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Considerations on the classic film by Federico Fellini

intrinsic irony

A stylistic constant that can be observed at various levels in the work of Federico Fellini (1920-93) is the relationship between sign and referent presented not as an organic, consensual or pacific correspondence, but rather in opposition. In general, the original titles of films do not escape this internal tension. Irony is intrinsic to the work, structured on the basis of various antitheses, inversions, negations or counterpoints. In this way, the titles often denote a sharp, distanced and negative relationship with the reference object: the alluded theme or the work in question.

starting with Variety lights (1950, “Women and Lights”), which shows the dark underbelly of the magic of the variety stage. La Dolce Vita (1960, “A Doce Vida”) – a much-discussed title – seems to allude to the pleasures of flexible customs and superfluous or sumptuary consumption, franchised by the tree economy in Italy in the 1950s. However, in the light of irony, the state of self-division is revealed in the end; that is to say, the feeling of bitterness and loss of self or, finally, of alienation as a characteristic flavor of urban and modern life in Italy as a result of the miracle (economic).

Another title much alluded to but little understood, 8 ½ (1963, 8 ½) – which designates the number of films directed by Fellini at the time – denotes, in addition to irony, self-abstraction and alienation. By immediately highlighting the quantification that objectifies the work process and raises an external view of the product, 8 ½ parodically sums up in a cipher the totality of the author's achievements. It thus brings a hollow name, dissociated from any element internal to the narrative – in the way of the supposed price or value (superimposed on the good), not to mention the salary that, by pricing time, abstracts the effort of work, converting it into good for use of another. We thus immediately doubt the aspects of authenticity and immediacy inherent in the account of the confessions and daydreams of the protagonist of 8 ½.


constructive tensions

Amarcord (1973, “Amarcord") happens The Clowns (1970, “The Clowns”) and Roma (1971, “Fellini's Rome”), and designates like these a recurrent note, a standardized mark of the author's style by the media. In all these cases, the irony is redoubled: it opposes the work it announces and the current mode of reception.[I] Thus, Amarcord, in addition to targeting the idea of ​​remembrance – almost a Fellini logo currently considered as a memorialist – delimits the movement of introspection referred to, since it presents and objectifies it. And at the same time it does more: it proposes a reflective link, a dialogue around representations that are not personal, but social or national.

Indeed, the title phrase ("I remember", in dialect Romagna) – instead of proposing introversion via a “magic password”,[ii] a one-way or private cipher, such as the term "asanisimasa” (whispered by the boy-Guido, in 8 ½); or like therosebud”, by Kane, in Welles' film (1915-85); or, finally, instead of functioning in the manner of the famous madeleine, an amalgamation of childhood experiences of Proust's character (1871-1922) in Research (…) – “amarcord” designates an ongoing action, underlined by the tense in the present tense. In short, "amarcord” puts the current horizon as a common parameter and alerts to the specific regime of what will be narrated. Therefore, it proposes the transformation of supposedly subjective experiences into representations that can be examined and debated by the public.

Amarcord-title thus opens the interlocution and establishes the exposition of the past in a plural scope, for collective scrutiny. From there, nothing intimate but public, the narrative focus of the film is announced as dialogic. This is reiterated in the opening sequence, ending with an image of Giudizio, the madman from the small town, who faces the lens making a direct interpellation, analogous to the title phrase.[iii]


Against the reception

the preamble of Amarcord thus contrasts with that of 8 ½, which, after an abstract and impersonal title, unfolded Guido's nightmare, unfolded in several sequences. There, it was necessary to reflect counterintuitively and against the grain of the initial course of the narration, in order to conclude (as Roberto Schwarz did[iv]) that the narrative regime of 8 ½ it was generally detached and ironic rather than confessional or subjective.

In fact, at the time, the reception of the film – moreover, boosted by the favor then accorded to the ideas of auteur cinema and personal expression spread by the influential Parisian core (Cahiers du Cinema and New wave) in the orbit of the new post-war cinema – mostly tended to identify the figure of Guido with that of Fellini – which, after the avalanche of interpretations of 8 ½ as an intimate work, he regretted not having been more incisive in the comic treatment of the plot.[v]

Predicting and preventing a possible subjectivizing tendency of reception, the dialogical orientation of Amarcord is punctuated in the course of the narration by several appeals to the public, on the part of the lawyer, by Giudizio, by the street vendor Biscein, etc. But not only explicit oral interventions by a variety of complementary narrators, almost in the manner of a Chorus, mark out and reiterate the dialogic opening of the narrative of Amarcord to the public. In fact, the idea of ​​a self that remembers, alleged by the title, is simultaneously relativized and denied, in structure, in multiple ways...

