Theatrical Release Date: TBC
Home Ent. Release Date: 01 Mar 2009
Born in Rimini, Italy in 1920, Federico Fellini almost drifted into film-making by mistake. Aged 19 he went to study at the University of Rome, where he met and later married Giulietta Masina. Intrigued by the portrayal of journalism in film, he decided to try out the role in real life, submitting articles and amusing editors with his cartoons and caricatures. When Roberto Rossellini wanted leading vaudeville comedian Aldo Fabrizi to play the lead in Rome, Open City (1945), he made the contact through Fellini, who was a friend of the actor. Thus Fellini ended up working on the script a little and observing the processes in the editing room. Italian films at the time placed much emphasis on image as dialogue was often dubbed later. This was to later inform Fellini’s work with a vivid, visual style. He became a director of uniquely personal films that celebrate the ceaseless carnival of life. Winner of four Oscars, Federico Fellini has had an immense impact on contemporary film. His groundbreaking work has influenced and inspired such celebrated directors as Woody Allan, Terry Gilliam and David Lynch. Included in this collection is Fellini’s debut: comedy The White Sheik (also his first collaboration with composer Nino Rota), the Oscar-winning La Strada, the film that propelled him to the world stage and neo-realist Oscar-winning masterpiece Nights Of Cabiria - available here for the first time on UK DVD and also released individually. THE WHITE SHEIK (1952) An early film from Italian legend Federico Fellini, The White Sheik tells the story of a newlywed couple’s honeymoon that turns into disaster when the virginal bride runs away in search of the eponymous hero, a soap-opera actor who fulfils her naïve romantic ideals. Her distraught husband proves not to be immune from temptation himself when he encounters a prostitute during the search for his wife. Co-written by Michelangelo Antonioni and Tullio Pinelli, with a score by Nino Rota. LA STRADA (1954) Looking for an assistant, brutish circus strong man Zampano (Anthony Quinn), buys the innocent and slow-witted Gelsomina (Giulietta Masina) from her impoverished mother and the pair take to the road with a travelling circus. Life with Zampano is violent and unpredictable and when Gelsomina falls in love with a high-wire artist (Richard Basehart), Zampano’s volcanic temper erupts with tragic consequences. Characteristically mingling elements of biography with metaphor and symbolism, La Strada combines an easygoing charm with a hard-edged realism, a formula that made the film the first winner of the Oscar for Best Foreign Language film. NIGHTS OF CABIRIA (1957) Welcome to the world of Cabiria (Guilietta Masina), a feisty, loud, outspoken and somewhat naïve prostitute waiting for a miracle, and one of the most unforgettable and endearing characters of European cinema. We share Cabiria’s dreams and disillusions as she drifts around the streets of a harsh and unforgiving Rome, always finding herself back amongst the same seedy cohorts. What follows is a series of humiliating episodes with men where Cabiria’s spirit is hurt but never broken. Fellini keeps us guessing as to his true intentions right until the last moment. Winner of the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film and Best Actress for Masina at the Cannes Film Festival.