— dir. Federico Fellini


"I am hopelessly in love with this man. Completely. Because, I don’t know why, I have met him a few times and… I love his work and I love him as a person, if he is a person, which I doubt, because he has no limits; he’s just like quicksilver—all over the place. I have never seen anybody like that before. He is enormously intuitive. He is intuitive; he is creative; he is an enormous force. He is burning inside with such heat. Collapsing. Do you understand what I mean? The heat from his creative mind, it melts him. He suffers from it; he suffers physically from it. One day when he can manage this heat and can set it free, I think he will make pictures you have never seen in your life." — Ingmar Bergman
"He had individual style. There are things you cannot take a course in. You are born with it. He was a first-class clown, with a unique, great concept. In life, when you were with Fellini, you always knew you weren’t with anyone else. He was in his own orbit. When someone like Fellini dies, there is no way to pass on a formula, because there is no formula. What he did came out of the person, out of him. People will study and analyze and copy, and maybe someone will achieve to the point it is said of him, ‘His film is like Fellini.’ But it can only be like Fellini. When you can’t pass it on, it’s the real stuff.” — Billy Wilder

"I am hopelessly in love with this man. Completely. Because, I don’t know why, I have met him a few times and… I love his work and I love him as a person, if he is a person, which I doubt, because he has no limits; he’s just like quicksilver—all over the place. I have never seen anybody like that before. He is enormously intuitive. He is intuitive; he is creative; he is an enormous force. He is burning inside with such heat. Collapsing. Do you understand what I mean? The heat from his creative mind, it melts him. He suffers from it; he suffers physically from it. One day when he can manage this heat and can set it free, I think he will make pictures you have never seen in your life." — Ingmar Bergman

"He had individual style. There are things you cannot take a course in. You are born with it. He was a first-class clown, with a unique, great concept. In life, when you were with Fellini, you always knew you weren’t with anyone else. He was in his own orbit. When someone like Fellini dies, there is no way to pass on a formula, because there is no formula. What he did came out of the person, out of him. People will study and analyze and copy, and maybe someone will achieve to the point it is said of him, ‘His film is like Fellini.’ But it can only be like Fellini. When you can’t pass it on, it’s the real stuff.” — Billy Wilder


Giulietta was robbed once in the street… One day she was taking some things to the jewelers to be mended, two rings and some platinum cuff links of mine. We were just turning the corner of Via Margutta, and a Lambretta with two boys on it came past. Giulietta was talking to me and didn’t notice at first that one of the boys had snatched her bag. As soon as she told me, I bounded off like a kangaroo, yelling, “Stop, thief!” So the boys on the scooter started yelling, “Stop, thief!” as well. I followed them round the corner of Via Babuino, and there was a big lout of a policeman with a helmet and a gun, lolling on an enormous motorcycle. “They’ve stolen my wife’s bag!” I said. He looked at me and sneered, “What am I supposed to do about it?”
When I came home the next afternoon, there was a man propped against the wall reading a newspaper. “Eh, Federí,” he said, “why don’t you take a look in Trastevere?” When I started asking him who he was and to repeat what he had said, he said he hadn’t spoken. So I went to Trastevere and wandered about. I went into a bar at one point and a boy said to me, “Giulietta shouldn’t have gone to the police station.” “Why not?” “The stuff, you want it back or not?” I was really enjoying all this. So I gave him our telephone number. After a few days a man telephoned and asked for Giulietta. He said a little boy had brought him a packet and told him to ring that telephone number. He gave the name of a bar in Trastevere, so I went there that afternoon and the packet was waiting for me in the drawer of the cash register. They didn’t want anything, no reward, nothing. And the next day we got a letter saying, “Pardon us, Gelsomina.” Dickensian stuff, no?
— Federico Fellini, 1988

Giulietta was robbed once in the street… One day she was taking some things to the jewelers to be mended, two rings and some platinum cuff links of mine. We were just turning the corner of Via Margutta, and a Lambretta with two boys on it came past. Giulietta was talking to me and didn’t notice at first that one of the boys had snatched her bag. As soon as she told me, I bounded off like a kangaroo, yelling, “Stop, thief!” So the boys on the scooter started yelling, “Stop, thief!” as well. I followed them round the corner of Via Babuino, and there was a big lout of a policeman with a helmet and a gun, lolling on an enormous motorcycle. “They’ve stolen my wife’s bag!” I said. He looked at me and sneered, “What am I supposed to do about it?”

When I came home the next afternoon, there was a man propped against the wall reading a newspaper. “Eh, Federí,” he said, “why don’t you take a look in Trastevere?” When I started asking him who he was and to repeat what he had said, he said he hadn’t spoken. So I went to Trastevere and wandered about. I went into a bar at one point and a boy said to me, “Giulietta shouldn’t have gone to the police station.” “Why not?” “The stuff, you want it back or not?” I was really enjoying all this. So I gave him our telephone number. After a few days a man telephoned and asked for Giulietta. He said a little boy had brought him a packet and told him to ring that telephone number. He gave the name of a bar in Trastevere, so I went there that afternoon and the packet was waiting for me in the drawer of the cash register. They didn’t want anything, no reward, nothing. And the next day we got a letter saying, “Pardon us, Gelsomina.” Dickensian stuff, no?

