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Federico Fellini

Federico Fellini: Painting in Film, Painting on Film

Copyright Date: 2013
Pages: 208
  • Book Info
    Federico Fellini
    Book Description:

    Aldouby employs an innovative pictorial approach that allows her to uncover a wealth of visual evocations overlooked by Fellini scholars over the years.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-6958-1
    Subjects: Film Studies, Language & Literature, History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  5. Preface
    (pp. xv-2)
  6. Chapter One Fellini, Painting on Film
    (pp. 3-21)

    “Transforming film into [a] painting” is Fellini’s idea of the “total film,” as expressed in the citation that opens this chapter. Are Fellini’s films, then, to be approached as veritable “painting on celluloid”? To what extent did he involve art-historical referencing in his creative process? And, is there a single critical method, or a single disciplinary outlook that can account for the transmedial cinematic form which seems to reflect the aesthetic standpoint he expressed? In the present chapter I pose and enlarge on these questions, offering some theoretical assumptions alongside well-established research findings, which introduce the reader into the multilayered,...

  7. Chapter Two Giulietta degli spiriti: Symbolist Virgins Meet Decadent Femmes Fatales in Art Nouveau Interiors
    (pp. 22-51)

    Giulietta degli spiriti (Juliet of the Spirits)¹ was Fellini’s first film shot in colour upon deliberate artistic choice.² Fellini’s decision to confront the challenge of colour inGiuliettawas induced by his growing interest in depth psychology and the role of the unconscious in the creative process. The changes in both narrative form and thematic interests that arose from Fellini’s involvement with depth psychology entailed an analogous change in his visual language.

    In dreams, Fellini writes inFare un film, “color is idea, concept, feeling, as in truly great painting.”³ The explicit association of dream and painting via colour signals...

  8. Chapter Three Toby Dammit: Rembrandt Meets Velázquez on Screen
    (pp. 52-84)

    This chapter charts the network of art-historical hyperlinks which Fellini’sToby Dammit(1968) mobilizes for constructing the tormented mindscape of its protagonist. I wish to begin with a brief review of the circumstances of the film’s production, and their close bearing upon Fellini’s changing conception of the cinematic text.

    Loosely based on a story by Edgar Allan Poe entitledNever Bet the Devil Your HeadToby Dammitis Fellini’s first literary adaptation. The film was conceived in the wake of severe artistic and economic crises in the director’s life, crises which entailed physical collapse and even life-threatening illness. During this...

  9. Chapter Four Fellini Satyricon: Bruegel Meets Klimt in the Sewers of Imperial Rome
    (pp. 85-110)

    Fellini Satyriconis doubtless the most painterly of Fellini’s films.¹ Several framesen-abymejuxtapose live and painted figures, and the film seems quite explicit about its art-historical sources.Fellini Satyriconis less a psychoanalytically conceived private dream than a culturally conscious one. As indicated in the preface to this book, the preparatory notes forFellini Satyriconpresent an eclectic list of visual sources, featuring an improbable conjunction of Byzantine and pop art, the psychedelic and the Pompeian, beside modernists such as Mondrian and Klee. Although the preparatory note quoted here should be approached with due reservation, as but a very...

  10. Chapter Five Fellini’s Casanova: Casanova Meets de Chirico on Böcklin’s Isle of the Dead
    (pp. 111-130)

    Fellini’s Casanova(1976) is loosely based on the memoirs of Giacomo Casanova, composed around 1785. TheMemoirs, published in full edition only in 1960, make up six volumes and over two thousand pages in the German edition. Although it was he who suggested the idea of filming Casanova’s memoirs to producer Dino De Laurentiis, Fellini was reluctant to read this mass of printed material, which, he said, he had never really tackled before.¹ After reading theMemoirs, Fellini remarked that they recalled a “telephone book of artistically non-existent and sometimes most boring occurrences.”²

    The film was released in December 1976....

  11. Conclusion “A New Hypothesis of the Truth”: Painting as Vehicle of the Real in Fellini’s Films, 1960s–1970s
    (pp. 131-134)

    In the present study I set out to explore and elucidate the role of painting in Fellini’s cinematic idiom. I opted to highlight the unique features of his art-historical references in their historical and cultural contexts. Particular attention has been given to the contribution of Fellini’s art-historical hyperlinks, orlexiae, to the formation of a cinematic language approximating what Julia Kristeva has calledthe sémiotique. The role played by highly charged visual cues in Fellini’s cinema was a pivotal concern of the four chapters dedicated to analysis of individual films.

    A major issue addressed in these chapters was the particular...

  12. Notes
    (pp. 135-162)
  13. Bibliography
    (pp. 163-178)
  14. Index
    (pp. 179-186)