Fellini impersonal

Photo by Carmela Gross

Fellini impersonal


Fellini's cinema, instead of being nostalgic and experiential or exasperatedly personal – as many people believe – is radically analytical and political.

“Pessimism of the intelligence, optimism of the will” (Antonio Gramsci).

The advent of neorealism, as the main post-war international cinematographic phenomenon, took on cultural significance of the first magnitude. It triggered a reversal, in addition to aesthetics, also cultural and political, reaching the production processes and reception of cinema, and placing them in public discussion – going beyond the strict range of questioning, reached by avant-garde art.

In this process, Rossellini's importance was crucial. It was considered, from Rome Open City (1945)[I], it's from Paisa (1946), as a precursor and main architect, not only in Italy, but, in general, of this renovating movement, which would be guided by the notion of authorship, according to the idea of ​​“authors’ policy”[ii], formulated later, in the mid-1950s, by the team of Les Cahiers du Cinema[iii]. The notion of author has had great fortune. It aimed to enhance the expression of the director in the cinematographic process, given the weight of other cultural values ​​and industrial and commercial factors, determinants of the policy of marketing from the big studios, and from derivative phenomena such as the cult of actors.

The notion of author-director was at the base of New wave – consecrated, at the Cannes Festival, on May 4, 1959, with the acclaim of Truffaut’s work, The four hundred Blows[iv]. It also radiated to the USA and West Germany, where the model of the personal and cheap film gave rise to the New German Cinema.[v]. The same proposal would be adopted, according to more politicized and radicalized versions, in sub-industrialized countries, appearing, for example, in movements such as the Brazilian Cinema Novo and also in currents underground, such as the Brazilian Marginal Cinema, which emerged in 1969[vi].

In the original formula of Notebooks, the essence of cinema was embodied by the director. The idea of ​​auteur cinema, confronted with the industrial mode, rescued the role of the virtuoso and the craftsman and affirmed the director's personal expression. It proposed the reading of authorial styles as cinematographic scriptures, matching the figure of the filmmaker with that of the writer – a pontifical figure in French cinema, inclined, by tradition, to the adaptation of literary works. The concept of camera-style[vii], which served this purpose, while conveying the ambition of self-affirmation and artistic ennoblement of cinema, neglected, in the abstract analogy, the very matrix of its language, of industrial generation.

The recognition of the individuality of directors, thanks to the action of such a current of French criticism, effectively originated the movement of New wave and became yours leitmotiv. The critics' perspective, transposed to the field of production, with the migration of a considerable part of the writers of the Notebooks (Rivette, Truffaut, Chabrol, Rohmer, Godard and others) for the realization exercise, proclaimed as authorship, signaled the implementation of a new stage in the industry and in the marketing from the movies.

The old craftsman-author duality was overcome vs. industry, placed in the dichotomy between the neorealist movement and the Hollywood system, in exchange for a new articulation between the authorial position – organized in semi-operative forms of work – and the distributive productive system. The door was opened for the celebration of directors and the regular broadcasting of auteur films in the international market[viii].

The Fellini phenomenon arises in this phase of constitution of the director's new role and acclaim of the New wave. Fellini was already, then, a recognized author, awarded several times in international exhibitions, including two Oscars, for La Strada e Le Notti di Cabiria, and integrated into the pantheon of criticism. The resounding triumph of critics, the public and the media of La Dolce Vita, released at the beginning of 1960, provoked a qualitative change in its prestige: it became the expression of the new authorial status[ix]. So in the period between La Dolce Vita e Half past eight (1963), Fellini consolidates himself for international public opinion as the main author of Italian cinema, succeeding Rossellini in this emblematic role in the original forum of auteur cinema.

It comes to symbolize the new stage of relations between author and industry, in which the role of director, promoted to protagonist of the cinematographic process, leaves the artisanal situation and the point of view of scarcity and integrates itself into the core of a luxury market. Signaling the central reference value assumed by Fellini in the new conjuncture, the qualifier “Fellinian” (to designate certain traits or situations) starts to be adopted by the media of several countries.