Federico Fellini, 1988


“Rossellini stands out from the rest of the so-called neorealists for his eye, his intervention as a strong and compassionate witness who knew how to photograph the air around things, and for his disregard of cinema as a spectacle. I took part as a spectator in Paisan and Rome, Open City and I may have learnt my way of approaching cinema from Rossellini, who worked in the most incredible confusion: expiring bills, romantic complications, conflicts, the war. I remember in Naples, during the shooting of Paisan, in the middle of the street, with the allies’ tanks parading behind our backs, and there he was, with his beret and the megaphone: the casualness of a god who’s creating an earthquake only to be able to photograph it. This is the true lesson that neorealism taught me.” — Federico Fellini
“Rossellini stands out from the rest of the so-called neorealists for his eye, his intervention as a strong and compassionate witness who knew how to photograph the air around things, and for his disregard of cinema as a spectacle. I took part as a spectator in Paisan and Rome, Open City and I may have learnt my way of approaching cinema from Rossellini, who worked in the most incredible confusion: expiring bills, romantic complications, conflicts, the war. I remember in Naples, during the shooting of Paisan, in the middle of the street, with the allies’ tanks parading behind our backs, and there he was, with his beret and the megaphone: the casualness of a god who’s creating an earthquake only to be able to photograph it. This is the true lesson that neorealism taught me.” — Federico Fellini

Behind the scenes of Federico Fellini’s Nights of Cabiria.












You refused lucrative offers from Hollywood. You probably could have made millions of dollars.Perhaps I could become the richest man in the world, or even the poorest. More likely the latter. No, I simply cannot imagine leading my army into my creative battles in any other way than my own. What good is money in exchange for giving up my independence, my friends, my Roman restaurants, my crazy Italian people, traffic at rush hour by the Colosseum? I would have made money and lost my joy of life. And that’s all filming has been about for me: joy of life, battle of life, comedy of life, fascination of life. Life! Life! Life! 
Federico FelliniJanuary 20, 1920 – October 31, 1993

You refused lucrative offers from Hollywood. You probably could have made millions of dollars.
Perhaps I could become the richest man in the world, or even the poorest. More likely the latter. No, I simply cannot imagine leading my army into my creative battles in any other way than my own. What good is money in exchange for giving up my independence, my friends, my Roman restaurants, my crazy Italian people, traffic at rush hour by the Colosseum? I would have made money and lost my joy of life. And that’s all filming has been about for me: joy of life, battle of life, comedy of life, fascination of life. Life! Life! Life!

Federico Fellini
January 20, 1920 – October 31, 1993


"I always say Fellini inspired me. I love being in Fellini’s worlds. And Billy Wilder and Stanley Kubrick and Alfred Hitchcock. To revisit those certain films and go in that world is just—It’s a world that didn’t exist and now it exists. There are some people that are—I always say that they don’t like so much abstraction. They don’t like to feel lost. They like to know always, always, always what’s going on. And when they don’t feel that, they feel a little crazy. And they don’t like that. Other people—and I’m one of them—I love to go into a world, be taken into a world and get lost in there and feel-think my way and have these experiences that I know… I know that feeling, but I don’t know how to put it into words. I know that feeling and it’s magical that this cinema brought it out. This is what I love." — David Lynch

"I always say Fellini inspired me. I love being in Fellini’s worlds. And Billy Wilder and Stanley Kubrick and Alfred Hitchcock. To revisit those certain films and go in that world is just—It’s a world that didn’t exist and now it exists. There are some people that are—I always say that they don’t like so much abstraction. They don’t like to feel lost. They like to know always, always, always what’s going on. And when they don’t feel that, they feel a little crazy. And they don’t like that. Other people—and I’m one of them—I love to go into a world, be taken into a world and get lost in there and feel-think my way and have these experiences that I know… I know that feeling, but I don’t know how to put it into words. I know that feeling and it’s magical that this cinema brought it out. This is what I love." — David Lynch

Among your friends, you have a reputation as a teller of tall tales. One of them, in fact, has gone so far as to call you “a colossal, compulsive, consummate liar.” What’s your reaction?
FELLINI: At least he gives me credit for being consummate. Anyone who lives, as I do, in a world of imagination must make an enormous and unnatural effort to be factual in the ordinary sense. I confess I would be a horrible witness in court because of this—and a terrible journalist. I feel compelled to tell a story the way I see it, and this is seldom the way it actually happened, in all its documentary detail.

You’ve been accused of embroidering the truth outrageously even in recounting the story of your own life. One friend says you’ve told him four completely different versions of your breakup with your first sweetheart. Why?
FELLINI: Why not? She’s worth even more versions. Che bella ragazza! People are worth much more than truth, even when they don’t look as great as she did. If you want to call me a liar in this sense, then I reply that it’s indispensable to let a storyteller color a story, expand it, deepen it, depending on the way he feels it has to be told. In my films, I do the same with life.

Sight & Sound Critics’ Poll 2012

  1. Vertigo (dir. Alfred Hitchcock)
  2. Citizen Kane (dir. Orson Welles)
  3. Tokyo Story (dir. Yasujiro Ozu)
  4. The Rules of the Game (dir. Jean Renoir)
  5. Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (dir. F.W. Murnau)
  6. 2001: A Space Odyssey (dir. Stanley Kubrick)
  7. The Searchers (dir. John Ford)
  8. Man with a Movie Camera (dir. Dziga Vertov)
  9. The Passion of Joan of Arc (dir. Carl Th. Dreyer)
  10. 8½ (dir. Federico Fellini)

And the loser is – Citizen Kane. After 50 years at the top of the Sight & Sound poll, Orson Welles’s debut film has been convincingly ousted by Alfred Hitchcock’s 45th feature Vertigo – and by a whopping 34 votes, compared with the mere five that separated them a decade ago. So what does it mean? Given that Kane actually clocked over three times as many votes this year as it did last time, it hasn’t exactly been snubbed by the vastly larger number of voters taking part in this new poll, which has spread its net far wider than any of its six predecessors. [More…, x]