Thus, the narrative focus never gives scenes immediate meaning. Rather, he elaborates a fresco or mural of provincial life, in which the figures are schematically and repetitively identified by the selection of their socio-cultural traits, which highlight their hierarchical level and present an amalgamation of costumes and mannerisms. Stereotypes result from which the spectator is led to differentiate himself.

The stylization of the characters in the narrative of 8 ½, according to comic book artifices, was highlighted by Gilda de Mello e Souza (1919-2005).[vi] Italo Calvino (1923-1985) attributed such kinship to all of Fellini's work and pointed out its aggressive and popular content.[vii] In fact, these aspects stand out in Amarcord. It's as if everything and everyone were seen from the outside, summarized according to their interests and, with obvious sarcasm. There are only caricatures. Why?


The mass point of view

Walter Benjamin (1892-1940) classified caricature as mass art.[viii] He pointed out his opposition, as an aesthetic fact, to the valuation of the beautiful, which is the result of a pure or disinterested, exclusively contemplative judgment – ​​which is thus placed in the aesthetics of the transcendental subject, according to Kant (1724-1804), as one of the forms of mediation between the sensitive and the suprasensible. On the contrary, caricature almost always opts for the grotesque and sets itself up as an immanent background language; denotes a simplifying and aggressive judgment, opposed to power and fame. In these terms, it assumes and generates a conflicting context.

The application of such procedures reduces the face value of the figures of Amarcord; it does not favor the projective identification of the public with the characters, but induces estrangement or distance from the visual form. And it leads the eye to carry out an empirical examination that distinguishes the diversity of social traits. In this way, a focus is constituted, instead of being subjective, collective, objectifying factor and in critical counterpoint to the figures.


The past in formation (permanent) in the present

Not only in the figuration of the human is the mass perspective imposed, in Amarcord, but also in the treatment of scenography and image, which mimics graphic reproductive techniques in the style of cartoons. Note the use of strong colors, slightly nuanced lighting, the flatness of the environments, alongside the demarcation of the shallow psyche of the characters. But why such schematic procedures? What idea of ​​the past is embedded there?

If the form bears the current mark in the configuration of the past, it is because updating prevails in the act of remembering the mythical idea of ​​the timeless rescue of experiences – which was worth in 8 ½, for Guido, and was in the focus of Research… of Proust.[ix] No case of Amarcord, there is, in summary, tension and heterogeneity between the content and form of the memory; the imprint of the current conditioning and the resulting form take precedence over the contents of the memory. Therefore, mnemonic themes do not bring value in themselves or on their own: it is within the scope of reception that meaning will be configured.

How to explain the primacy of the present in the formation of the past and in what way the idea of ​​memory, in Amarcord, depart from that of 8 ½? In the 1963 film, the conflict between the temporal series took place in Guido's soul – it opposed the ideal of unity of the self – and tended to subject the present to the past. while in Amarcord, produced about ten years later, the possible premise (never by the author, but by the unsuspecting spectator) of an interior monologue gives way to the collective re-elaboration of mnemonic contents. Finally, the dispute over evaluations between the present and the past in Amarcord it takes place in the dialogic scope of language, loses immediacy and is historically objectified.

In this way, the archaic content of experiences in the village, with remote roots underlined by the lawyer (one of the complementary narrators), has his sense of origin modified by the new summary and ironic form of the mnemic images; the public of Amarcord, infected by the current vigor of the layout that prefers caricature, distances himself from archaic experiences punctuated with a theatrical sense by the lawyer (despite the eruption of thunderous pernacchie, delivered by an anonymous person behind the windows). In short, the division of the times looms large; ongoing, a historical critique.


Contrasts between Amarcord and 8 ½

Soon, while individual fears and limitations of all kinds loomed large in 8 ½ in the light of Guido's subjectivity - already, in Amarcord, on the contrary, these ghosts suffer, in turn, reduction and classification through a set of factors that operate as laboratory protocol practices: the option of caricature that induces objectification; the repositioning of the mnemic representation at a distance from itself due to the inversion or belonging to the anti-fascist democratic perspective – criticism of the recalled values ​​– and others discussed below.

