Federico Fellini quotes

Federico Fellini photo
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Federico Fellini

Birthdate: 20. January 1920
Date of death: 31. October 1993

Federico Fellini, Cavaliere di Gran Croce OMRI was an Italian film director and screenwriter. Known for his distinct style that blends fantasy and baroque images with earthiness, he is recognized as one of the greatest and most influential filmmakers of all time. His films have ranked, in polls such as Cahiers du cinéma and Sight & Sound, as some of the greatest films of all time. Sight & Sound lists his 1963 film 8½ as the 10th-greatest film of all time.

In a career spanning almost fifty years, Fellini won the Palme d'Or for La Dolce Vita, was nominated for twelve Academy Awards, and directed four motion pictures that won Oscars in the category of Best Foreign Language Film. In 1993, he was awarded an honorary Oscar for Lifetime Achievement at the 65th Annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles.

Besides La Dolce Vita and 8½, his other well-known films include La Strada, Nights of Cabiria, Juliet of the Spirits, Satyricon, Amarcord and Fellini's Casanova.

„There is no end. There is no beginning. There is only the infinite passion of life.“

—  Federico Fellini

Fellini on Fellini (1976) edited by Anna Keel and Christian Strich; translated by Isabel Quigly.
Variant: There is no end. There is no beginning. There is only the passion of life.

„You have to live spherically - in many directions. Never lose your childish enthusiasm - and things will come your way.“

—  Federico Fellini

Variant: Put yourself into life and never lose your openness, your childish enthusiasm throughout the journey that is life, and things will come your way.

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„All art is autobiographical; the pearl is the oyster’s autobiography.“

—  Federico Fellini

On the autobiographical nature of his films, in The Atlantic (December 1965)

„Art is all about craftsmanship.“

—  Federico Fellini

"Craftsmanship"
I'm a Born Liar (2003)
Context: I discovered that what's really important for a creator isn't what we vaguely define as inspiration or even what it is we want to say, recall, regret, or rebel against. No, what's important is the way we say it. Art is all about craftsmanship. Others can interpret craftsmanship as style if they wish. Style is what unites memory or recollection, ideology, sentiment, nostalgia, presentiment, to the way we express all that. It's not what we say but how we say it that matters.

„Talking about dreams is like talking about movies, since the cinema uses the language of dreams; years can pass in a second and you can hop from one place to another.“

—  Federico Fellini

As quoted in Rolling Stone no. 421 (1984)
Context: Talking about dreams is like talking about movies, since the cinema uses the language of dreams; years can pass in a second and you can hop from one place to another. It’s a language made of image. And in the real cinema, every object and every light means something, as in a dream.

„What is an artist? A provincial who finds himself somewhere between a physical reality and a metaphysical one…“

—  Federico Fellini

"Every Time We Say Goodbye" in Sight and Sound [London] ( June 1991)
Context: What is an artist? A provincial who finds himself somewhere between a physical reality and a metaphysical one... It’s this in-between that I’m calling a province, this frontier country between the tangible world and the intangible one — which is really the realm of the artist.

„Everyone knows that time is Death, that Death hides in clocks.“

—  Federico Fellini

Imposing another time powered by the Clock of the Imagination, however, can refuse his law. Here, freed of the Grim Reaper's scythe, we learn that pain is knowledge and all knowledge pain.
"Death"
I'm a Born Liar (2003)

„If I'm a cruel satirist at least I'm not a hyprocrite: I never judge what other people do.“

—  Federico Fellini

"Hypocrisy"
I'm a Born Liar (2003)
Context: If I'm a cruel satirist at least I'm not a hyprocrite: I never judge what other people do. Neither a politician nor a priest, I never censor what others do. Neither a philospher nor a psychiatrist, I never bother trying to analyze or resolve my fears and neuroses.

„I don't believe in total freedom for the artist. Left on his own, free to do anything he likes, the artist ends up doing nothing at all.“

—  Federico Fellini

"Artistic Freedom"
I'm a Born Liar (2003)
Context: I don't believe in total freedom for the artist. Left on his own, free to do anything he likes, the artist ends up doing nothing at all. If there's one thing that's dangerous for an artist, it's precisely this question of total freedom, waiting for inspiration and the rest of it.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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