual manifesto to guide these films, but their creation was just as much a result of timing, chance and fluke. Unquestionably, their greatest single influence was the anti-Fascism that marked World War II's immediate postwar period. Key elements are an emphasis on real lives (close to but not quite documentary style), an entirely or largely non-professional cast, and a focus on collectivity rather than the individual. Solidarity is important, along with an implicit criticism of

3 Film History Neo-Realism the status quo. Plot and story come about organically from these episodes and often turn on quite tiny moments. Cinematically, neo- realism pushed filmmakers out of the studio and on to the streets, the camera freed-up and more vernacular, the emphasis away from fantasy and towards reality. Despite the rather short run - 1943 to 1952 - the heavyweight films of the period and the principles that guided them put Italian cinema on the map at the time and continue to shape contemporary global filmmaking.”—Megan Ratner, “Neo- Realism” [GreenCine website on Neo-Realism]GreenCine website on Neo-Realism

4 Film History Neo-Realism Roberto Rossellini (1906-1977)  Rome, Open City (1945)  Paisan (1946)  Germany Year Zero (1947)  Stromboli (1950)

5 Film History Neo-Realism Roberto Rossellini

6 Film History Neo-Realism Ingrid Bergman (left) and Isabella Rosselini (above)— the daughter & granddaugher of Roberto Rossellini.

7 Film History Neo-Realism Vittorio De Sica (1901-1974)  Shoeshine (1946)  The Bicycle Thief (1948)  Miracle in Milan (1951)  Umberto D (1952)

8 Film History Neo-Realism Vittorio De Sica

9 Film History Neo-Realism Vittorio De Sica

10 Film History Neo-Realism Federico Fellini (1920-1993) La Strada, La Dolce Vita, 8½, Juliet of the Spirits, Fellini- Satyricon, Fellini’s Roma, The Clowns, Amarcord

11 Il Poeta Federico Fellini Film History, Week 8 (Spring 2012) Film History

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14 “Everything and Nothing” by Jorge Luis Borges There was no one in him: behind his face (even the poor paintings of the epoch show it to be unlike any other) and behind his words (which were copious, fantastic, and agitated) there was nothing but a bit of cold, a dream not dreamed by anyone. At first he thought that everyone was like himself. But the dismay shown by a comrade to whom he mentioned the vacuity revealed his error to him and made him realize forever that an individual should not differ from the species. At one time it occurred to him that he might find a remedy for his difficulty in books, and so he learned the “small Latin and less Greek,” of which a contemporary spoke. Film History

15 Later, he considered he might find what he sought in carrying out one of the elemental rites of humanity, and so he let himself be initiated by Anne Hathaway in the long siesta hour of an afternoon in June. In his twenties he went to London. Instinctively, he had already trained himself in the habit of pretending he was someone, so it would not be discovered that he was no one. In London, he found the profession to which he had been predestined, that of actor: someone who, on a stage, plays at being someone else, before a concourse of people who pretend to take him for that other one. His histrionic work taught him a singular satisfaction, perhaps the first he had ever known. And yet, once the last line of verse had been acclaimed and the last dead man dragged off stage, he tasted the hateful taste of unreality. He would leave off being Ferrex or Tamburlaine and become no one again. Film History

16 Thus beset, he took to imagining other heroes and other tragic tales. And so, while his body complied with its bodily destiny in London bawdyhouses and taverns, the soul inhabiting that body was Caesar unheeding the augur’s warnings, and Juliet detesting the lark, and Macbeth talking on the heath with the witches who are also the Fates. No one was ever so many men as that man: like the Egyptian Proteus he was able to exhaust all the possibilities of being. From time to time he left, in some obscure corner of his work, a confession he was sure would never be deciphered: Richard states that in his one person he plays many parts, and Iago curiously says “I am not what I am.” The fundamental oneness of existing, dreaming, and acting inspired in him several famous passages. Film History

