"Fellini's fascination with monsters"

Federico Fellini, 1965
Public DomainFederico Fellini, 1965

Federico Fellini (1920-1993) was an Italian film director with a flamboyant personal and video style. Although he started out a neorealist, his movies eventually developed a mix of fantasy, dreams, and realism. The adjective “Felliniesque,” according to Peter Bondanella, author of The Films of Federico Fellini, applies to “any kind of extravagant, fanciful, even baroque image in the cinema and in art in general.”

In the documentary “Fellini: I’m a Born Liar,” the director describes neurosis as “a treasure trove, guarded by monsters….” The filmmaker’s love for the strange and grotesque can be sensed in a list of directors from a younger generation who cite him as an influence: David Cronenberg, David Lynch, Terry Gilliam, and Tim Burton.

His best-known films include “La Strada,” “Nights of Cabiria” (the inspiration for the American musical “Sweet Charity”), “La Dolce Vita,” “Satyricon,” and “Amarcord.”