Essential Fellini Criterion Collection
Federico Fellini remains one of the greatest filmmakers in the history of film. He was an artist who crafted a cinematic spectacle all his own, creating an unique but sometimes bleak world full of dreamers, whose desires, fears, nightmares, and hopes all take center stage.

Not only is this monumental Criterion Collection release “essential” Federico Fellini (1920-1993), it also represents the large majority of films in the Italian maestro’s oeuvre, missing only I Clowns, Fellini’s Casanova, Orchestra Rehearsal, City of Women, Ginger and Fred, The Voice of the Moon, and a couple of segments from anthology films.

The fact that this set is far from complete in terms of Fellini’s films does not mean that it is not comprehensive. Titles span from the start of Fellini’s career to quite nearly the end, covering all of his major thematic shifts and often wild creative phases. Included are all of the Fellini titles that Criterion has ever released, many of which have not been previously made available on Blu-ray due to having been forced out of print for many years. Not only is it about time, it’s the perfect time- the 100th birthday of the director. (Fellini was born January 20, 1920, in Rimini, Italy).

Fourteen features from 1950-1987 are included in this handsomely packaged set, which kicks off with the early entries Variety Lights (1950) and The White Sheik (1952), followed by the filmmaker’s more assured I Vitelloni (1953), a portrait of “young bucks” coping with early adulthood.

But the Fellini knew and loved by most begins with the Oscar-winning La Strada (1954), starring Anthony Quinn as brutal, insensitive strong man Zampano, who performs his chain-breaking act in villages across the Italian countryside. Giulietta Masina (Fellini’s wife) delivers a heartrending performance as Gelsomina, the spirited waif who is purchased—and badly mistreated—by Zampano.

After Il Bidone (1955), a lesser slice-of-con-men-life drama, Fellini struck Oscar gold again with Nights of Cabiria (1957), the story of a waif-like prostitute named Cabiria (Masina), whose taste in men is decidedly unlucky, but whose joie de vivre is unshakable (and captured in one of the most luminescent cinematic finales ever).

Fellini’s growing taste for grand spectacle became evident in his next film, La Dolce Vita (1960), a picaresque portrait of Rome, starring Fellini alter ego Marcello Mastroianni as Marcello Rubini, a womanizing would-be serious writer who can't seem to raise himself above the level of scandal sheet hack, racing back and forth across the Eternal City to cover a myriad of strange events.

Mastroianni returns in Fellini’s Oscar-winning autobiographical masterpiece 8 1/2 (1963), playing harried director Guido, who simultaneously tries to direct a new film and his life, constantly intermingling the two, and successfully managing neither, as presented in a series of dreamlike reveries and reminiscences prompted by the most bizarre connections.

Juliet of the Spirits (1965), Fellini’s first color film, stars Masina as Juliet, a neglected wife whose suspicion of her husband’s infidelities leads her on a journey of exploration that blurs (and occasionally obliterates) the demarcation between reality and fantasy.

Unfortunately, Fellini’s next two films — Fellini Satyricon (1969) and Fellini’s Roma (1972) — serve up a bloated spectacle that pushes character and plots out to the fringes. Satyricon, based on the titular fragmentary novel by first-century Roman writer Petronius about decadent life under Nero, plunges viewers into a hellish moral landscape where gluttony, sexual debauchery, and sloth are the order of the day.

Through these decadent tableaus wanders one utterly vacuous boy toy (Martin Potter), whose sexual journey from pique over losing one rosy-lipped male minor, to impotent dalliances with Italian beauties, to a Viagra-like resurrection courtesy of a mythical matron with mammaries the size of Manhattan, does not lend itself to easy exegesis.

Roma is somewhat better, particularly in the opening half-hour as it wonderfully celebrates Rome’s vibrant, bustling pre-WWII street life, but it eventually runs out of steam as it vacillates between an idealized past (Fellini’s childhood and early adult years) and chaotic present (’70s Rome).

Fellini’s third Oscar winner for Best Foreign Film, Amarcord (1973), marks a triumphant return to form, serving up a gorgeously picturesque, fictionalized paean to Fellini's childhood hometown of Rimini in pre-WWII Fascist Italy, filtered through the director's larger-than-life imagination (full of those surreal touches that eventually gave rise to the adjective Felliniesque).