17 He persisted in this directed hallucination for twenty years. But one morning he was overcome by a surfeit and horror of being all those kings who die by the sword and all those unfortunate lovers who converge, diverge, and melodiously expire. That same day he settled on the sale of his theater. Before a week was out he had gone back to his native village, where he recuperated the trees and the river of his boyhood, without relating them at all to trees and rivers--illustrious with mythological allusion and Latin phrase--which his Muse had celebrated. He had to be someone; he became a retired impresario who has made his fortune and who is interested in making loans, in lawsuits, and in petty usury. Film History

18 It was in character, then, in this character that he dictated the arid last will and testament we know, from which he deliberately excluded any note of pathos or trace of literature. Friends from London used to visit him in his retreat, and for them he would once more play the part of the poet. History adds that before or after his death he found himself facing God and said: I, who have been so many men in vain, want to be one man, myself alone. From out of a whirlwind the voice of God replied: I dreamed the world the way you dreamed your work my Shakespeare; one of the forms of my dream was you, who, like me, are many and no one. Film History

19 Lavery, David. “To Discover That There Is Nothing to Discover”: Imagination, the Open, and the Movies of Federico Fellini. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Florida, 1978.“To Discover That There Is Nothing to Discover”: Imagination, the Open, and the Movies of Federico Fellini ___. “Major Man: Fellini as an Autobiographer.” Post Script 6.2 (1987): 14-28.Major Man: Fellini as an Autobiographer ___. “News From Africa: Fellini/Grotesque.” Post Script 9.1 & 2 (1990): 82-98.News From Africa: Fellini/Grotesque

20 “the suspicion--the extreme test of his topicality, the total congruence of the director and his time--that Fellini, a man who has exhausted himself and his life in images, doesn't exist.” --Liliana Betti on Federico Fellini Film History

21 “When you work with Federico you only learn to discover that there’s nothing to discover.”—Lina Wertmuller, assistant director on 8 ½ and director of Seven Beauties, Swept Away, Which Way is Up? Film History

22 “A flight of fantasy, whether in dreams or daydreams, is no mere sleight of mind. But only children will accept it as being equally as profound as the arbitrary awareness we are taught to regard as reality, and hence, only they are nurtured by it. Later, of course, many of us comprehend our self-imposed poverty and try to double back, but the bread crumbs are always missing and our failures are immense. A true belief in the validity of non- ordinary reality-with all that it can teach us- seems beyond the capabilities of every practicing adult, with the possible exception of Federico Fellini---Garry Trudeau” Film History

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45 Cine-Mendacity Film History

46 Cine-Mendacity Film History

47 Fellini himself once even proclaimed the need for a “cine-mendacity” to replace “cinema-verite” because “a lie is always more interesting than the truth” (Playboy 58). Cine-Mendacity Film History

48 “Federico only blushes when he tells the truth.”— Giulietta Masina Cine-Mendacity Film History

49 David Thomson, to cite an extreme example, has ruthlessly assaulted Fellini (in his Biographical Dictionary of Film) as an "obsessional vacuous poseur... a half-baked, play-acting pessimist, with no capacity for tragedy," whose films are a "doodling in chaos." Cine-Mendacity Film History

50 “Fellini is not honest, he is not dishonest, he is just Fellini.... he has no limits; he's just like quicksilver--all over the place. I have never seen anybody like that before.... He is enormously intuitive; he is creative; he is an enormous force. He is burning inside with such heat. Collapsing.... The heat from his creative mind, it melts him.... He is rich.”—Ingmar Bergman (Simon 221- 22) Cine-Mendacity Film History

51 Fellini the Autobiographer Film History

52 “Making a film is something quite other... than a simple professional fact. It's a way of realizing myself and giving my life a meaning. That's why, when you ask me which of my films I prefer, I'm stuck. I don't know what to say. I don't consider my films as professional facts; if I did so, I might be able to look at them objectively enough to say this one seems more of a success than that. But as it is, I find getting such a detached position absolutely impossible. The way I want to speak about a film is, not to say what I'm expressing in it, but the stages of my life I pass through making it. I have just the same difficulty as I would if somebody asked me "Which do you prefer, your military career, or your marriage, your first love, or meeting your first friend?" They are all facts of my life. I like it all, it's my life and consequently I can't choose.” (Burgeon 91) Fellini the Autobiographer Film History