What are the causes of this apotheosis, which leads to the iconization of Fellini? Would Fellini's ascent to such a level have been accidental and absurd? On the contrary, it would be possible to assume that the phenomenon involved an attempt by the media and the public to assimilate the effects of La Dolce Vita[X]. How to explain the crucial differentiation that singled out the reception of this work, compared to other products of auteur cinema? What would characterize its novelty content? From the outset, on this plane dominated by immediate susceptibility, the specifically aesthetic question of its structure can be considered secondary, in line with other contemporary narrative forms and whose analysis does not fit here.

Its first impact would come from the surprise, precisely, from the novelty of its thematic orientation. That is, the fact that it stands out either from the world of penury or exclusion from the market – typical of neorealism –, or from intimate subjectivism, subsequently explored as a variant of neorealism, in different ways, by Visconti, Rossellini, Antonioni. In exchange, La Dolce Vita laid bare the dominance of marketing in culture and services, modifying customs and affecting cinema with specific intensity – in this experience, possibly ahead of the other arts. A statement by Fellini at that time attested to the polemical role he gave to his intervention, in the face of the chorus of humanist values ​​of well-thinking people, including neorealist hosts.[xi]: “Are we going to have a little more courage? Let's put aside the dissimulations, the mistaken illusions, the fascisms, the qualunquisms[xii], the sterile passions? Everything broke. We don't believe in anything anymore. And?"[xiii].

La Dolce Vita featured as a protagonist a hybrid of journalist, commercial agent and public relations both from culture and fashion. And he observed a radical change in values ​​and behavior. It presented the power of market relations shaping art, culture in general, and the range of human relations at play. The impact of the work was born from the dramatic exposition of its constraints, redefining the immanence of cinema and proposing a more analytical look at the world of images.[xiv]. There was, then, an unprecedented and shocking conjunction, for many, between reference to the process of the work, or exposition of its structure, and characterization of the market mechanisms, implanted in post-Marshall Plan Europe, and in Italy of the so-called miracle industry of the 1950s.

The investigation of the new framework of relations between art and industry would unfold in Half past eight, which would reveal the reorientation of the cinematographic process, precisely from the author director, embodied by Guido – courted and honored by his producer, in ways unthinkable before the advent of auteur cinema. Similarly, the actors docilely gravitated around the director – like the members of a musical orchestra around the conductor, that is, in an unrealistic way for the director as well. star system established in Hollywood –, while the hardest work struggle, experienced by Guido, came precisely from the clash of ideas with the writer – thus, another sign of his characterization as an author.

In this way, while the New wave resorted to the notion of the author as an aesthetic dogma through theoretical formulas – such as authors’ policy or camera-style – or by other means (such as the affirmation of the autobiographical content of The four hundred Blows), whereas Fellini's work introduced a new perspective of questioning the production process. However, the heat of the moment, marked by the vogue for auteur cinema, would transform Half past eight in a paradigm of the authorial perspective, eclipsing his critical project, to the director's annoyance[xv].

An exception to the rule was Roberto Schwarz's article, “Fellini's 8 1/2: The Lost Boy and Industry” (1964)[xvi] – recently posted on the website the earth is round – pointing out, in an unprecedented way, exactly the historical aim of the film, its critique of the articulation between the individual expression of the artist and the industry, and the distance, finally, between the effective critical perspective of the work and the exposed naivety of its protagonist, the filmmaker Guido.

With the triumphant diffusion of the mistake, which hid the questioning on the screen of the restructurings in the scope of production, the idea that Fellini's style would be essentially autobiographical would be forged and propagated, in an extensive and generalized way, representing and exasperating the premises of the auteur cinema[xvii]. Could it be, however, that Half past eight, by making a filmmaker the supposed narrator and central figure, would it therefore be an autobiographical work? The affirmative answer, largely majority until today, supports the established view of a mythological and tautological Fellinian style, making an apology for cinema and his own memories.

Rather, the hypothesis presented here contradicts the possibility of such a style. It presupposes analytical and differentiated works, and in polemical tension with each other, without excluding other clashes on specific topics. In this sense, this work takes up the turn of the interpretation proposed by the countercurrent judgment of Roberto Schwarz, about the impersonality of Half past eight, re-proposing it extensively in the interpretation of Fellini's subsequent work.

