Acclaimed film director, accomplished screenwriter, and cartoonist, Federico Fellini is one of Italy's most celebrated filmmakers. In 1943 he married actress Giulietta Masina, who starred in several of his films.
When World War II ended, Fellini wrote important neorealist screenplays, including Roberto Rossellini's Roma, citta aperta (Open City, 1945)—work that earned him his first Academy Award® nomination, Paisa (Paisan, 1946) and L'Amore (Ways of Love, 1948), which contains "Il miracolo'' ("The Miracle''); Alberto Lattuada's Senzapieth (Without Pity, 1948); and Pietro Germi's LI Cammino della speranza (The Path of Hope, 1950). Subsequently, Fellini launched a series of major works dealing with Italian provincial life that won him international fame, including Lo Sceicco bianco (The White Sheik, 1952), La Strada (The Road, 1954), and Le Notti di Cabiria (The Nights of Cabiria, 1957). The last two films won Oscars® for Best Foreign Language Film. Shortly thereafter, Fellini completed one of the most successful of all postwar European films, La Dolce Vita (The Sweet Life, 1959), his first collaboration with actor Marcello Mastroianni. The film's title became synonymous everywhere and in numerous languages with the society life depicted by Rome's gossip-column photographers or paparazzi, a word Fellini contributed to the English language. Fellini's often imitated but never equaled masterpiece 8V2 (1963) cast Mastroianni as Fellini's alter ego and earned a third Oscar® for Best Foreign Film.
Fellini's later films became more personal and thus are linked to the postwar European art film. They deal with such themes as the myth of Rome—Satyricon (Fellini's Satyricon, 1969) and Roma (Fellini's Roma, 1971); Italy under fascism—Amarcord (1973), a film that won Fellini his fourth Oscar® for Best Foreign Film; and the very nature of art and creativity itself—E la nave va (And the Ship Sails On, 1983); Ginger e Fred (Ginger and Fred, 1986); and Lntervista (Fellini's Interview, 1987). As Fellini's art developed beyond his neorealist origins, it began to explore dreams or surrealistic fantasies and to exploit the baroque imagery and sumptuous Cinecitta sets for which his cinema has become justly renowned.
During the last years of his life, Fellini made three television commercials for Barilla pasta, Campari Soda, and the Banco di Roma. They are extraordinary lessons in cinematography and reveal not only his genius, but also his grasp of popular culture. He also exhibited his sketches and cartoons, many of which were taken from private dream notebooks, thus uncovering the source of much of his artistic creativity—the unconscious. Fellini received numerous honors during his lifetime, including twenty-three nominations for Oscars® in various categories (eight of which were successful and four of which were for Best Foreign Film); a special fifth Oscar® for his career achievement (1993); the Golden Lion Career Award from the Venice Film Festival (1985); and dozens of prizes from the world's most important film festivals.
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