The objective and sarcastic tone of the narrative of Amarcord it is revealed, in the school scenes, in the detailed presentation of Titta's teachers and colleagues and even in her use of raw humor, typical of collective environments. Conversely, in 8 ½, the figures of colleagues were barely noticeable, under the strong and moving images of childhood ghosts. There, everything highlighted an immediate, intimate and radiating truth, which transcended each event as the greatest index of Guido's singular, idiosyncratic and supra-circumstantial existence. Soon, the worlds of the boy-Guido and the filmmaker-Guido (character) mirrored each other. The hidden law of such similarity was the cipher of the script sketched out by Guido, although contested by others, starting with the severe and erudite critical collaborator who tormented the filmmaker, given to introspection and reverie as authorial privileges and faculties. In fact, creation, realization and self-discovery were combined in the productive ideas of the filmmaker-Guido. Which did not prevent Fellini's work from proposing another – ironic – position in the face of the protagonist's persistent indecision and self-absorbed creed.

The contrast between the two films in the reconstruction of family scenes is analogous. In 8 ½, the intimate and serious atmosphere of family relationships endowed them with a transcendent meaning that permeated the protagonist's current dilemmas. Already in Amarcord distance and irony delimit family issues. Parents display histrionic behavior, typical of circus or popular theater. The visual outline of such scenes suggests a theater setting and assumes a break between stage and audience. The result is a schematic, deliberately generic representation of the daily life of the period in question.

The contrast between the confession scenes in the two films is of the same order. It demonstrates that the unifying assumptions of immediacy and transparency – or the original value of subjectivity – professed by the protagonist of 8 ½give in to Amarcord, to a redefinition of the relation to oneself or personal memory, in terms of intersubjective otherness and according to historical and general conditions.

So the female figures, in Amarcord, arise from memory, not intimately and immediately, but mediated, as seen by the group of adolescents. Therefore, far from configuring an inaugural, loaded and fantastic representation of eroticism, like Saraghina, in Guido's childhood, the erotic forms, of Amarcord, reflect group and epoch values.

Therefore, as detailed products, these forms all bring their sensuality linked to psychosocial qualities and clear historical marks. This cast or semantic catalog of “femininity” (from the perspective of students in initiation) is included, from the allegorical marble, including a neoclassical nude, in honor of victory, to the most emblematic female figures in the village, seen (by the adolescents) as varied allegories of the myth, distinguished in conjunction with their activities (the Gradisca manicurist; Volpina, Giudizio's female and ambulatory double; the peasant women, the algebra teacher, the tobacco product trader, etc.). and behavioural, it can be said that they appear, in the “recitatives” in the style of Titta's group, as satirical counterparts to the allegories of arts and crafts that adorned, with neoclassical clichés in the style of the XNUMXth century, corners, angles and facades of buildings and public places.

In short, in Amarcord, the products of memory are shown to be “de-subjectivated” or without immediacy and under irony. The subjective effect of fullness or self-encounter of Proustian reminiscence, which fascinated the idiosyncratic protagonist of 8 ½, evidently does not influence here. The break with the past is constitutive; "involuntary memory"[X] – with a fundamental role in Guido’s script – has no place in Amarcord, since it is up to the “intelligence memory”, “voluntary” or interested – exercised in the dialogic game with the point of view of the other –, to carry out the selection of targets according to their general meaning, that is, in the manner of critical and methodical practice of the historian.

According to this paradigm, the comic in Amarcord from the framework of the confession, in the midst of the priest's prosaic tasks and interests, derives from the countersubjective point of view that orders the narrative. So, while in 8 ½ the boy's compulsory confession was redeemed in the also confessional form of the script, sketched by Guido, already in Amarcord it is just an example of a normative and, above all, parodied code, which then constitutes an emptied form. Also in the prosaic mold of the children's anecdote, the comic scene of collective onanism in the jalopy parked in the archaic and rural setting of the barn, evokes and parodies Chaplin's (1889-1977) mime of the repetitive fragmentation of gestures for factory work ( and feverish), which originally had a lyrical meaning, in the somewhat futuristic stylized industrial setting of Modern Times (1936)


Amarcord's critical, historical, and political objectivity

In summary, the premise of the natural spontaneity of the individual – previously, with a central role in Fellini's work as a critical counterpoint to the hegemony of the neorealist paradigm in the post-war period –, on the contrary, in Amarcord, undergoes the process of general revision of the later rural, clerical and patriarchal Italian culture, with the aim of determining the roots of fascism. In the subsumption to the collective, Amarcord it proves to be a viscerally political work, as highlighted by Fellini.[xi]

Anyway, Amarcord it is far from operating as an offshoot, ten years later, of Guido's monologue and intimate script. Now, a portrait of daily life in fascism is observed, focused on the satirical examination of the formation of subjectivity that undergoes modernization, between accelerated and late, inherent to dependence.