53 “My work can't be anything other than a testimony of what I am looking for in life. It is a mirror of my searching... for myself freed. In this respect, I think, there is no cleavage or difference of content or style in all my films. From first to last, I have struggled to free myself from the past, from the education laid upon me as a child” ("Interview," Playboy 58). Fellini the Autobiographer Film History

54 "If I set out to make a movie about a fillet of sole, it would turn out to be about me" (Costello 36). Fellini the Autobiographer Film History

55 “The pearl is the oyster’s autobiography” (Walter 36). --Federico Fellini Fellini the Autobiographer Film History

56 “At bottom, I am always making the same film. I am telling the story of characters in search of themselves, in search of a more authentic source of life, of conduct, of behavior, that will more closely relate to the true roots of their individuality” (Kast 182-83). Fellini the Autobiographer Film History

57 Fellini’s Creative-Life Fellini’s Creative Life Film History

58 For the "real," he has explained, is not what we assume it to be; “it is neither an enclosure nor a panorama that has just a single surface. A landscape, for example, has several textures, and the deepest, the one that can be revealed only by poetry, is no less real. It is said that what I wish to show behind the epiderm of things and people is the unreal. It is called my taste for the mysterious. I shall readily accept this description if you will use a capital "M." For me the mysterious is man, the long irrational lines of his spiritual life, love, salvation.... For me, the key to the mystery--which is to say, God--is to be found at the center of the successive layers of reality...” (Murray 35). Fellini’s Creative Life Film History

59 “For me the only real artist is the visionary because he bears witness to his own reality. A visionary--Van Gogh, for instance--is a profound realist. That wheat field with the black sun is his; only he saw it. There can't be greater realism” (Samuels 226). Fellini’s Creative Life Film History

60 Fellini’s Creative Life Film History

61 “[Fellini] creates the way he sees" (Hughes 157). --Dadaist/Surrealist Hans Richter Fellini’s Creative Life Film History

62 “My films happen because I sign a contract. I get an advance I don’t want to repay so I have to make the film. I’ll say it again; you may think I’m being facetitious, but it’s absolutely true. I don’t believe in total creative freedom. A creator, if he is given total creative freedom, would tend, I think, to do nothing at all. The greatest danger for an artist is total freedom, to be able to wait for inspiration, that whole romantic discourse. Psychologically, the artist is an offender. He has a childish need to offend, and to be able to offend, you need parents, a headmaster, a high priest, the police.... I need opposition, someone who annoys me, someone who opposes me, to work up the energy that I need to fight for what I’m doing. I need an enemy.” Federico Fellini in Damian Pettigrew’s documentary Fellini: I’m a Born Liar Fellini’s Creative Life Film History

63 “One day I met an angel who stretched out his hand to me. I followed him, but after a short time I left him and went back. He stopped and waited at the same place for me. I see him again in difficult moments and he says to me, ‘Wait, wait,’ just as I do to everyone. I am afraid that when I call him one day, I shall not find him. It is the angel who has always awakened me from my spiritual torpor. When I was a boy, he was the incarnation of an imaginary world, and then he became the symbol of a vital moral need” (quoted in Murray 75). Fellini’s Creative Life Film History

64 Fellini-Grotesque Film History

65 Fellini-Grotesque Film History

66 Fellini-Grotesque When infamous critic Leslie Fiedler turns to the subject of the grotesque in his Freaks: Myths and Images of the Secret Self, it is, of course, Fellini he thinks of. Film History

67 “Fellini is the patron saint of the freaks of Rome.” --Theologian Harvey Cox Fellini-Grotesque Film History