In this perspective, this work sustains that Fellini's cinema, instead of being nostalgic and experiential or exasperatedly personal – as many judge, along the lines of auteur cinema – will be radically analytical and political, and, as such, fundamentally impersonal. In this way, his work would criticize the premises of auteur cinema, such as neorealism, deconstructing the making of cinema. And, at the same time, it would examine the historical transformations from a totalitarian culture, with an agrarian and provincial background, to a society marked by market mechanisms and essentially conflictual, in terms of the process of industrialization and urbanization, implemented in republican Italy. In this sense, faced with a new complex situation, Fellini would oppose the neorealist aesthetics through distance and irony, which was based on the search for a popular expression, laden with authenticity, from actors and authors – committed, in turn, to the critique of the studio and spectacular cinema of the fascist era.

In this way, while the neorealist influence was exerted on Fellini – through his bonds of friendship and work with exponential figures of neorealism, such as Rossellini, Fabrizi, Anna Magnani and others, and through the high prestige of the movement –, his work was already would clearly highlight[xviii], offering from the beginning, in its pronounced satirical turn, a critical reading of the cinematographic process. It suspended, in this sense, the belief in the transparency of signs, presupposed by neorealist aesthetics – concerned, above all, with human praxis and the totality of the world –, in exchange for, achieving a critical gain, delimiting the scenic process or the studio situation as a new field of immanence.

In the critical path followed by Fellini's work, according to the hypothesis, the fascist question can be seen as a key theme. Indeed, it would bring a critical limit to neorealism; for example, from Rome Open City e Paisa, works delimited by the dictate of national unity, whose aim – centered on the actions of the Resistance partisan, or in the military and political collapse of fascism, which occurred at the end of the war – would leave its cultural and historical matrices intact, synthesized in the triad God, Homeland and Family[xx] – values ​​that survived the fall of the regime and remain as pillars of the subsequent anti-communist regime, brought to power by the Cold War.

The critical neorealist project would also reveal insufficiency in another aspect of the fascist question: that relating to the history of Italian cinema, since it would not question – among other less evident factors, such as the opacity of language or the limits of authorial subjectivity – an evident and worrying fact: the kinship of Italian cinema with the fascist regime, creator of Cinecittà.

The analysis of fascism, directly referred to in Fellini's work, from The Clowns, can be linked to that of mass culture, the primary and constant target of the work. According to the hypothesis, the precocious and strategic attention in Fellini's critical project towards mass culture would be explained either because his questions involve the specificity of the cinematographic process – a blind spot or unthought of the neorealist project –, or because of mass culture , in Italy, was conditioned by fascism, both in terms of the production apparatus (see the legacy of Cinecittà) and, in part, in the case of the products themselves – such as photonovelas, which seem to stylistically descend from fascist cinematography, melodramatic and prone to exoticism. Hence the theme of The Sceicco Bianco (1952), first film solo by Fellini, after carrying out, in partnership with Lattuada, Variety lights (1950) – an acute reading of the fragmentation of the social fabric and popular culture, and the reconstruction of the show business from uprooted contingents, in the post-war period.

Thus, The Sceicco Bianco would come to causticly affect a recently opened niche for the publishing industry, and in full expansion, the market of fotonovelas[xx], associating him moreover with the obscurantist and conservative power of the Vatican. Italy suffers from the hysteria of the Cold War, and the consumer clientele of these periodicals, concentrated in the countryside and in small towns in the South (such as the couple Wanda and Ivan Cavalli, municipal official, protagonists of the work), also condenses the main electoral focus of Democracy -Christian. The powers of religion and the Vatican are pitted against the prestige of the PCI, acquired in the fight against fascism. A year earlier, in 1950, the Vatican – setting for the grand finale of this Fellinian-style farce horn – promoted the Holy Year.

The critic Oreste del Buono, when describing the panorama of Italy in 1951, contemporary to the filming of The Sceicco Bianco, lists: two million unemployed; severe housing shortage; disastrous level of nutrition; exasperated infant mortality; persecution of union activists; repeated attempts by De Gasperi's Christian Democrat government to restrict recently enacted constitutional guarantees; successive visits by US generals (Eisenhower, Ridgway) to Italy, and by De Gasperi to the US; series of mass demonstrations against US military and political interference, often repressed with gunfire, bringing deaths in Comacchio, Adrano, Piana dei Greci [xxx]. In this context of crisis and confrontation, The Sceicco Bianco it would bother to mock the credulity of language and religion, the influence game between the Vatican and the public administration, and the careerism of an official. The work, poorly received, was defined, by one of the few favorable critics, as “the first Italian anarchic film” [xxiii].

