Fellini – I’m a Born Liar

Fellini as inseparable from his movies, and vice versa, is the core of this liar's tale.

April 6th, 2011 by Wayward Muse
Rating: Genres: Featured Actors: Actors: Donald Sutherland, Federico Fellini, Giuseppe Rotunno, Italo Calvino, Roberto Benigni Featured Directors: Directors: Damian Pettigrew Languages:
Fellini: I'm a Born Liar

I know of few who would rate this film as high as I do, nor even who I might recommend it to. All the criticism and complaints directed at it are basically accurate. Nonetheless, I loved it. Do I know more about Fellini now than I did before viewing it? Not really. This one really is primarily for hard-core Fellini fans, and especially for those who like him for being a poetic and visual artist. I have always had a hard time finding the explicit language for why I love Fellini films so much, but this movie gave me some insight and intuition.

Fellini is essentially a poet; and that is how he presents himself in this film; very right-brained. He appears somewhat deficient in left-brain communication skills; he talks about himself and his work in that very impressionistic, poetic, everything-at-once way that some find pretentious. I think it quite likely that it is not pretension at all, but very much how his brain works. The right hemisphere of the brain is more visual; it is holistic; it sees the forest but has a hard time discerning the trees; it’s friendly with dream-states and surrealism. This is the Fellini we are presented with here. Perhaps it is another lie, but I wonder. Fellini’s films are not really actor’s movies. The dialog in them, though important, is often very superficial or stylized. The actors are frequently little more than props or caricatures. That, and the fact that Fellini communicates more like an oracle than an everyday human, sheds some light as well on the difficulties actors would have with him. Sutherland was clearly still holding a grudge. Stamp, on the other hand, seemed to take the whole thing with his characteristic good humor. Fellini’s light-hearted trickster side was also on display: another characteristic of his movies. No matter how profound or absurd, they remain essentially joyous.

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