The Book

   

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      "Fascinating book...a star-filled idea!" - Buzz Aldrin

      "Engelhardt’s blushing verbiage, though not for the timid, is a page turner and delightfully proves that fact is stranger than fiction.” - Robert Evans

 

     As his brilliant career and astounding life came closer to its catharsis, one of the most beloved and acclaimed film directors of all time took his last thrilling journey guided by mysterious and powerful forces…Voices that were not of this world.

     And he wasn’t alone.

     Towards the Moon with Fellini is more than a memoir, it is a supernatural epic in the realm of magical realism, chronicling the last great and most mysterious adventure of legendary Italian director Federico Fellini (La Strada, La Dolce Vida, 8 ½, Amarcord). This is the tale of a defining moment for one of the most dynamic, fascinating and influential personalities in the history of the film industry told through the eyes of one of his closest confidants, his muse and a partner in an ethereal experience that few would believe.

     The story starts with the upbringing of actress, model and celebrity socialite Christina Engelhardt to her life in New York, at a crossroads in her career and her overall life plan. With a predilection to the clairvoyant, she is guided to take her path out west, where she will find meaning through a preordained encounter. At the same time, halfway around the world, Fellini, a man who built his reputation on his powerful visions blending fantasy, beauty, exoticism and the quest for one’s purpose was also looking for his next inspiration as he faced his own career mortality.

     This marked the first time he got a call from what he would name “The Voice.” He didn’t know who or what they were, but he knew with all his heart, and from what he experienced, that they were not of this world…and that he had to listen to them. He was told he would make a film, and to start the journey, he felt he had to go find Carlos Castaneda, the renowned and eclectic, self-proclaimed shaman somewhere in the jungles of the Yucatan, who could explain what he was hearing from The Voice. First, he would stop in Los Angeles to meet the next vital piece of this special, chosen group; Christina, who was also trying to make sense of this strange new Voice and the messages she was receiving. It soon became clear that Fellini and Christina were somehow connected.

     Towards the Moon with Fellini chronicles Fellini and Christina’s unique relationship and the bizarre, terrifying and purposeful experiences with this Voice as they travel to the Yucatan to meet a baffled, disbelieving Castaneda, leading to the acclaimed graphic novel Trip to Tulum. It continues as Fellini (with Christina by his side) sets out on a chaotic but visionary process to make his final film The Voice of the Moon, one he hopes will silence The Voice that both haunts and inspires him. It finishes with The Voice’s abrupt departure  with no understanding of its true purpose and the effects the experience had on all involved, never more evident than when Christina watched an exhausted Fellini accept his Lifetime Achievement Award at the Oscars.

 

     It has taken time for Christina to grasp what happened during those amazing years at Fellini’s side. For the past quarter of a century, Christina has delved into every resource possible, seeking answers in the metaphysical to the fascinating experience, discovering that they were not alone and that this visit from The Voice could have an even deeper meaning than she and Fellini realized. More than just an exploration and celebration of an accomplished man, this story is also a documentation of one woman’s deeply personal journey through unexpected circumstances, finding herself exploring sorcery, magic and even the supernatural in the hopes of discovering a greater purpose not just for herself but for all of us. Filled with drawings, photos and letters from Fellini himself addressing their unusual adventure together, this book is part memoir, part mystery and part examination of the beliefs we hold about higher powers, what else is out there, who we are and where our inspiration truly comes from.

 

--Jim Martyka, co-author

Christina Engelhardt * christinaengelhardt@yahoo.com

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