So, if Amarcord shows some effective continuity with 8 ½, this consists mainly in the continuation of the sober, ironic and reflective point of view; that is to say, in short, in the potentiated unfolding of the decision, of 8 ½, of inscribing a simulated model of staged autobiography in an “author’s film”, as an object of irony, to make explicit, on the other hand, an opposite, critical and dialogical possibility of reception – as, by the way, Schwarz acutely noted in a precursory reading and to the countercurrent – ​​about 8 ½, as a critical and dialectical history of a late modernization chapter.

Amarcord constitutes, in short, a vigorous movement of negation and differentiation of the past, in which memory does not restore lost figures or original forms, but presents objects of irony before which psychosocial, political and historical criticism, modulated by the dialogue with the public, builds the perspective of plurality proper to the antithetical dialectic of democracy, which critically revises, with an etiological spirit, the former totalitarian regime.

In such a process, reviewing the past also implies reinterpreting the present. Therefore, the investigation of the origin of fascism, as Amarcord, implies the simultaneous examination of two other pillars of the regime, which, even after the military fall of the regime, continued to stand and actively radiate pro-fascist practices and models in social life: the patriarchal family and mass culture – in this Lastly, by the way, the cinema of the regime operates as the essential prototype. Therefore, factors and bases persist, points out Amarcord, by means of which a hybrid can rise. How to prevent?


Pulo do gato: vernacular fascism

Amarcord innovates and surprises in the examination of fascism by showing it in its vernacular and original dimension, independent of Nazism. In the post-war works of Rossellini (1906-1977)[xii] and in Italian cinema in general, fascism appeared intertwined almost filially with Nazism; in short, practically like an outsider, without local roots.

The vision of occupied Italy and the warlike moment of fascism – in fact, the most current one on the screens – favors the perception of fascism as a derivation of Nazism, as the former's military dependence on the latter was notorious; in fact, the relationship of political dependence of fascism on Nazism crystallized, anchored in the military, in the period of the puppet republic of Salò (23.09.1943 – 29.04.1945). genesis of fascism, effectively Italian, as its originality in the creation of political models and mass psychology that preceded Nazism and Francoism by more than a decade.[xiii]

In this sense, in Roma (1971), an excerpt, extracted by Fellini from the fascist film journal Luce, had presented fascism as a phenomenon of authenticity comparable to that of “Italian bread and cheese”. Amarcord it deepens the characterization of vernacular fascism, as well as intensifies the examination of its organic relationship with cinema.

Thus, Amarcord presents and dissects Patacca (Lallo), Titta's uncle, as a branded fascist. This and friends are part of the category of bullocks, formed by idle and immature young people from the middle class, who live with their families and were so often scrutinized by Fellini's lens, including in Amarcord, which underlines the ties of the Patacca gang with fascism.

By highlighting the links of this social group with fascism, Amarcord triggers another critical-reflexive movement: it leads to the reexamination of the author's previous works, such as I Vitelloni (1953), and recharges them with political meaning, as previous observations of the social bases of fascism.

The Patacca is characterized as a common type that, it is well known, will survive the regime (like the bullocks, by the way) His adherence to fascism also follows the general pattern. In the city, as announced on the parade scene, 99% of the population was enrolled in the Party. Notable exception only Mr. Aurélio, civil construction worker, foreman and man of the left, denounced by his brother-in-law Lallo (the Patacca), on account of the installation of the gramophone in the bell tower to sound the The International (1871), spoiling the fascist party.

The normalization of fascism in this way, far from being condescending, is strategic and combative; implies a sharp critique of the sociocultural matrices of fascism.[xiv] For the question of the origins of the phenomenon also raises that of its persistence, as well as that of its return to the Italian government. And, if the seriousness of the problem was not evident at the time of the launch of Amarcord, at the beginning of 1974 – when the PCI seemed to many to be heading towards hegemony –, the issue was accentuated, twenty years later [1994], with the electoral triumph of fascism associated with Berlusconi (b. 1936) [not to mention the rise , in the wake of this, the later variants, G. Fini (b. 1952), M. Salvini (b. 1973) etc.].


