Cover image for I'm a born liar : a Fellini lexicon
I'm a born liar : a Fellini lexicon
Fellini, Federico.
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Publication Information:
New York : Harry N. Abrams, 2003.
Physical Description:
175 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 30 cm
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PN1998.3.F45 A5 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize

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This study is based on a candid and revealing series of interviews with Federico Fellini conducted the year before his death on 29th October 1993. Fellini, who directed a host of legendary films, including La Strada and La Dolce Vita, was an exuberant storyteller with a wild imagination, and the interviews capture his energy and passion. Through the course of the interviews Fellini candidly discusses seemingly every aspect of his work, from his early life to his relationship with Italian history and culture, to the inspiration behind his films, revealing his motivations, desires and passions. Subjects include women (the unknown planet), neurosis (fabulous treasure buried at the bottom of the sea), cinema (not about delivering messages but about raising questions), actors (puppets), Marcello Mastroianni, memory, marriage and more. worked to assemble, restore and conserve a large body of rare and forgotten photographs of Fellini. A selection of these never-before-published images illustrates this text.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

One reason Fellini's masterworks La Strada, La Dolce Vita0 , and 8 0 are so memorable is that they're infused with his singular personality. Fellini's passionate, life-loving, fanciful personality is equally on display in this collection of interviews, conducted shortly before his death in 1992, that also formed the basis of the documentary I'm a Born Liar0 . Segments of conversation are arranged in a topical alphabet, from "the actor's face" to "women." Besides commenting on nearly all his films, Fellini offers his views on such colleagues as Antonioni, Visconti, andurosawa; actor Marcello Mastroianni, composer Nino Rota, and other frequent collaborators; and such unexpected subjects as "I Ching," "LSD," and "rhinoceros milk." Most of his remarks are more whimsical than profound; for example, on the filmmaking process, "The first two weeks, I direct the film; after that the film directs me." Almost as impressive as the maestro's words are the 125 black-and-white stills and behind-the-scenes photographs that accompany them. The casual, anecdotal approach may frustrate serious cineasts, but buffs and browsers will be entertained. --Gordon Flagg Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Documentarian Pettigrew was introduced by novelist Italo Calvino to Federico Fellini (1920-1993) on the set of Fellini's And the Ship Sails On (1983). In 1991-1992, Pettigrew shot in-depth interviews with Fellini, material later used in his documentary Fellini: I'm a Born Liar (2003). Returning to their original q&a, Pettigrew has now extracted an alphabetical compilation of quotes from Fellini's responses. With an underlying theme of creativity, it runs the A-to-Z gamut from actors ("An actor's face and body are more important to me than plot structure"), Anita Ekberg ("a glorious apparition!") and Antonioni, to clowns, death, God, guilt, Hollywood, music, puppets, vagabonds, Visconti and women, "the source of man's creativity." As screenwriter Tullio Kezich notes in his foreword, Fellini is a "matador of words." Beautiful page designs by Brankica Kovrlija are festooned with torn-paper effects and flamboyant fonts, a stylish setting to display 125 illustrations, including numerous never-before-published photographs courtesy of the Fellini Foundation and the Cineteca di Bologna. Striking sepia scrapbook photos appear alongside imaginative color images from such masterworks as Amarcord, Satyricon and Juliet of the Spirits. Amid creamy b&w stills from 8 1/2, La Dolce Vita, La Strada and others, production photos capture Fellini on Cinecitt? sets, directing and gesticulating. "Real life doesn't interest me," Fellini once said. His flair for fantasy and visual poetry is evident throughout this rich, ornate volume. 125 photos. (Feb.) FYI: The book's publication coincides with the current Guggenheim exhibition, Fellini! (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

A year before he died in 1992, master Italian director Federico Fellini dutifully submitted to a pair of interviews with journalist and filmmaker Pettigrew. In declining health and no longer involved in active filmmaking, Fellini could afford to be philosophical as he reflects here on life, love, death, memory, dreams, his leading ladies, and his passion for making movies. As the interview was limited to 200 questions conducted over a two-day period, the book ranks as an entertaining-if incomplete and scattered-look into Fellini's mind. His wide-ranging wit is in evidence on matters like diet ("I went on a diet for three months and all I took off was my hat") and fidelity ("It's easier to be faithful to a restaurant than it is to a woman"). The candid, often risque photographs, many never before published, rank as a major attraction, clearly conveying the loose, creative energy on Fellini's film sets. The book is a supplemental purchase, after Christopher Wiegand's Federico Fellini: The Complete Films, Costanzo Costantini's Conversations with Fellini, and Fellini on Fellini. With a total of 125 black-and-white film stills and photos, this volume is recommended for large public and academic film collections. [Some of these recorded conversations are available on the DVD of the same title.-Ed.]-Stephen Rees, Levittown Regional Lib., PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.