Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
Italy, 1987. Aljosha, Cinecittà, RAI Radiotelevisione Italiana, Fernlyn. Screenplay by Federico Fellini, contributing writer Gianfranco Angelucci. Cinematography by Tonino Delli Colli. Produced by Ibrahim Moussa. Music by Nicola Piovani. Production Design by Danilo Donati. Costume Design by Danilo Donati. Film Editing by Nino Baragli.
Fellini pays homage to Cinecitta’s 50th anniversary and, in doing so, looks back on the many films he has made there to great success. He is (fictionally) being interviewed by a Japanese television crew who are following him around on the set of his latest film (also a fiction), an adaptation of “Amerika” by Franz Kafka. He talks about art, cinema, life, his flowing camera moving freely through beautiful images of various periods and situations, displaying an exuberance for filmmaking that the great maestro has not had for a long time. The bitterness of City Of Women and the disenchantment with media that marked Ginger and Fred is not here; while Fellini is definitely displaying age with the sense of nostalgia that rips through the entire film, it is neither angry nor critical, but pleasantly at peace with his accomplishments. It would have made a fitting end for his career too, particularly as his only film to follow, The Voice Of The Moon, is definitely worth forgetting. The best sequence features Marcello Mastroianni visiting Anita Ekberg at her villa where they remember their time together in the Trevi Fountain. The scene’s tribute to beautiful memories in later age is possibly the only time that the great director has ever reduced an audience to such genuine tears.