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One hundred and one years after his birth, Federico Fellini still stands apart as a giant of cinema. The Italian maestro is defined by his dualities: the sacred and the profane, the masculine and the feminine, the provincial and the urbane. He began his career working in the slice-of-life poetry of neorealism — and though he soon spun off on his own freewheeling creative axis, he never lost that grounding. Throughout his large and layered body of work, he continually evoked his dreams, memories and obsessions in increasingly grand productions teeming with carnivalesque imagery and flights of phantasmagoric surrealism — while still maintaining an earthy, embodied connection to humanity.
We intended to screen this retrospective at the Belcourt during the last months of 2020 — the centenary year of Fellini’s birth. Now, mid-way through 2021, we’re thrilled to be able to carry forth with most of that original plan. Bringing together 11 of the director’s greatest spectacles, all beautifully restored, this modest assemblage of Fellini’s filmography represents an artist who conjured a cinematic universe all his own — a vision of the world as a three-ring circus in which his innermost infatuations, fears and fantasies take center stage.
"During his lifetime, many fine filmmakers blessed us with their art, but he was the only one who made us feel that each of his films, whatever its merits, was a present from a friend." —film critic Stanley Kauffmann (1993)