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69 Fellini-Grotesque Film History

70 Fellini-Grotesque Jamake Highwater's Ritual of the Wind: North American Indian Ceremonies, Music, and Dances. I showed him a passage in which Highwater, considering the “contrariness” of American Indian sacred clowns, known for their scatological and obscene parodies of tribal holy men, naturally thinks of Fellini when he seeks to explain the revulsion missionaries experienced confronting the clowns’ behavior: Film History

71 Fellini-Grotesque “The shock techniques of Dadaism and the late films of Federico Fellini, have a great deal in common with the contrariness of sacred clowns, especially those of the Southwest.” Film History

72 “When I introduce rather odd characters into my films, people say I’m exaggerating, that I’m “doing a Fellini.” But it’s just the opposite; in comparison with what happens to me all the time, I feel I’m softening things, moderating reality to a remarkable degree” (Strich 52). Fellini-Grotesque Film History

73 “[The ideal] imposes impossible standards and unattainable aspirations that can only impede the spontaneous growth of a normal human being, and may conceivably destroy him. You must have experienced this yourself. There arrives a moment in life when you discover that what you've been told at home, at school, or in church is simply not true. You discover that it binds your authentic self, your instinct, your true growth. And this opens up a schism, creates a conflict that must eventually be resolved or succumbed to. In all forms of neurosis there is this clash between certain forms of idealization in a moral sense and a contrary aesthetic form. “—Federico Fellini, Playboy Interview Fellini-Grotesque Film History

74 “For me there’s no difference between a scent and a stink. Perhaps if we’d been taught that a stink is nice and scent nasty, the world would see things in a different light. God knows why there’s all this fuss about a bit of shit! It’s a human product, just as much as our thoughts are!”-- Eau de Cologne in Amarcord: Portrait of a Town (36) Fellini-Grotesque Film History

75 Fellini-Grotesque Film History

76 In Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, Marco Polo regales Kublai Khan with the story--one of five in the book designated as tales of “Cities & the Sky”--of Perinthia, a metropolis which, from its very inception, had been intended as a utopia, its ordering cosmologically inspired. In Perinthia, we learn, all aspects of the city are laid out according to the highest wisdom of astrology and astronomy. Buildings, for example, are cited in such a way as to receive “the proper influence of the favoring constellations.” The astronomers who oversaw Perinthia’s development from the ground up guaranteed the city that it would, without question, “reflect the harmony of the firmament.” Fellini-Grotesque Film History

77 Reality, of course, turns out to be anything but ideal. For, Marco Polo informs us, In Perinthia’s streets and squares today you encounter cripples, dwarfs, hunchbacks, obese men, bearded women. But the worse cannot be seen: guttural howls are heard from cellars and lofts, where families hide children with three heads or six legs. (144) Such grotesques bring the astronomer/architects of Perinthea to an intellectual impasse, one that crops up all through Calvino’s splendid fictions/thought experiments: Fellini-Grotesque Film History

78 Either they must admit that all their calculations were wrong and their figures are unable to describe the heavens, or else they must reveal that the order of the gods is reflected exactly in the city of monsters. (145) In the grotesque cinematic world of Federico Fellini--Calvino’s contemporary, countryman, and close friend--clearly the second alternative seems the only viable one, and yet Fellini does not embrace it out of deductive necessity. Filmed on location in Perinthia, his movies celebrate the revelation that “the order of gods is reflected exactly in the city of monsters.” They bring us “news from Africa.” Fellini-Grotesque Film History

79 There is a nature that is grotesque within The boulevards of the generals. Why should We say that it man’s interior world Or seeing the spent, unconscious shapes of night, Pretend they are shapes of another consciousness? The grotesque is not a visitation. It is Not apparition but appearance, part Of that simplified geography, in which The sun comes up like news from Africa. --Wallace Stevens, “A Word with Jose Rodriguez- Feo” Fellini-Grotesque Film History

