Essential Fellini

Essential Fellini

13 Episodes

A century after his birth, Federico Fellini still stands apart as a giant of the cinema. The Italian maestro is defined by his dualities: the sacred and the profane, the masculine and the feminine, the provincial and the urbane. He began his career working in the slice-of-life poetry of neorealism, and though he soon spun off on his own freewheeling creative axis, he never lost that grounding, evoking his dreams, memories, and obsessions in increasingly grand productions teeming with carnivalesque imagery and flights of phantasmagoric surrealism while maintaining an earthy, embodied connection to humanity. Featuring a selection of beautifully restored classics, this tribute celebrates a titan who conjured a cinematic universe all his own: a vision of the world as a three-ring circus in which his innermost infatuations, fears, and fantasies take center stage.

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Essential Fellini
  • Fellini on Fellini

    Episode 1

    In this program, director Federico Fellini discusses his life and career.

  • Variety Lights

    Episode 2

    Directed by Federico Fellini and Alberto Lattuada • 1950 • Italy
    Starring Peppino De Filippo, Carla Del Poggio, Giulietta Masina

    Made in collaboration with Alberto Lattuada, Federico Fellini’s directorial debut unfolds amid the colorful backdrop of a traveling vaudeville troupe whose quixotic im...

  • The White Sheik

    Episode 3

    Directed by Federico Fellini • 1952 • Italy
    Starring Alberto Sordi, Brunella Bovo, Leopoldo Trieste

    Federico Fellini drew upon his background as a cartoonist for his first solo feature, a charming comic fable about the lure of fantasy and the pitfalls of temptation. In Rome for her honeymoon, a ...

  • I vitelloni

    Episode 4

    Directed by Federico Fellini • 1953 • Italy

    Five young men linger in a postadolescent limbo, dreaming of adventure and escape from their small seacoast town. They while away their time spending the lira doled out by their indulgent families on drink, women, and nights at the local pool hall. Fed...

  • La strada

    Episode 5

    Directed by Federico Fellini • 1954 • Italy

    There has never been a face quite like that of Giulietta Masina. Her husband, the legendary Federico Fellini, directs her as Gelsomina in La strada, the film that launched them both to international stardom. Gelsomina is sold by her mother into the emp...

  • Il bidone

    Episode 6

    Directed by Federico Fellini • 1955 • Italy

    Federico Fellini's IL BIDONE follows a trio of Italian swindlers who resort to petty schemes in order to con poor people out of their money.

  • Nights of Cabiria

    Episode 7

    Directed by Federico Fellini • 1957 • Italy
    Starring Giulietta Masina, François Périer

    In the fifth of their immortal collaborations, Federico Fellini and the exquisitely expressive Giulietta Masina completed the creation of one of the most indelible characters in all of cinema: Cabiria, an irre...

  • Episode 8

    Directed by Federico Fellini • 1963 • Italy

    Marcello Mastroianni plays Guido Anselmi, a director whose new project is collapsing around him, along with his life. One of the greatest films about film ever made, Federico Fellini's 8 1/2 (Otto e mezzo) turns one man's artistic crisis into a grand e...

  • Juliet of the Spirits

    Episode 9

    Directed by Federico Fellini • 1965 • Italy

    Cinematographer Gianni di Venanzo's masterful use of Technicolor transforms Juliet of the Spirits, Fellini's first color feature, into a kaleidoscope of dreams, spirits, and memories. Giulietta Masina plays a betrayed wife whose inability to come to te...

  • Amarcord

    Episode 10

    Directed by Federico Fellini • 1973 • France, Italy

    This carnivalesque portrait of provincial Italy during the fascist period, the most personal film from Federico Fellini, satirizes the director's youth and turns daily life into a circus of social rituals, adolescent desires, male fantasies, an...

  • City of Women

    Episode 11

    Directed by Federico Fellini • 1980 • Italy
    Starring Marcello Mastroianni, Anna Prucnal, Bernice Stegers

    Federico Fellini’s epic 1980 fantasia introduced the start of the maestro’s delirious late period. Overflowing with sensory (and sensual) invention, CITY OF WOMEN taps into the era’s restless...

  • And the Ship Sails On

    Episode 12

    Directed by Federico Fellini • 1984 • Italy

    In Fellini’s quirky, imaginative fable, a motley crew of European aristocrats (and a lovesick rhinoceros!) board a luxurious ocean liner on the eve of World War I to scatter the ashes of a beloved diva. Fabricated entirely in Rome’s famed Cinecittà stu...

  • Intervista

    Episode 13

    Directed by Federico Fellini • 1987 • Italy
    Starring Sergio Rubini, Antonella Ponziani, Maurizio Mein

    Something of a late-career companion to 8½, Federico Fellini’s penultimate film is a similarly self-reflexive (and self-deprecating) journey through both the director’s dream life and his cinema...