La Voce Della Luna

 

 

     La Voce della Luna (The Voice of the Moon) is a 1990 Italian dramatic comedy film directed by Federico Fellini and starring Roberto Benigni, Paolo Villaggio and Nadia Ottaviani. Returning to themes he first explored in La Strada (1954), Fellini crafts a parable on the whisperings of the soul that only madmen and vagabonds are capable of hearing. Based on the novel Il poema dei lunatici (Poems of the Lunatics) by Ermano Cavazzoni, the film is about a fake inspector of wells and a former prefect who wander through the Emilia-Romagna countryside of Fellini's childhood and discover a dystopia of television commercials, fascism, beauty pageants, rock music, Catholicism and pagan ritual. (source: Wikipedia)

     I was with Fellini when he made this film, which was loosely based on our adventures together. Very loosely! Fellini had some reservations about sharing our story in too great of a detail for a multitude of reasons that I explore in my forthcoming book Towards the Moon with Fellini. Still, when he made La Voce della Luna, he hoped it would satisfy both his artistic muse and the pressure he was feeling from the constant presence in our lives that we came to call "You."

 

     In a way, it made sense to explore a film with these themes. Many times during our adventure, we thought we were going crazy and even hearing voices from the moon (or beyond). But Fellini also used it to explore his ideas on on harmony, communication, the problems with modern day society, technology, aristocracy and the soul and psyche of humanity.

 

     Unfortunately, the film, which would be Fellini's last, was misunderstood by critics and audiences alike and had a relatively short shelf life, a less than deserving end to a great career. However, modern audiences now have an apprecition for a work that was actually a fitting goodbye from a true genius.

Christina Engelhardt * christinaengelhardt@yahoo.com

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