Federico Fellini His Life and Work

Tullio Kezich; Translated from the Italian by Minna Proctor with Viviana Mazza

Faber & Faber



Trade Paperback

464 Pages



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With the revolutionary 8 1/2, Federico Fellini put his deepest desires and anxieties before the lens in 1963, permanently impacting the art of cinema in the process. Now, more than forty years later, film critic and Fellini confidant Tullio Kezich has written the work by which all other biographies of the filmmaker are sure to be measured. In this revealing account of a lifetime spent in pictures, Kezich uses his friendship with Fellini as a means to step outside the frame of myth and anecdote that surrounds him—much, it turns out, of the director's own making.

A great lover of women and a meticulous observer of dreams, Fellini, perhaps more than any other director of the twentieth century, created films that embodied a thoroughly modern sensibility, eschewing traditional narrative along with religious and moral precepts. His is an art of delicate pathos, of episodic films that directly address the intersection of reality, fantasy, and desire that exists as a product of mid-century Italy—a country reeling from a Fascist regime as it struggled with an outmoded Catholic national identity. As Kezich reveals, the dilemmas Fellini presents in his movies reflect not only his personal battles but those of Italian society. The result is a book that explores both the machinations of cinema and the man who most grandly embraced the full spectrum of its possibilities, leaving his indelible mark on it forever.


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Excerpted from Federico Fellini: His Life and Work by Tullio Kezich. Copyright © 2002 by Giangiacomo Feltrinelli. Published in March 2006 by Faber and Faber, Inc. All rights reserved.

Introduction: September 1952, on the Terrace of the Hotel des Bains

There was some trepidation on my part at my first encounter with Federico Fellini. I knew his name and I'd liked Luci del varietà (Variety Lights, 1950)--but I had assumed that it had been conceived of and written by codirector Alberto Lattuada, and that newcomer Fellini's name had only been added to the credit out of friendship, or
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  • Tullio Kezich; Translated from the Italian by Minna Proctor with Viviana Mazza

  • Tullio Kezich is the film critic for Corriere della Sera. He has written numerous books on cinema as well as other subjects, and is a widely performed playwright.