Physiology and psychogenesis of fascism

There were few direct references to fascism in Fellini's work throughout the 1950s and 1960s; when they occurred, they came in a brief and allusive way, composing traits of characters and environments. However, from The Clowns (1970) and Roma (1971), the issue of fascism is at the forefront of Fellini's psychosocial and behavioral analysis of the conditioning factors of Italian modernization.

It is then distinguished the character of its critical strategy. This remarkably renews the focus of fascism's totalitarian action on collective life: it detects it at the surface, as a pathological pattern of domestic roots, projected onto the collective. Starting with the exhibitionism inherent in narcissism, several signs demarcate such extraction: the childish grimaces in the parade; the reiteration of capricious and vain behavior; the passion for clothing, choreography and symmetry or in general for mirrored forms; the hysterical neediness of leaders; the eschatological appeal translated into torture through the ingestion of laxatives, etc.

In these terms, fascism appears as a discourse articulated to childhood, according to Fellini, in two degrees: in terms of origin, as hysteria or rhetoric proper to the infantile state and also, in terms of purpose, as a set of techniques organically associated with school training. In this way, if it spills over and reaches social application, it is because the social whole largely reproduces an atavistic state of minority or infantilism. Positioning itself as a pedagogy of matrices and parameters for children, fascism demands the subsumption of social and political heterogeneity, naturally conflictual, by the organicist and homogenizing language of the domestic horizon.

The love of exhibition, inherent in childhood, finds its social realization in scenic and choreographic monumentality. Therefore, in addition to childishness, spectacularity is the other side of fascism, highlighted by Amarcord. In mass interventions, fascism looms over the city through immense set designs, which instill the cult of the grandiose inherent in patriarchal phantasmagoria, the inverted double of infantilism.

Therefore, the equalization of the studio to the world, so praised as Fellini's mania, far from a stylistic or authorial trait, does indeed target the core of the fascist strategy. It is part of a critical aesthetic program that caricatures and deconstructs the empire of the spectacle through which, as is known according to Benjamin, the masses “have the illusion of expressing their 'nature', but certainly not their rights”[xv] – by the way, like Ciccio who imagines the union with Aldina, his love ideal, being celebrated by a scenographic mixture of Duce and pontiff.


Fascism and cinema: verse and reverse

The coincidence of the spectacular and the infantile in the characterization of fascism highlights the correlation between cinema and fascism. In fact, Cinecittà was a creation of the regime, conceived in the image of Hollywood and under the leadership of Vittorio Mussolini (1916-1997), son of the dictator.[xvi] Inaugurated in April 1937 by the Duce (as it called itself), Cineccittà produced, until the fall of fascism (25.07.1943), two hundred and seventy-nine films, almost four a month.

The world of cinema was at the core of the regime and several members of the Mussolini family turned to activities in the area; many divas were lovers of fascist hierarchs and several filmmakers worked for Vittorio Mussolini. Rossellini was the screenwriter of his first film, Luciano Serra Pilota (1938), rotated in Ethiopia, and subsequently became an author sponsored and awarded (more than once) by the regime. Antonioni (1912-2007) and Fellini also started in cinema at that time, in secondary activities.[xvii]

Therefore, to highlight the association between Italian cinema and fascism is to raise a theme that is, to say the least, uncomfortable. In addition to being courageous, the approach by Amarcord, Roma e The Clowns of this problem is full of consequences; in summary:

(1) provides the effective delimitation of the status and elements of cinematographic language, since Fellini's critical aim (in the sense of self-limitation) – contrary to that of the neorealists – did not rush to stage and establish cinematographic representations, which would replace the horrors of war – therefore leaving these to remain in their own unique form, for due historical examination; (2) proposes a radical revision of mass culture and its history in Italy, in the light of its reciprocity with fascism; an examination whose urgency is evident in the growing collusion – through Berlusconi and the like – of the State with mass communication;[xviii] (3) obtains an innovative analysis of fascism, which detects the persistence and reproduction of genetic processes (derived from the patriarchal family, mass culture, image cult, etc.) in full force; (4) in opposition to fascism, by criticizing the primacy of univocal, monological or mythical memory – to which Cinecittà actively contributed –, Amarcord elaborates and makes explicit an opposing paradigm (in the wake of the pseudopersonal narrative of Roma, the preceding film): that of the democratic narrative, dialogically structured.

