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The Journey of G. Mastorna

The Journey of G. Mastorna: The Film Fellini Didn't Make

Dino Buzzati
Brunello Rondi
Bernardino Zapponi
Translated and with a commentary by Marcus Perryman
Copyright Date: 2013
Edition: 1
Published by: Berghahn Books
Pages: 226
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  • Book Info
    The Journey of G. Mastorna
    Book Description:

    Federico Fellini's script for perhaps the most famous unmade film in Italian cinema,The Journey of G. Mastorna(1965/6), is published here for the first time in full English translation. It offers the reader a remarkable insight into Fellini's creative process and his fascination with human mortality and the great mystery of death. Written in collaboration with Dino Buzzati, Brunello Rondi, and Bernardino Zapponi, the project was ultimately abandoned for a number of reasons, including Fellini's near death, although it continued to inhabit his creative imagination and the landscape of his films for the rest of his career.

    Marcus Perryman has written two supporting essays which discuss the reasons why the film was never made, compare it to the two other films in the trilogyLa Dolce Vitaand, and analyze the script in the light ofIt's a Wonderful Lifeand Fredric Brown's sci-fi novelWhat Mad Universe. In doing so he opens up an entire world of connections to Fellini's other films, writers and collaborators. It should be essential reading for students and academics studying Fellini's work.

    eISBN: 978-0-85745-971-8
    Subjects: Film Studies

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. vii-viii)

    The following pages present an important film script written by Federico Fellini in 1965/6 in collaboration with Brunello Rondi, Dino Buzzati and Bernardino Zapponi, translated for the first time into English. The script has been available in Italian since 1995.

    The introduction includes an excerpt from a letter by Fellini to his producer Dino De Laurentiis, explaining his intentions for the film. It discusses the roles of the co-scriptwriters and the difficulties Fellini encountered with Buzzati, in particular. I also briefly discuss how the unmade film might have completed a trilogy of films withLa dolce vitaand. Without...

  4. Preface
    (pp. ix-xii)
    Peter Bondanella
  5. Acknowledgements
    (pp. xiii-xiii)
  6. Introduction
    (pp. 1-14)

    In 1965 Federico Fellini signed a contract with the producer Dino De Laurentiis to make a science fiction film based on Fredric Brown’sWhat Mad Universe.¹ The cover of the 1949 edition of the novel shows a very Fellini-like lady – Betty Page face and Anita Ekberg body – in the foreground, as if she has just stepped out of a shower and is going to dry her hair. In the background a dwarfed, wide-eyed extraterrestrial is waving, next to a rather inadequate-looking phallic rocket. For all that this might have interested Fellini after his pretend spaceship and red-herring escape scenario in...

  7. The Journey of G. Mastorna
    (pp. 15-135)

    A large commercial passenger plane, high over an unending sea of clouds.

    Here and there, the rays of the setting sun dazzle the windows of the huge passenger compartment.

    On board the packed plane, they’re showing a film: Laurel and Hardy trying to climb the steep sides of a giant bathtub.

    Some passengers are asleep, their eyes masked. Others are having dinner, others still reading intently.

    Mastorna, a man of about forty-five, takes off the headphones he is using to follow the film and continues to watch the silent images on the small screen, absent-mindedly, bored.

    Suddenly, everything goes dark:...

  8. Imagining Mastorna
    (pp. 137-202)

    Like, Fellini’s next film,Giulietta degli spiriti(1965) lavishly blended memories, dreams, fantasy and desire, this time with an increasingly explicit interest in analytical psychology and the esoteric. Unlike, it was poorly received. Critics complained of its excessive symbolism, protracted fantasy scenes, the reiterated childhood memory of the repression of sexuality by the Catholic Church, and the schematic visions of femininity, which gave the film an overblown baroque feel. It was considered self-indulgent and self-referential (fingers were pointed at the harem scene repeated from– as it would be again, in a final attempt to assuage feminist critics,...

  9. Selected Bibliography
    (pp. 203-208)
  10. Index
    (pp. 209-212)