By Christopher Null
It is movies like this that give Fellini -- and foreign films altogether -- a bad name. A compilation of nonsense and leftovers from dozens of years in the moviemaking biz, Intervista is self-described as a celebration of Fellini's love affair with the movies.
Au contraire. Intervista is little more than a celebration of Fellini's love affair with himself.
While this is hardly new ground for Fellini, Intervista is not really about anything. The bulk of it plays out on the back lot of Cinecitta, the enormous Rome movie studio where virtually every Italian film worth mentioning and many American films (including Ben-Hur were produced). But with few exceptions (notably the opening vignette), Fellini bypasses the grandeur of Cinecitta in favor of making a series of small set pieces about Fellini.
A moronic journalist (an allegory for Fellini himself) wanders through the lot, interviewing various stars and behind-the-scenes people on a big-budget movie. So is Fellini meant to be the wide-eyed idiot straight off the bus to Cinecitta? Or is he the director, portrayed as a pompous ass when, for example, he demands a pear as a snack? Well, he's both -- mocking both his former youthful ignorance and his present conceitedness. Presumably he fails to realize that we're way ahead of him in the joke, and that it all makes him look like a pompous ass.
To be fair to Fellini, he's not the only director to put together such a crappy vanity project of memoirs. Akira Kurosawa's Dreams is just as inscrutable and possibly even more pointless.
The new DVD features a spare yet ass-kissing commentary the American Film Institute's Ken Wlaschin as well as an interview with him and a Fellini biographer. If you must watch this film, at least give the commentary a shot, as it sheds some light on what the movie's all about (though Wlaschin's fawning obsession with Fellini colors it considerably).
Facts and Figures
In Theaters: Friday 6th November 1992
Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 73%
Fresh: 8 Rotten: 3
Cast & Crew