Fellini's intervention was not untimely. It had already been preceded by a short film by Antonioni, L'Amorosa Menzogna (1949), and by Very beautiful (1951), a feature by Visconti. The very argument of The Sceicco Bianco it had the original conception of Antonioni, having then been sold to a producer and re-elaborated by Fellini, Pinelli and Flaiano. And the ulterior course of Fellini's work, continuing in pursuit of series-cast illusionism and the phenomena of marketing, would show that the conjunction of the director and the script would integrate an evolving process.

Therefore, by hypothesis, the themes of La Dolce Vita e Half past eight they would not be circumstantial, but stages of an investigation. They would belong, in short, to the common thread set, from the beginning, by the irony in front of the personal and immediate or not distanced involvement, next to the images, on the part of the spectator as well as the author. In the course of the investigation of Italian culture verified in Fellini's filmography, one can notice the overlap between author prerogatives and authoritarian, if not fascist, culture, as would be made clear Interviews (1987), when characterizing the cinematographic author, seen by the young Fellini, a reporter at the set of Cinecittà, as a colonial explorer – similar to the first representation, in the work, of a director, with traces of despotism and grandiloquence, as appears in The Sceicco Bianco[xxiii].

Within the framework of this career that is generally acclaimed, but whose course is similarly denied and subject to misunderstanding, it is observed that, with each new work, the media repeats, for its part, the slogan current that Fellini would be an autobiographical author, obsessed with himself and with cinema. On the other hand, there is the director, in his ironic appearances to journalists, continually emphasizing the artificial and invented character of the personal and autobiographical styles used in his works. If such an impasse still seems a long way from being resolved, the work nevertheless would have evolved, radicalizing the analytical deconstruction of both the cinematographic process and the subjectivities involved both in the making and in the reception of cinema.

In this sense, from The Clowns (1970), a new critical level can be identified, in which Fellini's own previous work would be directly subjected to a critical operation, triggered against authorial premises and practices. Thus, Fellini would turn his irony, not against any filmmaker, as in Half past eight, but against its own icon, conveyed by the media; in a correlative way, would enter the scene, not to leave his authorial mark, to the Hitchcock, but to insert the author's representation, in an isonomic way, in the same temporal and axiological plane of other signs elaborated in the film[xxv].

According to the hypothesis, such objectification of the authorial figure, surrounded by a strong dose of irony, would aim to eliminate the misunderstandings raised by Half past eight: would place, for spectators, the author's representation in a more delimited and concrete way than the references made to the author's role, in Half past eight, however, in an ethereal and all-seeing way. The author's new inscription would hinder the infinity of the scene, which is correlated with the presupposition of the author's subjective infinity, in part implied before.

In this perspective, Roma (1971) would clearly take the side of finitude. It would deploy and enhance the operation, launched in The Clowns, by which the critical sieve against figures converted into emblems of the author's style would evolve into a deconstruction of the authorial or subjective perspective, replaced by an increasingly dialogical structure - criticism against the marks of personal expressiveness, as well as univocal, universal or transcendent meaning, of visuality.

In the book Conflict and interpretation in Fellini (Edusp) I seek to determine in detail the progress of such a process, simultaneously critical and productive, in Roma (1971) Amarcord (1973) proof of orchestra (1979) and City of Women (1980). The circumscription of the analysis around these four works aims at dismantling questions of authorship, in favor of affirming dialogic or public aesthetic structures. Certainly, the phase under examination does not exclude Casanova (1976), nor is it limited to the universe of works produced during the 1970s, since the critical process came from afar, as I tried to show, and advanced beyond the samples selected here for analysis. Strictly speaking, it is therefore necessary to ask whether the operational choice was opportune and correct with a view to the formulation and aesthetic discussion of the principles or values ​​indicated.


In the framework proposed for the aesthetic discussion, where the notion of auteur cinema or personal expression has the function of an initial watershed, a decisive implication stands out, with value as a guiding thread, for its development. It deals with the opposition between the restoration of the experience of art or the cinematographic spectacle, as an object of aesthetic cult, and, on the other hand, the insertion of the spectacle in the context of an open or public dialectic, not limited to the limits of reason, but proper to democratic discussion, conceived as a conflicting activity of heterogeneous factors.

