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Viva Fellini!

Focus on Fellini

Take part in four fantastic, 30-minute sessions on different aspects of the Italian master’s work.

Image from Focus on Fellini

Join us in the BFI Reuben Library for a series of illustrated short talks on selected aspects of Fellini’s cinema.

‘An ingenious and delicate art’: Fellini, Comic Strips and Caricatures by season programmer Pasquale Iannone

For a filmmaker with such a vibrant and distinctive visual style, it’s no surprise that Federico Fellini developed a passion for visual art from a very early age, comic strip and cartoon art in particular. Fascinated by the work of late 19th and early 20th century American artists such as Opper, McCay and De Beck, Fellini would go on to become an accomplished cartoonist and caricaturist in his own right, with many of the characters in his films starting life as drawings (most famously, Giulietta Masina’s characters in La Strada and Nights of Cabiria). This richly illustrated talk will explore the importance of comic strips and caricatures in the Fellinian imagination.

Dr Pasquale Iannone is Senior Teaching Fellow in Film Studies at the University of Edinburgh. He has published widely on Federico Fellini as well as filmmakers such as Alfred Hitchcock, Pietro Germi and Luchino Visconti. An experienced critic and broadcaster, he is a regular contributor to Sight & Sound, BBC Radio Scotland and is Director of the Italian Film Festival in Scotland. His film programming includes seasons at BFI Southbank, Filmhouse and Glasgow Film Theatre.

The Making of Fellini: Celebrity, Myth and Public Persona by lecturer and writer Julia Wagner

Federico Fellini was a maestro of cinematic fantasy, and perhaps his most fantastic creation is the myth of Fellini himself. This illustrated talk explores how Fellini’s films, interviews and critical reception contributed to the filmmaker’s public persona. Through analysis of Fellini’s depictions of dreams, fantasies and memories as well as narrative reflexivity and casting choices - in particular his wife Giulietta Masina and Marcello Mastroianni - this talk will consider how the myth of Fellini has been forged, and continues to fascinate.

Dr Julia Wagner is a film lecturer and writer. Julia specialises in Italian and Jewish cinema, cultural memory and documentary. She lectures widely, including teaching film courses at London cinemas and speaking at international conferences. Julia’s writing about film has been published by the BFI, Huffington Post UK and Jewish Quarterly journal. She recently curated Jewish Britain on Film, a JW3/BFI-funded archive project. Julia regularly hosts Q&As with filmmakers and is passionate about film education and public engagement.

From Rimini to Roma: A Round Trip by academic Giulia Bindi

Rimini and Rome are Federico Fellini’s most explored cinematic cities. While Fellini started his career as a director in Rome, the city where he lived most of his life, he paid tribute to Rimini, his hometown, in the majority of his films. Throughout Fellini’s filmography, the two cities are explored through a myriad of images, symbols, dialects, colours, characters and places, which allows for a continuous conversation between past, present, future, tradition, sacred, profane, stillness and movement. This talk will explore a selection of these representations, and present how Rome embodies the idea of a chaotic, yet exciting, urban city, where he became Fellini the director, while Rimini stands as a symbol of the archetypical small provincial town, a primordial place of belonging.

Giulia Bindi is a Film Studies PhD researcher at Birkbeck, University of London. She is pursuing postgraduate study at Birkbeck College, University of London where she was awarded an MA in History of Cinema and Visual Media in 2010. Her work focuses on Fellini’s dream journals, particularly the director’s self-representation and the creation of a repairing dream-place reconfiguration. Her research interests include Italian cinema, theories of authorship, comparative media studies and psychoanalysis.

Fellini and Mass-image Culture by academic Matilde Nardelli

To associate Fellini with mass-image culture is complicated, at once counterintuitive and banal. By drawing on a number of Fellini’s films, including La dolce vita, The Temptations of Dr Antonio, Ginger and Fred, as well as the director’s own forays into advertising, this illustrated talk will invite an exploration of some of the aspects and tensions of Fellini’s engagement with the mass image in late 20th-century culture.

Dr Matilde Nardelli teaches in the London School of Film, Media and Design of the University of West London. She writes on cinema, photography and the visual arts. Her book Antonioni and the Aesthetics of Impurity: Re-Making the Image in the 1960s is forthcoming with Edinburgh University Press in 2020. During the BFI’s Fellini season, she is running a six-week course on the director (14 Jan - 18 Feb), titled The Imaginarium of Federico Fellini.

Free to ticket holders attending screenings across the Fellini Centenary Weekender (Sat 18 Jan and Sun 19 Jan), otherwise £6.50 for all 4 sessions (must be booked in advance due to capacity).

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