And the Ship Sails On (1983) charts the 1914 journey of an ocean liner carrying opera singers and aficionados who are on a mission to celebrate a late diva when real-world events intrude—in the form of Serbian refugees thrown into disarray following the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, an act that ultimately sparked World War I. Consciously breaking the fourth wall throughout, the film wraps with an incredible tracking shot revealing that the foregoing nautical adventure all took place on a soundstage.

Finally, Intervista (1987), made partially to celebrate major Italian film studio Cinecitta’s 50th anniversary, is a film within a film in which a Japanese TV crew interviews “maestro” Fellini as he goes through the motions of casting and directing a new feature loosely based on Fellini's own entrance into filmmaking (as played by Fellini protege Sergio Rubini). Toward the end, Mastroianni (playing himself) and Fellini visit the home of Anita Ekberg, and in a wonderful segment, Mastroianni and Ekberg watch a scene of themselves in La Dolce Vita—a fitting metafictional end to this collection of Fellini films that increasingly test and ultimately redefine the boundaries of cinema.

Although Fellini's films can be uneven, this collection underscores his genius in making cinematic magic while presenting a cavalcade of some of the most memorable faces in the history of film.

15xBD50 | 1080p AVC | 1697 min | ~660 Gb + 3% rec
Language: Italian
Subtitles: English
Genre: Drama


DISC ONE: Variety Lights
* "Variety Lights" (98:15)
"Fellini: I'm a Born Liar" 2002 documentary (101:24) [1080i]
"Second Look" 1960 interview with director Federico Fellini by filmmaker Andre Delvaux for Belgian TV (Part 1/4) (34:52)

DISC TWO: The White Sheik
* "The White Sheik" (87:19)
"Remembrances" 2002 documentary (31:18) [1080i]
Gideon Bachmann Interviews
- Federico Fellini, 1962 (30:44) (in English) [1080i]
- Family and Friends, 1962 (59:03) [1080i]

DISC THREE: I Vitelloni
* "I Vitelloni" (108:52)
"Vitellonismo" 2004 making-of documentary (35:11) [1080i]
"Second Look" 1960 interview with director Federico Fellini by filmmaker Andre Delvaux for Belgian TV (Part 2/4) (31:26)
Stills Gallery (3:37)
Trailer (3:56) [1080i]

DISC FOUR: La Strada
* "La Strada" (109:00)
Audio Commentary with author Peter Bondanella (2010)
Introduction by filmmaker Martin Scorsese from 2010 (13:45) (in English and Italian) [1080i]
"Federico Fellini's Autobiography" 2000 documentary (55:16) [1080i]
Trailer (2:05) (in English) [1080i]

DISC FIVE: Il Bidone
* "Il Bidone" (113:48)
Audio Commentary by film scholar Frank Burke (2020)
Interview with Fellini's assistant director Dominique Delouche (39:51) (in French) [1080i]

DISC SIX: Nights of Cabiria
* "Nights of Cabiria" (118:33)
"Giulietta Masina: The Power of a Smile" 2004 documentary (52:50) [1080i]
"Second Look" 1960 interview with director Federico Fellini by filmmaker Andre Delvaux for Belgian TV (Part 3/4) (33:19)
Interview with Fellini's assistant director Dominique Delouche from 1999 (30:49) (in French) [1080i]
Audio Interview with Dino De Laurentiis (3:41) (in English) [1080i]
Original Theatrical Trailer (3:57)
Re-release Theatrical Trailer (burnt-in subtitles) (1:22)

DISC SEVEN: La Dolce Vita
* "La Dolce Vita" (175:46)
"Second Look" 1960 interview with director Federico Fellini by filmmaker Andre Delvaux for Belgian TV (Part 4/4) (30:57)
Interview with director Federico Fellini from 1965 (30:07) (in English and Italian)
"The Eye & The Beholder" 2014 visual essay by filmmaker ::kogonada (9:32)
Interview with assistant director Lina Wertmuller from 2014 (7:25) [1080i]
Interview with scholar David Forgacs from 2014 (14:29) (in English)
Interview with Italian journalist Antonello Sarno from 2014 (15:51) [1080i]
"Once Upon a Time: La Dolce Vita" 2009 documentary (52:03) (in French and Italian) [1080i]
"Felliniana" picture gallery (54 pages)