In this hypothesis, while, on the one hand, the neorealists and the New wave, by different means, would have sought to confer originality and authenticity to the presence, to the hic and nunc of the cinematic experience – the neorealists through the touch of truth at the time of registration or filming and the New wave for cinephilia, the love of films and the exaltation of authors; both ways resulting, in short, in the implementation of a cult attitude towards the cinematographic object.

On the other hand, Fellini would have constantly highlighted the artificial and repetitive aspect of cinema, inherent to its industrial process, in short, stripping it of authenticity value. In this sense, I would be acutely concerned, since Variety lights, with the exchange value conferred on images and, therefore, with the manipulative aspect of scenic production, subjected to a fetishization process – sponsored not only by Hollywood, but also by the neorealist naivety and aestheticism of New wave – which, since the second half of the 1960s, Godard, with a greater critical sense, would also refuse.

Thus, in Fellini's trajectory, fundamentally referring to the making of cinema and attentive, in the same way, to its reception process, a convergence with the course of Walter Benjamin's aesthetic essays, in dialogue with Brecht, on modernity, and the changes brought about by the use of industrial techniques in visual production. Benjamin already pointed out, in the 30s, the loss of hate, the authenticity of art objects, or the value of the aesthetic experience formulated as contemplation by classical Germanic XNUMXth-century thought, influenced by theological paradigms.

The ironic and analytical reading of Fellini, contrary to the neorealist expressiveness as well as that of the authors, and the promotion of the value of cinema, would converge, here, in the same direction as Benjamin's critical and combative theory. It would also accentuate such convergence, the direct confrontation that both move against the fascist aesthetics, marked, for Benjamin as for Fellini, by the reuse, on a mass scale, of eighteenth-century aesthetic paradigms linked to the univocal or universal ethics of the subject, which imply the obliteration of the materiality of the aesthetic reception, in this case, in a collective forum and in the industrial horizon of modernity.

In the context of contrasts with the restorative aspects of neorealism and New wave, and converging with Benjamin's aesthetics, it is proposed that the reader examine, in Fellini's work, the possible recourse to the teachings of Brechtian epic theater, advocating the distanced perspective of images. Thus, if concerns about affirming the value of cinema would have led to New wave to the generally apologetic use of quotations and references, celebrating films and authors – a second characteristic that would make New wave in parallel with procedures of the Pop-Art American, which carried out, with Warhol and Rosenquist, for example, the apologetic incorporation of images from the marketing –, on the other hand, quotations would come to constitute a recurrent procedure in Fellini's works, but aiming to meet the analytical and political, or democratic, concern of constituting another perspective on the alluded image.

As a rule, irony and pastiche would become the distancing procedures adopted to dissolve the hate, eventually crystallized around certain images, and to bring them up for debate. One can glimpse, here, in this reuse of concepts from Brechtian epic theater, as they were presented in Benjamin's aesthetics, what could perhaps be called a “minimal brechtism”, practiced by Fellini. That is, a reuse of these procedures in the scenic forum, disconnected, however, from a theory about history – certainly, originally crucial for Brecht, but whose belief Fellini's pessimism would prevent him from professing (another point of possible approximation with the multifaceted Benjamin's thought).

In this sense, observing simultaneously the immanentist focus and the sharply critical or non-doctrinaire content of this production, it would be convenient, in general terms, to anchor Fellini's work within the framework of the poetics of the public sphere [xxiv], whose designation, in addition to the principles mentioned, is beyond the limits of this work.

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

*Originally published as a book introduction Conflict and Interpretation in Fellini: Construction of the Public Perspective. São Paulo, EDUSP, 1993.


[I] First showing on September 24, 1945 at the Teatro Quirino in Rome.

[ii] The expression Authors' policy, created by François Truffaut, appeared in the Cahiers du Cinema, 44, February 1955. See Antoine de Baecque, Les Cahiers du Cinema. Histoire d'une Revue, volume I, Paris, Cahiers du Cinéma, 1991, p. 147 and ff. For ideas antecedent to Truffaut's conception, expressed either in France, through the Cinema Revue (1946), or in England by Lindsay Anderson in 1950, see John Caughie, Theories of Authorship: A Reader, London, Routledge & Kegan Paul, pp. 36-37.

[iii] Issue 1 of the magazine is dated April 1, 1951.

