Italian Embassy Cultural Centre is hosting a week-long Federico Fellini retrospective in collaboration with the India Habitat Centre. As part of the retrospective, eight of Fellini’s best-known films will be screened starting with his 1973 Academy Award-winning masterpiece ‘Amarcord’ on 23 October 2021. Along with introducing each of the eight films ahead of their respective screenings at the India Habitat Centre, I will also be introducing Fellini to the audiences while touching upon the importance of his films in India.
The legendary master Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini is not just recognised as one of the greatest and most influential filmmakers of all time but also as a great humanist whose lifelong work stands as a testament to his love for telling universally relevant stories about common people and life in Italy. Despite his origins in Italian Neorealism as a screenwriter for the luminary Italian director Roberto Rossellini, Fellini gradually emerged out of his shadows to carve a niche for herself with films like ‘The White Sheik’ (1952), ‘I Vitelloni’ (1953), ‘La Strada’ (1954), ‘Il Bidone’ (1955), and ‘Nights of Cabiria’ (1957). And then he took a huge leap with ‘La Dolce Vita’ (1960). Not many filmmakers in the world have succeeded in taking such a gigantic leap between films like the one Fellini took with ‘La Dolce Vita’.
But what did he do after it? He made ‘8½’ which is another major leap (it’s something that is unheard of except when maybe Ingmar Bergman made Persona). With ‘8½’, Fellini catapulted himself to an entirely different level of stardom altogether. The film in many ways also perpetuated the wide usage of the term ‘Felliniesque’ which would become synonymous with any kind of extravagant, fanciful, even baroque imagery in cinema—a sort of a superimposed dreamlike or hallucinatory imagery upon ordinary situations. Contemporary filmmakers like Tim Burton, Terry Gilliam, Emir Kusturica, and David Lynch have cited Fellini’s influence on their work. Fellini’s influence on Indian cinema is most evident in the works of Indian filmmakers like Mani Kaul (director of films like ‘Duvidha’, ‘Uski Roti’, ‘Nazar’, ‘The Cloud Door’, etc) and Kumar Shahani (the director of films like ‘Maya Darpan’, ‘Tarang’, and other movies)
‘Amarcord’, the first film to be screened as part of the retrospective, tells the story about Titta, an adolescent boy growing up among an eccentric cast of characters in a village near the ancient walls of Rimini in 1930s Fascist Italy (Rimini was where Fellini was born and the political turmoil during the rule of the Fascist regime in Italy also had a profound influence on Fellini’s life and work). The title basically translates to “I Remember” and aptly so. For, like many films of Fellini’s, ‘Amarcord’ is autobiographical in nature at so many levels. In fact, the character of Titta is based on Fellini’s childhood friend from Rimini who went on to become a lawyer. The two remained good friends all their lives. It is perhaps the last of Fellini’s undisputed masterworks. Even though Fellini would continue to make important films but ‘Amarcord’ in many ways is the last of his films to receive universal acclaim. It is also the last Fellini film to win the Oscar for the Best Foreign Language Film. The film is particularly noted for its criticism of Fascism as well as the Catholic Church but its comical tone cuts Fellini the slack to unleash a strong critique.
The romantic comedy ‘The White Sheik’, which will be screened on 24 October, follows Ivan and Wanda who visit Rome for their honeymoon. However, when Wanda suddenly disappears to find the White Sheik, the hero of a soap opera, Ivan struggles to hide it from his family who wants to meet his missing bride.
The third film to be screened as part of the retrospective on 27 October is ‘I Vitelloni’ which presents a character study of five young men at crucial turning points in their lives in a small town in Italy. One of the Italian maestro’s most imitated films, ‘I Vitelloni’ is said to have inspired directors like Martin Scorsese, George Lucas, Phillip Kaufman, Barry Levinson, Joel Schumacher, Juan Antonio Bardem, Marco Ferreri, and Lina Wertmüller, among others.
The next film on the lineup is ‘Il Bidone’ which follows a group of swindlers who dress up as clerics and con poor farmers out of their savings. It will be screened on the 28 October followed by ‘Nights of Cabiria’ on 29 October and ‘La Dolce Vita’ on 30 October. On the final day of Retrospective, not one but two films will be screened: ‘8½’ and ‘Fellini Satyricon’.
The Federico Fellini retrospective was originally scheduled to take place last year, marking the centenary celebrations of the master filmmaker, who was born in Rimini, Italy in 1920. But, the retrospective had to be delayed by a year owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.
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SUSHMITA OPENS UP ON SHOOTING ‘AARYA 2’ IN MIDST OF PANDEMIC
Created by award-winning director Ram Madhvani, Aarya 2 co-produced by Endemol Shine India and Ram Madhvani Films brings to light Aarya Sareen’s journey from being powerless to fearless.