* "8 1/2" (139:26)
Audio Commentary by film critic and Fellini friend Gideon Bachmann and film scholar Antonio Monda (2001)
Introduction by Terry Gilliam from 2001 (7:29) (in English) [1080i]
"The Last Sequence" 2003 documentary (50:24) [1080i]
"Nino Rota: Between Cinema and Concert" 1993 documentary (47:28) (in German) [1080i]
Interview with actor Sandra Milo from 2001 (26:38) [1080i]
Interview with assistant director Lina Wertmuller from 2001 (17:28) [1080i]
Interview with cinematographer Vittorio Storaro from 2001 (17:24) (in English) [1080i]
Trailer (3:10)
Photographs from Gideon Bachmann (18 pages)
Stills Gallery of Behind-the-Scenes and Production Photos (113 pages)

DISC NINE: Juliet of the Spirits
* "Juliet of the Spirits" (145:24)
"Toby Dammit" 1968 short by Federico Fellini (43:31)
"Fellini: A Director's Notebook" 1969 NBC TV documentary (51:48) (in English)
"Fellini's Letter" text (6 pages)
"Reporter's Diary: Zoom on Fellini" 1965 documentary (33:15) [1080i]
"Familiar Spirits" 1966 interview with Fellini by Ian Dallas from the BBC series 'New Release' (in English and Italian) (21:30) [1080i]
Trailer (2:32)

DISC TEN: Fellini Satyricon
* "Fellini Satyricon" (129:42)
Audio Commentary featuring an adaptation of Eileen Lanouette Hughes' memoir "On the Set of Fellini Satyricon: A Behind-the-Scenes Diary" (2014)
"Ciao, Federico!" 1970 documentary by Gideon Bachmann (60:15)
"Fellini" archival interviews:
- Gideon Bachman, 1969 (audio only) (10:48)
- French Television excerpt, 1969 (1:38) (in French and Italian)
- Gene Shalit, 1975 (2:08) (in English)
Interview with cinematographer Giuseppe Rotunno from 2011 (7:38)
"Fellini and Petronius" 2014 documentary (23:51)
Interview with stills photographer Mary Ellen Mark from 2014 (12:57) (in English)
"Felliniana" picture gallery (31 pages)
Trailer (2:24)

* "Roma" (120:20)
Audio Commentary with film scholar Frank Burke (2016)
Deleted Scenes (17:32)
Interview with filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino from 2016 (15:17)
Interview with poet and Fellini friend Valerio Magrelli from 2016 (16:20)
"Felliniana" montage (18:32)
US Trailer (2:46)

* "Amarcord" (125:58)
Audio Commentary with film scholars Peter Brunette and Frank Burke (2006)
"The Secret Diary of Amarcord" 1974 documentary (44:59)
"Fellini's Homecoming" 2006 documentary (44:18) [1080i]
Interview with actor Magali Noel from 2006 (15:35) (in French) [1080i]
"Fellini's Drawings" picture gallery (44 pages)
- Stills (128 pages)
- Radio Ads (2:31)
Deleted Scene (3:03) (no audio) [1080i]
Trailer (3:49)

DISC THIRTEEN: And the Ship Sails On
* "And the Ship Sailed On" (129:18)
"Fellini Racconta: Diary of a Film" 1983 TV documentary (51:27) [1080i]

* "Intervista" (107:42)
"At Home With Federico Fellini" 1987 Italian TV interview (17:14)
"Fellini Racconta: Passeggiate nella memoria" 2000 documentary (52:05) [1080i]
"Marcello Mastroianni" c.1963 audio interview by film historian Gideon Bachmann (47:19)
"Fellini's TV" montage of unused and unseen TV ads from "Ginger and Fred" (35:14) [1080i]

DISC FIFTEEN: Marcello Mastroianni: I Remember
* "Marcello Mastroianni: I Remember" 1997 documentary by Anna Maria Tato (193:56)

Download Essential Fellini: Variety Lights (1950), The White Sheik (1952), I vitelloni (1953), La strada (1954), Il bidone (1955), Nights of Cabiria (1957), La dolce vita (1960), 8 1/2 (1963), Juliet of the Spirits (1965), Fellini Satyricon (1969), Roma (1972), Amarcord (1973), And the Ship Sails On (1983), Intervista (1987), Marcello Mastroianni: I Remember (1997) 15 x Blu-Ray Criterion Collection:


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