[iv] Since 1957, some editors of the Notebooks already made short films. On the specific impact of this film – launching the idea of ​​low-cost, personal films – on producers and business people, see Antoine de Baecque, on. cit., P. 286. On the huge box office success of New wave and the resulting production facilities, see Idem, volume II, pp. 7 and ff.

[v] The Oberhausen Manifesto (28.2.1962), signed by twenty-six directors, marked the emergence of the New German Cinema, aimed, according to Alexander Kluge, one of the signatories, towards the realization of “low-cost films, which translate highly personal experiences . They could be trivial or sophisticated.” Cf. Alexander Kluge, “On New German Cinema, Art, Enlightenment, and the Public Sphere: An Interview with Alexander Kluge”, interview conducted by Stuart Liebman in Munich (6 and 16.12.1986, and 26.7.1987), October, 46, on. cit., P. 23.

[vi] On the incidence and variants assumed by the idea of ​​auteur cinema in Brazil, see Ismail Xavier, Allegories of Underdevelopment: New Cinema, Tropicalism, Marginal Cinema, Sao Paulo, Brasiliense, 1993.

[vii] The literal equivalent of the expression, in Portuguese, would be “camera-pen”. According to the inventor of the expression, Alexandre Astruc: “[cinema] after being a popular attraction at fairs, an entertainment analogous to the theater of boulevard, or a means of preserving the images of an era, is gradually becoming a language. By language I mean a form in which and by which an artist can express his thoughts, no matter how abstract they may be, or translate his obsessions exactly as he does in the contemporary essay or novel. That's why I would like to call this new age of cinema the age of camera-style“. Cf. Alexandre Astruc, “The Birth of a New Vanguard: the camera-style", in L'Écran Français, 144, 30.3.48, apoud John Caughie, on. cit., P. 9. Astruc, who later joined the team of Notebooks and would be a filmmaker, he was then a young critic.

[viii] Kluge differentiated the Oberhausen group, compared to the New wave, stating: “The Oberhausen group was characterized by pursuing a mode of production as if capitalism were starting over again, as if it were possible to use the methods of 1802 in the era of big business. (...) We take the words (authors policy) and change its meaning. With the Politik der Autoren, financial responsibility was confused with artistic responsibility”. Cf. Alexander Kluge, on. cit., P. 24. The difference, established retrospectively, does not erase, but reaffirms, the intellectual debt of the Germanic movement to the Notebooks, as well as the essential connection between making the mode of production more flexible and valuing the personal expression of the director-entrepreneur.

[ix] In retrospect, reports Tullio Kezich about the months following the release of La Dolce Vita: “Italian cinema is in full recovery: Antonioni presents The adventure in Cannes, Visconti is filming, in Milan, Rocco ei Suoi Fratelli; independent initiatives multiply. Fellini's success gave legitimacy and charisma to the figure of the director, we are in the best season of auteur cinema [authorism]. The theories of New wave [camera-style, low-cost film, director as sole author] take root in the soil of our cinema [...], the prestige of producers is weakened, who now try to re-propose themselves as organizational, economic and commercial support points”. Cf. Tullio Kezich, Fellini, Milan, Rizzoli, 1988, p. 299.

[X] On the controversies surrounding La Dolce Vita, see “Commenti e reazioni a La Dolce Vita the Cure by Paolo Mereghetti”, in Federico Fellini, La Dolce Vita, Milano, Garzanti, 1981, pp. 159-220. See also Tullio Kezich, on. cit., pp. 291-294.

[xi] Rossellini blames the blow against the principles of neorealism and, despite his long sentimental relationship with Fellini, he does not hide his disapproval, stating that Fellini had gone astray. After an uncomfortable meeting between the two during this period, Fellini commented: "He looked at me as Socrates would have looked at Crito, if the disciple had suddenly gone mad". Cf. Tullio Kezich, on. cit., P. 136.

[xii] O qualunquism was a political movement of the first post-war period, inspired by the feelings and interests of the common man. The term came to be used to express an anti-political attitude or indifference to political and social problems.

[xiii] See Tullio Kezich, on. cit., P. 183.

[xiv] Another indication of the explicitly cutting intention of the work is given by the fact that Fellini filmed the sequence of the nobles' party to the sound of the song by Brecht and Weill, Mack the Knifein the background in playback. As the music could not be preserved in the film, Nino Rota created a similar theme for Fellini. Cf. Tullio Kezich, on. cit., P. 278.