* Luiz Renato Martins he is professor-advisor of PPG in Economic History (FFLCH-USP) and Visual Arts (ECA-USP). Author, among other books, of The Long Roots of Formalism in Brazil (Haymarket/HMBS).

First part of the modified version of the article published in Carlos Augusto Calil (org.). Fellini Visionario: La Dolce Vida, 8 ½, Amarcord. Company of Letters, 1994.



[I] Em The Clowns (1970), the clowns – taken in general, from 8 ½, as lyrical indexes alluding to innocence and childhood – are shown as destitute beings, dealing with loneliness and old age. Analogously, in Roma (1971), rather than Fellini's vision of the city as a studio or essential setting, as it was generally understood after La Dolce Vita, what we have is the deconstruction of the authorial or subjective perspective, in short, the author's style seen from the inside out, as an emptiness. See LR Martins, “The Practice of the Spectator”, in Conflict and Interpretation in Fellini/Construction of the Public's Perspective, São Paulo, Edusp/ Istituto Italiano di Cultura di San Paolo, 1994, pp. 25-50. Or ditto, “The Spectator’s Activity”, in Adauto Novaes (org.), The look, São Paulo, Cia das Letras, 1988, pp. 385-97.

[ii] For the acute interpretation of asanisimasa – as a secret cipher soul and access password to a timeless order – and its approximation with the Rosebud, Citizen Kane (1941), by Orson Welles, see Gilda de Mello e Souza, “O Salto Mortal de Fellini”, in idem, Reading Exercises, São Paulo, Two Cities, 1980.

[iii] Fellini first considered naming the film Viva Italy; after the Borgo. On these hypotheses and the greater concern to “diligently avoid an autobiographical reading of the film”, see Federico Fellini, fare unfilm, Turin, Einaudi, 1980, pp. 155-56.

[iv] See Roberto Schwarz, “8 1/2 by Fellini: O Menino Perdido ea Indústria” (1964), originally published in “Suplemento Literário”, The State of S. Paul; republished in R. Schwarz, The Mermaid and the Suspicious: Critical Essays, Rio de Janeiro, Paz e Terra, 1981, pp. 189-204.

[v] The aforementioned article by Schwarz effectively constituted a notable exception to this trend, and even provoked a reply such as that of Bento Prado Jr., who insisted, on the contrary, on the memorialistic or confessional function of the narrative in 8 ½. See B. Prado Jr., “The Mermaid Demystified”, Some Essays, Max Limonad, 1985, p. 239. For Fellini's opposition to the intimate interpretation, see LR Martins, Conflict …, op. cit. pp. 17-18, and note 15, on p. 143.

[vi] See G. de Mello e Souza, “O Salto Mortal de Fellini”, op. quote..

[vii] Italo Calvino, “Autobiografia di uno spettatore”, in Federico Fellini, Quattro film, Torino, Einaudi, 1975, pp. XIX and XXII.

[viii] See Walter Benjamin, “L'oeuvre d'art à l'époque de sa reproduction mécanisée” (French version) in idem Écrits Français, introduction et notices Jean-Maurice Monnoyer, Paris, Folio/Essais/Gallimard, 2003, pp. 214-17; trans. bras. [from another version]: The work of art in the age of its technical reproducibility (second German version), apres., trans. and notes Francisco De Ambrosis Pinheiro Machado, Porto Alegre, Zouk, 2012 Paulo, Brasiliense, 1985, vol. I, pp. 109-16.

[ix] See, by the way, the mention of a Celtic myth in Marcel Proust, In Search of Lost Time, Paris, Gallimard, 1949, vol. I, pp. 64-65.

[X] For the contrast between the notions of “intelligent” or “voluntary” memory and, on the other hand, that of “involuntary memory”, see Marcel Proust, op. cit., pp. 64-69. For a counterpoint between Proust and Baudelaire, see W. Benjamin, “Sur quelques thèmes baudelairiens”, trans. Maurice de Gandillac, review by Rainer Rochlitz, in Oeuvres/ volume III, traduit de l´allemand par M. de Gandillac, R. Rochlitz et Pierre Rusch, Paris, Folio/Essais/Gallimard, 2001; pp. 329-45, 376-87; trans. bras.: “About some themes in Baudelaire”, in Selected Works/ Charles Baudelaire: A Lyricist at the Height of Capitalism, trans. HA Batista, S. Paulo, Brasiliense, 1989, vol. III, pp. 103-113, 139.

