Elephants, fat women, spectacular sets - all the visual Fellini grotesquerie is found in this mesmerising evocation and celebration of Fellini’s past and the mammoth Cinecitta studios outside Rome. A Japanese TV crew arrives to make a film on Fellini at work on his new project in the studio that gave birth not just to Fellini’s ‘La Strada’ and ‘La Dolce vita’ but also to Hollywood epics ‘Ben Hur’ and ‘Cleopatra’. We are conducted on a backstage tour of familiar landmarks in Fellini’s career, culminating in a poignant reunion of the stars of ‘La Dolce vita’. Marcello Mastroianni, clad as a magician for a TV ad, visits Anita Ekberg in her hillside villa and tears are shed when they see their youthful selves. Not just a sentimental tour of Fellini mannerisms, this film suggests that the past can only be recaptured on film. Fellini himself emerges as a genial craftsman flourishing in the company of the travelling circus that swirls around him. With equal relish for the absurd and the colossal, Fellini asserts his love of life and the magical power of cinema.
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