[xv] See note 15 of Chapter 4 by Luiz Renato Martins, Conflict and Interpretation in Fellini: Construction of the Public Perspective, São Paulo, EDUSP, 1993, p. 143.

[xvi] Originally published in the Literary Supplement of The State of S. Paul. Republished in Roberto Schwarz, The Mermaid and the Suspicious: Critical Essays, Rio de Janeiro, Paz e Terra, 1981, pp. 189-204.

[xvii] It may be a symptom of the demand for personal works (then in force) that the mass of interpretations, in this framework, did not hypothesize that Guido's profile was modeled after a third author, speaking in the first person, which, however, would be logical, given that Fellini was a professional caricaturist.

[xviii] The novelty of Fellini's language did not escape Rossellini's acuity. According to Oreste del Buono, “Rossellini saw The Sceicco Bianco during the editing phase, and expressed himself clearly: 'During the projection I went through a thousand emotions, because I found Fellini on the screen just as I knew him intimately after so many years. Stunned, I felt old, while I felt so young…'”. Cf. Oreste del Buono, “Un Esordio Difficile”, in Federico Fellini, The Sceicco Bianco, Milan, Garzanti, 1980, p. 12.

[xx] These are the words on a street sign shown in the village of Amarcord, shortly after the fascists shot down the gramophone that was playing The International.

[xx] In 1947, Mondadori launches the weekly Bolero Movie. follow Dream, Grand Hotel, Type, Luna Park, Meetings, whose print runs quickly reach millions of copies. The readership at the time is estimated at around 5 million. Cf. Oreste del Buono, on. cit., P. 6. See also Tullio Kezich, on. cit., P. 172.

[xxx] See Oreste del Buono, on. cit., pp. 5-7.

[xxiii] The opinion on the libertarian character of the film, expressed at the time by the critic Callisto Cosulich, is reported by Tullio Kezich, on. cit., pp. 183-185. The film was re-released in 1961 after the success of La Dolce Vita, but, again, and despite the well-known names of Fellini and Alberto Sordi, The Sceicco Bianco, was not successful. For the critic Oreste del Buono, “ The Sceicco Bianco, one of the most beautiful films by Federico Fellini and Italian cinema of the last fifty years, is, deep down, still to be discovered”. Cf. Idem, pp. 13-15. By the way, in a recent study centered on the film, Jacqueline Risset, a former member of the French magazine As is, concludes that this work already clarifies “the central movement of Fellini's cinema, the constant unfolding [...]: illusion, disillusionment, happy liberation and horror mixed with the absence of meaning”. Cf. Jacqueline Risset, Fellini: Le Cheik Blanc : l'Annonce Faite à Federico, Paris, Adam Biro, 1990, p. 56.

[xxiii] In Fellini's work, the representation of the author as a despot, combining traits of trickery and histrionics, seems recurrent. A census would include, from initial representations, in Variety lights, passing by the figures of Oscar and the wizard of Le Notti di Cabiria, that of Guido, with sultan skills, and so on. A defining moment of this series would be in The Clowns, where, in addition to clown white, arrogant and vain, to embody the author, there is also a scene of circus revelry, in which Fellini – representing himself, about to answer, in the set filming, to a journalist who questions him about the message of his film – has his head caught by a bucket, irreverently thrown by an anonymous person, off the scene.

[xxv] A case, in certain terms, analogous to that of Fellini would be that of Jean-Luc Godard. This, with the series of militant films influenced by the events of May 68, would also embark, in this early period of the 1970s, on a path certainly different from that of Fellini, but which would also obey a strategy of deconstruction of the authorial perspective, of the which was an exponent.

[xxiv] For a proposal for the constitution of a theoretical paradigm in this sense, presenting the idea of ​​a “public sphere of opposition” see: Alexander Kluge and Oskar Negt, “The Public Sphere and Experience: Selections" October, 46, on. cit., pp. 60-82; kluge apoud Liebman, “On New German…”, on. cit.; Miriam Hansen, “Cooperative Auteur Cinema and Oppositional Public Sphere”, in New German Critic, no. 24-25, Milwaukee, University of Wisconsin, Fall/Winter 1981-1982, pp. 36-56.

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