The three Federico Fellini films Spike Lee called “essential” to filmmaking


La Dolce Vita (1960)

“You know you’re dealing with an iconic filmmaker when a new adjective has to be coined just to sum up their style. The world of the ‘Fellinesque’ is proof enough of Federico Fellini’s era-defining talent. With his blend of the earthly and the divine, the baroque and the brutalist, the neorealist director helped usher in a golden age of Italian cinema, setting an example without which the landscape of cinema would look very different indeed. It’s possible to argue that without Fellini, there would have been no French New Wave, no Polish film school, and no Martin Scorsese, the latter of whom regarded the director’s filmography as the very zenith of cinematic achievement. That sentiment is shared by another great American director: Spike Lee, who listed three of Fellini’s films on his essential film List. … With that kind of reputation, it’s no wonder Lee has taught at some of the most prestigious film schools in America. Far from burdening his students with excess reading material, Lee’s teaching method emphasises developing a critical eye for cinema. This central tenant led to him providing his students with a comprehensive list of 95 films essential for aspiring filmmakers. As well as movies by the likes of Ingmar Bergman, Fritz Lang, Alfred Hitchcock, Jim Jarmusch, Francois Truffaut and Roman Polanski, Lee includes three of Fellini’s greatest works: La Strada (1954), La Dolce Vita (1960), and (1963). While La Dolce Vita is undoubtedly his most famous undertaking, it was La Strada that put Fellini’s name on the map. The first winner of the Oscar for Best Foreign Film, this affecting road movie also made a star of Fellini’s wife, Giulietta Masina, who plays Gelsomina, a simple-minded young woman bought from her mother by Zampanò, a brutish strongman who forces her to travel around the Italian countryside performing with him. …”
FAR OUT (Video)
W – La Strada, W – La Dolce Vita, W –
Criterion: La strada (Video), La Dolce Vita,


(1963)

About 1960s: Days of Rage

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