Federico Fellini: Contemporary Perspectives


239 pages
Contains Photos, Bibliography
ISBN 0-8020-7647-5
DDC 791.43'0233'092




Edited by Frank Burke and Marguerite R. Waller
Reviewed by Anna Migliarisi

Anna Migliarisi is an assistant professor in the English Department at
Acadia University.


This collection of literate, thoughtful essays situates the cinematic
achievement and influence of world-renowned Italian filmmaker Federico
Fellini (1920–93) in the context of contemporary critical and
theoretical discourses. The volume is a persuasive attempt to reverse
what editor Frank Burke (who has published two works on Fellini:
Federico Fellini: Variety Lights to La Dolce Vita and Fellini’s Form:
From Postwar to Postmodern) describes in his preface as an unfortunate
slide in serious scholarly work on Fellini in recent decades in the
English-speaking world. As editor Marguerite Waller demonstrates in her
introduction, Fellini’s pioneering explorations with the cinematic
apparatus and his distinctive deployment of cinematographic and editing
strategies are startlingly “relevant” in relation to current
methodologies, from poststructuralist to deconstructionist.
Consequently, the 11 essays in the book tend to emphasize the works in
Fellini’s corpus that are “on the verge of or within
postmodernity,” such as Intervista and La Voce Della Luna, but also
include rereadings of some of Fellini’s earlier works, including The
Clowns and The White Sheik.

Nine essays were specifically solicited for this study, including
“Cinecitta and America: Fellini Interviews Kafka (Intervista)” by
Carlo Testa, “Fellini’s Amarcord: Variations on the Libidinal Limbo
of Adolescence” by Dorothee Bonnigal, and “Fellini’s Ginger and
Fred: Postmodern Simulation Meets Hollywood Romance” by Millicent
Marcus. Two other essays are an updated version of Burke’s previously
published 1989 essay “Federico Fellini:
Realism/Representation/Signification,” and a revised version of
Waller’s previously published 1990 essay “Whose Dolce Vita Is This
Anyway?: The Language of Fellini’s Cinema.” The volume provides a
useful four-page chronology, a two-page filmography, illustrations, and
a selected bibliography.


“Federico Fellini: Contemporary Perspectives,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 14, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/30045.