Tarkovsky’s list, and Fellini’s humanity

Posted on February 5, 2018


Read the full article on Firstpost, here: http://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/federico-fellinis-cinema-is-like-reading-a-latin-american-novel-humane-dreamy-and-poetic-4336177.html

I’m fascinated by other people’s lists, especially if they’re important people – and what could be more important than Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky drawing up a list of great directors? (See clip below, from Voyage in Time, the 1983 documentary that tracked Tarkvosky while he was working towards Nostalghia, his first film made outside the USSR.) “If you had to talk to today’s and yesterday’s great directors,” the interviewer asks, “for what reasons would you thank each of them for what you feel they gave you?”

Tarkovsky begins with Alexander Dovzhenko, recalling the 1930 silent film, The Earth. He names Robert Bresson (“the only director in the world that has achieved absolute simplicity in cinema,” though I don’t really get the Tolstoy comparison that Tarkovsky makes), Michelangelo Antonioni (taking off from what Tarkovsky says, I grinned at the irony of Antonioni shouting “Action” for his languidly paced films), Jean Vigo (“the father of modern French cinema”), Sergei Parajanov (“paradoxical and poetic”) and Federico Fellini (“for his kindness, for his love of people… for his humanity”).

The things he says about Fellini – kindness, humanity – are encapsulated in all the director’s films, but especially so in this clip (below) from La Dolce Vita (1960), which follows a tabloid reporter (Marcello Mastroianni) in Rome. The scene is set in a nightclub, and it involves, as Fellini’s films so often do, a clown. There are thematic resonances to the director’s career – say, that this clown with his trumpet could be a spiritual cousin to the clown-like, trumpet-playing Gelsomina from La Strada (1954). But for now, just observe the humanity in the scene.

Continued at the link above.

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