80 Variety Lights (1950) The White Sheik (1951) I Vitelloni (1953) Love in the City (1953) La Strada (1954) Il Bidone (1955) The Nights of Cabiria (1957) La Dolce Vita (1960) 8 1/2 (1963) Juliet of the Spirits (1965) Spirits of the Dead (1969) Fellini-Satyricon (1969) The Clowns (1971) Fellini's Roma (1972) Amarcord (1974) Fellini's Casanova (1976) Orchestra Rehearsal (1979) City of Women (1980) And the Ship Sails On (1984) Ginger and Fred (1986) Intervista (1987) The Voice of the Moon (1989) Film History

81 The Jungian psychologist James Hillman has suggested that artists be thought of as obsessional neurotics--like Lady Macbeth in Shakespeare’s play, perpetually washing and washing her hands—”Out, out damn spot”—fixated on a particular sign or symbol. Or, they are like the veteran who has lost a limb in battle and returns again and again to the scene of his loss. The artist obsesses over a decisive moment or theme or symbol, following a repetition compulsion until he or she gets it right—finds a way to make sense of it via story or image. Film History

82 Variety Lights (1950) Fellini’s Movies 1 Film History

83 The White Sheik (1951) Fellini’s Movies 2 Film History

84 I Vitelloni (1953) Fellini’s Movies 3 Film History

85 Amore in città ( Love in the City ) (1953)— contributed “Un'agenzia matrimoniale” ("A Marriage Agency”) Fellini’s Movies 3.5 Film History

86 La Strada (1954) Fellini’s Movies 4.5 Film History Fellini: Ending in Despair LaStrada (1954) Watch on YouTube Il Bidone (1955) Watch on YouTube Le Notti di Cabiria (1957) Watch on YouTube

87 Il Bidone (1955) Fellini’s Movies 5.5 Film History Fellini: Ending in Despair LaStrada (1954) Watch on YouTube Il Bidone (1955) Watch on YouTube Le Notti di Cabiria (1957) Watch on YouTube

88 The Nights of Cabiria (1957) Fellini’s Movies 6.5 Film History Fellini: Ending in Despair LaStrada (1954) Watch on YouTube Il Bidone (1955) Watch on YouTube Le Notti di Cabiria (1957) Watch on YouTube

89 “Cabiria: The Voyage to the End of Neorealism” Andre Bazin Fellini’s Movies Film History

90 La Dolce Vita (1960) Fellini’s Movies 7.5 Film History

91 8 1/2 (1963) The Opening Sequence of 8 1/2 (1963) Watch on YouTube “The death of cinema as a public spectacle”—Richard Schickel Fellini’s Movies 8.5 Film History

92 Juliet of the Spirits (1965) Fellini’s First Color Film The Final Sequence of Juliet of the Spirits (1965) Watch on YouTube Fellini’s Movies Film History

93 Fellini-Satyricon (1969) “You should take your friends to see Satyricon to see if they are in fact your friends.”—Federico Fellini Fellini’s Movies Film History

94 Fellini Does Acid Fellini’s Movies Film History

95 Spirits of the Dead (1969)— contributed “Toby Dammit” Fellini’s Movies Film History

96 The Clowns (1971) Fellini’s Movies Film History

97 Fellini’s Two Clowns Theory White Clown: overbearing, pompous, rational, bossy, a moralistic Auguste Clown: impetuous, emotion-driven, a screw-up, a sinner Fellini’s Movies Film History

