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Entries in Federico Fellini (12)

Thursday
Aug082019

Intermission/Posterized: Dino De Laurentiis 100th

Today in showbiz history the famous and sometimes infamous producer Dino de Laurentiis was born in a province of Naples, Italy. We'll take an intermission on our five or six part celebration today but we hope you've enjoyed the write-ups on Bitter Rice (1949) and the Fellini years, the creation of Dinocitta and its famous high-grossing but also-flopping The Bible: In the Beginning (1966), and his early years in America with gritty dramas like Serpico (1973) and Death Wish (1974). We resume tomorrow evening with the much-derided but very successful King Kong (1976) which just so happened to be the film debut of Jessica Lange.

Until then which of these 18 early De Laurentiis' productions have you seen? Do you have a favourite?He produced hundreds of his films in his career, starting at the age of 20, so this is just a small sample of his work in the first 30+ decades of his career...

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Monday
Aug052019

De Laurentiis pt 1: "Bitter Rice" and the Fellini Years

This week at TFE we're celebrating the centennial of one of cinema’s most prolific and legendary producers, Dino De Laurentiis.  We’ll start with three of his key influential early films. Here's Eric Blume...

Bitter Rice was De Laurentiis breakthrough international hit. He married its star

De Laurentiis, born outside of Naples, set up his own company in 1946 when he was just 27 years old. He produced four smaller films before making a huge splash onto the international scene with 1949’s Bitter Rice, a film currently available through the Criterion Collection.  Bitter Rice serves up an arresting and hypnotic blend of melodrama, sexuality, and social commentary. The film is set in northern Italy during a typical spring where hundreds of poor women travel to the rice fields to work to the bone for forty days.  There are workers with a legal contract and then the “illegals” who come in hopes of getting an opportunity. Within this sociopolitical context, our story finds two thieves (Doris Dowling and Victoria Gassman) hiding amongst the farm, intertwined in love stories with an impulsive young peasant girl (Silvana Mangano) and a soldier from the nearby station (Raf Vallone)... 

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Monday
May202019

Showbiz History: The Best Cannes Year? The Birth of Cher! 

Here are 10 things worth celebrating on this day in showbiz history, May 20th.

Federico Fellini and Jeanne Moreau were both winners at the 1960 Cannes festival but they look none too happy about it!

1891 Thomas Edison's prototype kinetoscope gets its first public display (to the National Federation of Women's Club). Could any of them have imagined the colossal artform that would spring forth in those early days?

1960 The 13th annual Cannes Film Festival wraps up with Federico Fellini's masterpiece (well, one of them at any rate) La Dolce Vita taking the Palme d'Or. The competition lineup was insanely rich...

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Tuesday
Oct302018

Showbiz History: The Sheik, Never Cry Wolf, Wicked

9 random things that happened on this day (October 30th) in showbiz history

Rudolph Valentino cheekily decides you can't watch him undress in behind the scenes footage about his Sheik movies (he made two of them)1821 Novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky born in Moscow. His work, particularly the Brothers Karamazov and Crime and Punishment, has been adapted to film and television many time.

1921 The Sheik starring Rudolph Valentino premieres, inventing the male movie star sex symbol. The world swoons. Women faint.

1938 Orson Welles radio broadcast of HG Wells "The War of the Worlds" causes mass panic when people are convinced it's real...

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Sunday
Dec102017

44 days til Oscar nominations. Screenplay stats!

by Nathaniel R

With only 44 days until Oscar nominations and lots of confusion as to what might be nominated for screenplay (there are seemingly 7 locks for Original and only 1 contender for Adapted -- the math doesn't work. Haha!) let's use today's numerical trivia prompt for writing awards. Fact: Oscar's 4 favorite screenwriters have 44 nominations between them for writing. That's a lot of hogging of writing honors. They are...

OSCAR'S 20 FAVORITE SCREENWRITERS
(Numbers below are for screenwriting categories only)
01 Woody Allen (16 nominations and 3 wins)
He's also been in the Acting and Directing races. Classics include Annie Hall, Hannah and Her Sisters, Manhattan and more...
02 Billy Wilder (12 nominations and 3 wins)
He's also been in the Directing and Producing races. Classics include Sunset Blvd, The Apartment, Some Like it Hot, and more...
03 John Huston (8 nominations and 1 win)
He's also been in the Acting, Directing, and Producing races. Classics include The African Queen, The Asphalt Jungle, Prizzi's Honor and more...
04 Federico Fellini (8 nominations but he never won for writing)
He's also been in the Directing, and Producing races and of course his films have taken multiple Foreign Language Film Oscars. He's the Academy's favorite Italian... yes, even more than Sophia Loren. Classics include La Dolce Vita, I Vitelloni, 8½ and more...

It's perhaps no surprise that all of these writers are also directors and thus were in charge of bringing their own words to visual life. With greater control comes greater consistency in results. Without checking before you hit the jump can you guess which working writers are next in line to join this group?

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Monday
Nov062017

The Furniture: Grotesque Extravagance in Fellini's Casanova

"The Furniture," by Daniel Walber, is our weekly series on Production Design. You can click on the images to see them in magnified detail. Since the Honorary Oscars are handed out next week, here's a Donald Sutherland film for you!

Federico Fellini didn’t much like Giacomo Casanova, the famously amorous subject of his meandering fantasy-biopic. The director may not have liked Donald Sutherland, either. The actor was required to shave his head and sport both a false nose and a false chin to play the long-winded lover. The costumes aren’t especially flattering either. Fellini’s Casanova is an erotic descent into Hell, a grotesque pageant of 18th century moral abandon. It frequently borders on the disgusting.

It was also on the edge of Oscar’s attention, sliding into only two categories. While Fellini’s Casanova did win for its costumes, its production design missed out entirely. Anyone betting that year would likely have lost money; La Dolce Vita, 8 ½ and Juliet of the Spirits were all nominated for both.

Though this sexualized panorama thrilled the costume designers, it may have shocked too many art directors. Like Sutherland’s performance, it’s proved to be a bit too much for the Academy. That’s a shame, because the contribution of legendary designer Danilo Donati is dazzling...

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