Fellini: I'm A Born Liar

"Very Good"

Fellini: I'm A Born Liar Review


Damian Pettigrew's Fellini: I'm a Born Liar is a good documentary that features a terrific firsthand interview with the great Italian director Federico Fellini and a good number of other interviews with those who worked with him to create some of the best films of his career.

It is structured mainly to give us Fellini's philosophical take on making movies and the psychology of the creative process. Fellini provides a ton of great quotes, such as, "The instant I begin to work, a mysterious invader that I don't know takes over the whole show," and, "The greatest danger for an artists is total freedom." And, more to the point of his method perhaps, "Psychologically the artist is an offender. He has a childish need to offend. And to be able to offend you need a parent, a headmaster, a high priest, the police..."

Fellini wasn't above "offending" his own crew either. Donald Sutherland, in a candid if not harsh interview, states that Fellini's relationship with his actors was dreadful and that he was a martinet, a dictator, and a demon.

Others are a more gracious, though each of them recalls Fellini as a controlling man who some of the time had a unique sense of humor. Terence Stamp, who starred in Toby Dammit, has some of the best and more humorous recollections. One in particular is how Fellini told him to in order to get into the character he was playing he should imagine that he had been up all night partying and getting laid and now someone had put LSD under his tongue.

The best sections are the behind-the-scenes footage where we see Fellini's working method in such films as Amarcord, Satyricon, and Casanova. What doesn't get mentioned though is that Fellini worked without sync sound, thus shooting everything silent and then dubbing all of his actor's voices later in the editing. By working this way he was able to constantly talk to and instruct the actors on the set as we see in a great clip from another documentary titled Ciao, Federico!, which is about the making of Satyricon.

Fellini: A Born Liar has a few shortcomings. One is that it primarily deals with his late films as opposed to his first seven-and-a-half. And also, by delving into Fellini's method and psychology the film rarely gets down to the actual making of the films. Most of the things Fellini says are general ideas about his mental process, his love of artificiality, and his natural propensity as an artist to invent his own reality. Rarely does Pettigrew let us hear Fellini talk about his specific methods, which is why the real behind-the-scenes footage is so good.

According to the press notes Damian Pettigrew did ten hours worth of interviews with Fellini and it really makes you wonder what he left out. But despite these petty shortcomings, this is the best documentary yet about the great Italian master.

Aka Fellini: Je suis un grand menteur.



Fellini: I'm A Born Liar

Facts and Figures

Run time: 105 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 2nd April 2003

Distributed by: First Look Pictures Releasing

Production compaines: Arte, Portrait & Cie

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 73%
Fresh: 29 Rotten: 11

IMDB: 7.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer:

Starring: as Himself / La Voce della Luna, Luigi 'Titta' Benzi as Himself / Ami d'enfance, Italo Calvino as Himself / Ecrivain, Dante Ferretti as Himself / Chef décorateur, Rinaldo Geleng as Himself / Peintre, as Himself, as Himself / Toby Dammit, as Himself / Casanova

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

With its fifth feature-length adventure, this franchise continues its preposterous journey at full tilt. As...

Keanu Movie Review

Keanu Movie Review

An entertaining hybrid of satirical comedy and action thriller, this madcap adventure swerves wildly between...

Ghostbusters Movie Review

Ghostbusters Movie Review

It's been more than 30 years since the Ghostbusters first hit the big screen with...

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

While the original 2013 magical caper was a big hit, it's style-over-substance approach didn't exactly...

Advertisement
The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

It's been nearly 30 years since the last live-action Tarzan movie, and yet it still...

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

A New York comedy with vivid characters and a contrived plot, this feels rather a...

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Nearly 25 years after the sitcom debuted, Edina and Patsy arrive on the big screen...

Central Intelligence Movie Review

Central Intelligence Movie Review

After teaming up with Will Ferrell for Get Hard and Ice Cube for two Ride...

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

Based on a true story, this Chilean drama has a chilling edge to it that's...

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Two decades is a long time to wait for a sequel, especially one starring much...

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

This movie is based on a real meeting between Elvis Presley and Richard Nixon in...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.