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Federico Fellini

Fellini, Federico (fādārēˈkō fāl-lēˈnē) [key], 1920–93, Italian film director. After World War II he wrote screenplays for such neorealistic films as Rossellini's Open City and Paisan. He began directing in 1950 and quickly abandoned neorealism in favor of professional actors and scripted tales of almost fablelike simplicity that express a basically humanistic outlook.

He enjoyed international acclaim with I Vitelloni (1953), La Strada (1954; Academy Award), Nights of Cabiria (1957; Academy Award), La Dolce Vita (1960), and 81/2 (1963; Academy Award), the latter two widely considered his black-and-white masterpieces. Filmed in color beginning with Juliet of the Spirits (1965), his movies became a celebration of life in all its beauties and grotesqueries while also exploring Fellini's wildly imaginative dream life. These later works, including Fellini Satyricon (1969), Amarcord (1973; Academy Award), City of Women (1980), Ginger and Fred (1984), and Voices of the Moon (1990), feature international casts of distinctive faces and camera gymnastics that substitute for traditional drama.

See his tape-recorded autobiography (with C. Chandler) I, Fellini (1995); his Three Screenplays (tr. 1970); his The Book of Dreams (tr. 2008); biography by H. Alpert (1986, repr. 1998); study by G. Salachas (tr. 1969); Fellini: I'm a Born Liar (documentary film dir. by D. Pettigrew, 2002).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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