Over the next four weekends, the National Museum of Singapore will be screening a host of extraordinary movies directed by Frederico Fellini in a complete retrospective of the Italian filmmaker’s oeuvre that is not to be missed for lovers of European cinema. Fellini’s revered masterpieces such as La Dolce Vita (1960) and 8½ (1963) require no introductions but this is also a fine occasion to check out some of his other less heralded works. I Vitelloni (1953), a rollicking portrait of a group of scraggly young men and their shiftless existence in an Italian small town, has long been one of my personal favorites as well and is highly recommended.
And for all the restless mysteries and self-reflexive fantasy lives that dwell within Fellini’s chimerical cinematic vision, what’s perhaps equally memorable and very much compatible to the films is the string of amazing musical scores composed by Nino Rota. “Guido e Luisa”, from the soundtrack for 8½, bears the mark of sophistication that define much of the collaborations between Fellini and Rota.
In the context of 8½, although the song is named after the film’s main autobiographical character (played by Marcello Mastroianni) and his wife (Anouk Aimee) – Fellini himself said of the frayed marriage: “The relationship between Guido and Luisa has to show what once was there between them and what is left over in their relationship. It is still very much a relationship, though it has undergone changes from the days of courtship and the honeymoon” – the song’s waltzing rhythms reflect more of the manner in which Guido attempts to dance his way through the innumerable hang-ups (a crippling creative block, marital woes, feelings of alienation) in his chaotic life. The beautiful confusion (as 8½ is originally titled), indeed. – keith.
Fellini! A Complete Retrospective is running from now til 9 May at the National Museum of Singapore. Check here for more details.