Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Magic of Fellini|
Actors: Woody Allen, Roberto Benigni, Claudia Cardinale, Charlotte Chandler, Dino De Laurentiis
Director: Carmen Piccini
Genres: Indie & Art House, Documentary
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Lightweight TV Profile
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Unfortunately, this 52 minute documentary is nothing more than a string of mediocre interviews with clips from Fellini's films that cinephiles have all seen before. Not without charm (provided by Carmen Piccini's obvious enthusiasm for her subject), the doc may possibly serve as a very basic introduction to the Maestro's films but fans will be ill-served. It does not, in any way, capture Fellini's complex, enigmatic personality nor offer fresh, in-depth interviews with the master himself. It does not possess memorable camera work by a genuine documentarian nor an original and incisive script that would lift it out of the hagiographic, lightweight, cut-and-paste cable TV doc format . The short archival interviews with Woody Allen and Martin Scorsese are worthless for what they offer - nothing but platitudes - although Anthony Quinn's tame anecdotes make for pleasant enough viewing - which, ultimately, is what this hokey-pokey documentary is all about: a curiously uninspired and unrevealing stroll through the felliniesque."
Might be okay as an introduction...
Vladimir Miskovic | 07/11/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Anyone looking for an in-depth study of Fellini and his films, for new insights into his life and work, will surely be disappointed by this brief biopic. For the most part, "The Magic of Fellini", which has a run time of 55 minutes, consists of interviews with various people who were close to the director in some way or another: personal assistants, assistant directors, set designers, friends as well as the actors who worked with him, Italian film critics and producers. Incidentally, the cover notes that the biopic stars Martin Scorsese and Woody Allen; the notice is misleading since the Woody Allen clip is about a whole half minute long and Scorsese, though eloquent, appears for only slightly longer. There is some archival footage of Fellini himself, speaking about his films, but these clips are relatively brief and some of them will be familiar to anyone who has seen "Federico Fellini's Autobiography", originally broadcast on Italian television.
Aside from the interviews (of which the ones with Anthony Quinn and Donald Sutherland are the most amusing) there is some footage of Fellini working on set and going through the casting process. The films discussed the most include La Strada, La Dolce Vita and 8 ½. However, they are covered only very superficially and in a seemingly haphazard manner, not really shedding much light on the importance of these works. The unique partnership between Fellini and Nino Rota is discussed, as well as the partnership between Fellini and Marcello Mastroianni and these pieces are interesting, if brief. What emerges about Fellini from the documentary is that he was an enormously creative man, spontaneous (often his actors would have absolutely no idea about the dialogue or the context of scenes and he would feed them the lines as the shooting went on) and in love with his work.
Clips from such Fellini films as 8 ½, Amarcord, Nights of Cabiria and Roma are interspersed throughout this documentary. As such, "The Magic of Fellini" may be a great gift to give to someone who is not familiar with the director's work - it might serve as a nice introduction, a way of piquing the curiosity of someone who has never seen these gems. However, for Fellini fans this documentary will probably be too superficial to be of real interest."
Not so magical
Rimbaud | K.C. , Mo. | 03/02/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"After seeing the other doc. just released on Fellini (i'm a born liar) I have to say this one left me slightly confused. On one hand there is a greater variety of clips from his films, they still omit many that I'd say are absolutely essential, but hey, that's a nitpick. The problem comes with the strange feeling I get while watching this, that it was made simply as a vehicle, a vanity project for the "director". She is an attractive Italian woman I will admit, but putting her name on every concievable surface, and her pictures, and making sure she gets some on camera time adds up to a feeling of insincerity to me. And yet on the other hand, there are some different interviews I'd previously not seen, Donald Southerland is much more enjoyable and affable to listen to on this disc than on "Born Liar", but don't be fooled by the promise of Scorsese and Woody, they talk for maybe 2 minutes total and they're clips from old interviews you've probably seen ad nauseam. But if you're a Fellini nut, then you'll probably find something you like here... If I had to recommend one over the other I'd go with I'm a born liar,simply because there's more meat on its bones."