Federico Fellini: films, women, death in the Book of Dreams

by Irene Noli

Il October 31, 1993 the great one left us Federico Fellinisymbol ofItalia of the Twentieth century and the history of world cinema. We would like to remember him through the Book of Dreamsa precious treasure chest of his multifaceted being.

What is Fellini’s Book of Dreams?

The Book of Dreams is a diaryone storyboard is one dreamlike medley together, who accompanied Federico Fellini from the beginning of sixties until the 1982with some sporadic additions up to 1990, a few years before his death. The Master had begun to write it on the advice of his psychoanalyst, the Jungian Ernst Bernhard and contained the notes and drawings – or, as the director defined them – “bad notes, hasty and ungrammatical notes” of his nocturnal life, including dreams, nightmares and, probably, small imaginative forays with his eyes open.

What was the dream for Fellini?

Sincechildhood Fellini had a special bond with dreams, to which he attributed fundamental importance. He always used to ask his friends what they had dreamed, advising them not to waste theirs “night job”, as important as and perhaps more than the conscious one of the day. To make sure he didn’t forget his own, Fellini used to keep a notepad next to the bed, where he wrote down the sensations of waking up.

The (non) criterion of the Book of Dreams

Fellini compiled his own nocturnal book with makeshift pens and markers, following his instincts and the rudimentary techniques he learned as a boy, having just arrived in Romacollaborated with his vignette a satirical magazines as the Marc’Aurelio. The mature awareness of his 40 years, considering that he began to draft it between the filming of The sweet life e di 8 ½allow you to immerse yourself in a plurality of aspects of man and his time, internal and external, between a reminder pop at the advertising that crept into his unconscious and the many obsessions who persecuted him, starting from donne Junoesque that he transposed into his films or that he even just idealized, accomplices Botticelli e Rubensyes Anita Ekberga Sandra Milo a Josephine Baker: in the game of the unconscious any mix is ​​possible, in a savannah of transatlantic liners, lions, idols like a Kafka o one Picasso and more or less familiar faces, to him and to us.

The link between dreams and cinema for Federico Fellini

Between tragicomic deformations of those colorful sketches, ideas from his films, friends, personal myths and influences from the different periods experienced by the director coexist. Something that has remained for decades privatefor its exclusive use and consumption, and which only in the last 15 years was acquired by Foundation dedicated to the director and then published in a imposing format. Inside there is also a lot of Italy from the second half of the twentieth century, vices and virtues, all elements that would flow into his cinema. A road made of crumbs, ready to be swept away by the first breath of wind, which if taken in time would instead have led him to the next scene, the next shot, perhaps the next film.

And where is Fellini?

Fellini is always there, you can’t see it well from the outside but it fits discreetly into your night’s register, very similar to the magazines that have dotted your training. It’s there, but you can hardly see it: like one spectator from behind at Cinema, small and grey, is doubly the beneficiary of his own dreams. First with thick hair, over time with increasingly thinner hair. But he lives his dreams only in the moment, at most he projects them into the future and into his art, but he never dwells on them to regurgitate what is no longer, with a erotic and ironic humouralso highlighted by greats like Kunder o Kezichdear friend and future biographer, and by the semiologist Paolo Blacksmithsone of its greatest scholars:

… [Per Fellini] The dream serves as a perspective and the perspective even motivates him to go to the movie set and undo everything he had prepared the day before just so he can make that dream come true. It matters little if the representation of his dreams, of his female figures, is the result of possible traumas he had as a child. The important thing is precisely that these dreams contributed to the miracle that is his extraordinary and brilliant artistic production. It is not important where his inspiration comes from but where it goes and what it produces… (P. Fabbri)

The dimension of the nightmare

But the dream is not just a dream, in fact there is often more to itnightmare, and this also applies to Fellini. The father’s corpse, the atomic bomb, the German troops, the final explosion of ‘Zabriskie Point’the ghosts, the sharks or the prostitutes who – reversed sign – torture him with sadism… And behind it all the deathwhich he felt approaching even when during the day, when he was awake, he forced himself not to think about it, so as not to fall into the depression and in indolence. The future could be illness, it could be oblivion (the great fear!), it could be the loss of Juliet, who instead lived a year after his death. In the most explicit dreams, the Month she is a deceased blue fairy, and in bed he reads the morning newspapers with the headline: “Fellini finally succumbs”. Through his drawings, which have become more sparse in recent years, the shadow tamer of Italian cinema has perhaps also exorcised the nightmare of never again, and we still live from the frames of his dreams, prolonging it infinitely, within his last trip.

The post first appeared on www.capital.it

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