After emerging as one of the most gripping thrillers from India with an International Emmy nomination for best drama series, Aarya is set to hit the digital scene with Season 2will be available only on Disney+ Hotstar on 10th December 2021.
Ahead of the release of the second season of Aarya, Sushmita Sen has opened up on her experience of shooting for the show in the midst of a pandemic. Sushmita shared, “We’ve become lockdown specialists now! We either release during a lockdown or shoot during it, that’s our new thing! When we completed the shoot for Aarya 2 , on our farewell, we said how blessed we were to be working during the pandemic. There were so many people who had to sit at home, but this is also a nice culmination of teamwork. We had Disney+Hotstar, Ram Madhvani film, the entire crew and the cast together. Everyone just pulled in following the rules and making it possible.”
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MUMBAI: Filmmaker Karan Johar’s new directorial ‘Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani’ is scheduled to hit theatres on 10 February 2023.
On Monday, Karan took to Instagram and shared the update with his fans. “After 7 long years, it gives me such joy and gratitude to be here and announcing that my next #RockyAurRaniKiPremKahani, a love story at its heart with the soul of family values – is releasing on 10th February, 2023. See you in cinemas with an abundance of entertainment that we are getting ready for you,” he wrote.
The romantic drama features Alia Bhatt, Ranveer Singh, Jaya Bachchan, Dharmendra, and Shabana Azmi. They all are currently in Delhi for the shoot. Along with the release date announcement, Karan uploaded a clip featuring a bunch of behind-the-scenes clips. With the clip, the makers also revealed that the team has completed 50 days of the shoot.
BIG B, AJAY, RAKUL’S ‘MAYDAY’ NOW TITLED ‘RUNWAY 34’
NEW DELHI: Superstar Ajay Devgn directorial ‘MayDay’ starring Amitabh Bachchan and Rakul Preet Singh in the lead has got a new title — ‘Runway 34’. The makers also revealed the movie’s release date and unveiled the first looks of the cast on Monday.
Apart from donning the director’s hat, Ajay Devgn will also be playing the lead role in the upcoming thriller movie. Taking to his Instagram handle, Ajay shared the first look posters of the actors from the film and captioned the post as “MayDay is now Runway 34. A high-octane thriller inspired by true events that is special to me, for reasons more than one! #Runway34 – Landing on Eid, April 29, 2022 as promised.”
The posters also included special titles introducing the lead actors.
DEEPIKA SPENDS SUNDAY CHILLING TO SANDHU’S ‘BIJLEE BIJLEE’
NEW DELHI: Superstar Deepika Padukone is indeed hooked to Punjabi singer-actor Harrdy Sandhu’s latest hit song ‘Bijlee Bijlee’ and her latest post is proof!
Taking to her Instagram handle on Sunday, Deepika uploaded a boomerang video of herself sitting in a car and added a ‘Bijlee Bijlee’ song with it. Apart from Deepika, many Bollywood stars including Vicky Kaushal, Shilpa Shetty and Sara Ali Khan among others have also uploaded their videos on social media, while grooving to the latest Harrdy Sandhu’s party song.
Released by Universal Music India Private Limited on October 30, ‘Bijlee Bijlee’ features Harrdy Sandhu along with Palak Tiwari giving a power-packed performance. This song is composed by Jaani and voiced by singer Harrdy Sandhu.
For the unversed, this isn’t the first time Deepika has shown her love for Punjabi songs; she recently hosted an ask me anything session for fans on her Instagram handle where she revealed she was listening to Diljit Dosanjh’s ‘Lover’ on loop at that time.
SHAHID SURPRISES FANS BY SINGING SONGS FROM HIS UPCOMING ‘JERSEY’
NEW DELHI: On Saturday, the actor went live on his Instagram to share his joy at the phenomenal reception of the ‘Jersey’ trailer. When one of his fans requested him to sing a song, Shahid decided to surprise his fans by singing the title track of ‘Jersey’. Shahid sang ‘Mehram Tu Hi Hain Mera’. Shahid had more in store for them! He decided to sing another track from the movie. Jersey is slated to release on December 31 in the theatres.
JASS MANAK ENTERTAINS FLIGHT PASSENGERS WITH HIS HIT SONG ‘TENU LEHENGA’
MUMBAI: If you find yourself travelling on the same flight as popular singer Jass Manak, then get ready to have fun. A video has been doing the rounds on the internet in which Jass can be seen crooning to his hit song ‘Tenu Lehenga’ along with the passengers on a flight. “4000 ft up in the air 24/7 entertainment …thanku love u guys,” he captioned the clip. Jass’ video has left netizens super impressed. “Awww amazing,” singer Zara Khan commented. “How sweet. Passengers look so happy,” a fan commented. Jass’ song ‘Tenu Lehenga’ was recently recreated in John Abraham’s new film ‘Satyameva Jayate 2’.
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