98 Sigmund FreudC. G. Jung Fellini’s Two Clowns Theory Film History

99 Adolf HitlerBenito Mussolini Fellini’s Two Clowns Theory Film History

100 Oliver Hardy (right)Stan Laurel (left) Fellini’s Two Clowns Theory Film History

101 Dick CheneyGeorge W. Bush Fellini’s Two Clowns Theory Film History

102 Fellini’s Two Clowns Theory White (l)/Auguste (r) Fellini’s Two Clowns Theory White (l)/Auguste (r) Bud Abbott | Lou Costello Moe | Curly (from the Three Stooges) Dan Rowan | Dick Martin Dick Smothers | Tom Smothers Dean Martin | Jerry Lewis Johnny Carson | Ed McMahon Ricky Ricardo | Lucy Ricardo Gracie Burns | George Burns Jerry Seinfeld | George Costanza Ren | Stimpy Marge Simpson | Homer Simpson Hillary Clinton | Bill Clinton Left Brain | Right Brain Stephen Colbert | Jon Stewart Film History

103 Fellini's Roma (1972) Fellini’s Movies Film History

104 Amarcord (1974) Fellini’s Movies Film History

105 Though there's many a charming town And the world abounds with beauty. At evening when the sun goes down And finds you in some far-off place Sitting at a stranger's hearth, The Borgo [Rimini] in your heart will seem The loveliest place on earth. Oh, how will you will live, so far from home? (Amarcord 141) Fellini’s Movies Film History

106 Fellini's Casanova (1976) Fellini’s Movies Film History

107 Orchestra Rehearsal (1979) Fellini’s Movies Film History

108 City of Women (1980) Fellini’s Movies Film History

109 About the time I completed my doctoral dissertation To Discover That There’s Nothing to Discover: Imagination, the “Open,” and the Movies of Federico Fellini in the summer of 1978, I wrote Fellini to inquire whether I might visit him in Rome and, perhaps, interview him. (My wife of six months worked for Delta Airlines and we could fly to Italy for next to nothing.) Fellini responded—a scan of the letter is on the next slide--and invited me to the set of City of Women (1980), but he would not, alas, have time for an interview. Fellini’s Movies Film History

110 Fellini’s Movies Film History

111 I gave Fellini a copy of this poem on the set of City of Women in November 1979 at Cinecitta Studios in Rome. I also gave him a copy of The Doonesbury Chronicles. He took out his glasses there on the set, read the poem, and then touched me on the cheek in a classic Italian gesture of gratitude. _______________________________________________ FELLINIESQUE Consummation of the poet then the passage winds describe to breadcrumbs in his iris, ambit of quicksilver re-memberings, the center-ring agreements, inventions of the sesame (Asa Nisi Masa) "where the eyes move" in amarcord's serenade Fellini’s Movies Film History

112 "true friends" guide, dawns of angelic exercise, the tour of la strada, vouching "Buena seral"-- the mother's pedagogy, like a peacock's benediction Auguste reconnoiterings, grotesque sagas of confessed misogyny, prodigal from wrapping sheets and afraid of being happy, ascend trees wanting woman-- her glance of shy epiphany Fellini’s Movies Film History

113 "there the treasures are" little hands of spring in seminars of weather the photogenic seasons Nothing to say 6/25/78 Fellini’s Movies Film History

114 On the set that day we met Giulietta Masina, Fellini’s wife (to our greeting she replied, in perfect English, “I am so sorry. I don’t speak English”). On the way to be seated before filming commenced, Joyce bumped into someone. When we turned to look back we saw that it was Marcello Mastroianni. Fellini’s Movies Film History

115 Giulietta Masina Fellini’s Movies Film History

116 Marcello Mastroianni Fellini’s Movies Film History

117 And the Ship Sails On (1984) Fellini’s Movies Film History

118 Ginger and Fred (1986) Fellini’s Movies Film History

119 Intervista (1987) Fellini’s Movies Film History

120 The Voice of the Moon (1989) Fellini’s Movies Film History

121 Fellini Receives an Honorary Oscar Film History

122 And round and round, the merely going round, Until merely going round is a final good, The way wine comes at a table in a wood. And we enjoy like men, the way a leaf Above the table spins its constant spin, So that we look at it with pleasure, look At it spinning its eccentric measure. Perhaps The man-hero is not the exceptional monster, But he that of repetition is most master. --Wallace Stevens, Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction Film History


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