[xi] “The buffoon conditioning, theatricality, infantilism, subjection to a puppet power, to a ridiculous myth, is the very fulcrum of Amarcord… A great ignorance and a great confusion… Even today, what interests me most is the psychological, emotional way of being fascist: a form of blockade, something like being stuck in adolescence…” Cf. Federico Fellini, Un Regista a Cineccitta, Verona, Mondadori, 1988, p. 13. See also ditto, Do…, op. cit., pp. 154-155; Ornella Volta, “Fellini 1976” in Vv. Ah, Federico Fellini, org. Gilles et Michel Ciment, Paris, Dossier Positif-Rivages, Rivages, 1988, p. 94. (First published in Positif, 181, Paris, 1976).

[xii] For example, a company offering Rome Open City (1945) and Paisa (1946), in which Fellini even participated as the author's main assistant.

[xiii] Remember that Mussolini, elected deputy in 1921, was invited by the king to head the government at the end of 1922; meanwhile, the Nazis held, six years later (1928), only 12 seats in parliament. In fact, only after the 1932 election of 230 Nazi deputies did Hitler become Chancellor (Prime Minister) on 29.01.1933/1922/XNUMX. Another indication of the precedence and ascendancy of fascism over Nazism is that the “march on Rome” of October XNUMX, which brought Mussolini to the government, inspired the following year in Munich the putsch Hitler's failure, which took him to prison where he stayed until December 1924. Finally, it is worth consulting a period document, written with literary bite and acumen, for the details, characteristic of Trotsky, then recently exiled in Prinkipo, island near Istanbul. Signed by the author on 10.06.1933, the text draws several parallels that highlight the originality of fascism and of Mussolini in the face of the Germans: “From the beginning, Mussolini treated social matters more consciously than Hitler, who felt closer to the police mysticism of any Metternich than the political algebra of Machiavelli. From an intellectual point of view, Mussolini is more audacious and cynical”. Finally, the paragraph concludes: “(…) the scientific analysis of class relations, intended by its author to mobilize the proletariat, allowed Mussolini, when he crossed over to the enemy camp, to mobilize the intermediate classes against the proletariat. Hitler carried out the same work, translating the methodology of fascism into the language of German mysticism”. Cf. Léon Trotsky, “Qu'est-ce que le national-socialisme”, in idem, Comment Vaincre le Fascisme/ Écrits sur l'Allemagne 1930-1933, translated from Russia by Denis et Irène Paillard, Paris, Les Editions de la Passion, 1993, p. 227.

[xiv] “It gave me pleasure to read (…) that rarely had fascism been represented with such truth as in my film”. Cf. Federico Fellini, Do…, op. cit., p. 153. On Fellini's view of the persistence of fascism in Italian life, and the primary importance of this in Amarcord, watch Idem, ib., pp. 151-157.

[xv] The passage is well known but it is worth recalling it in full because of its contiguity with the analytical perspective of Amarcord, I think: “The totalitarian state seeks to organize the newly constituted proletarianized masses, without modifying the conditions of property that they, the masses, tend to abolish. It sees its salvation in allowing the masses to express their 'nature', but certainly not that of their rights*. The masses tend towards the transformation of property conditions. The totalitarian state seeks to give expression to this tendency, while safeguarding the conditions of ownership. In other terms: the totalitarian state necessarily leads to the aestheticization of political life [emphasis added] ». Cf. W. Benjamin, “L'oeuvre d'art…” [French version], op. cit., pp. 217-28; trans. bras. [from the second German version]: « The work of art…. », op. cit., p. 117.

[xvi] Vittorio Mussolini even planned to found, with Hal Roach, an Italian-American production house, RAM (Roach and Mussolini), and went to Hollywood in September 1937 to deal with it.

[xvii] For more details, see LR Martins, Conflict and…, op. cit., notes 35 and 36, pp. 68-70.

[xviii] Fellini's fight against Berlusconi is an old one; it includes lawsuits and comments such as: – “One should not talk about him (Berlusconi) in a salon atmosphere. Berlusconi should be summoned before the magistrates…”. Cf. Tatti Sanguinetti, “Fellini, intervista”, in Cahiers du Cinema, no. 479/480, Paris, 1994, pp. 71-73 (originally published in European.

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