Towards the Moon with Fellini

The Documentary

 

     Towards the Moon with Fellini is a unique behind-the-scenes look at the great Italian director Federico Fellini working on his last film, La Voce della Luna.

 

     In the film, I play a journalist who comes to Italy to seek out the great director and blusters onto his set to ask permission to follow him. Fellini consents, but with the proviso I stay out of the way! So I ask the stars Roberto Benigni and Paolo Villaggio, as well as a host of cast and crew members, about the great director’s process. No one has seen a screenplay and they are essentially in the dark about what they're working on. I decide to ask the moon itself, and have it lassoed down for consultation. Sadly, the moon has nothing to say as it is just a massive piece of mozzarella. But what I do discover is that everyone is devoted to their beloved Fellini and will follow him unconditionally, no matter where.

 

     The film invites you to celebrate a window into the great filmmaker’s life as Roberto Benigni quips, “All films by Fellini are love stories and all love stories are Fellini films.”

     The process of making this documentary was a challenge in itself. From the outset, it was clear that Fellini, who often relied on the whisperings of his many muses, didn't necessarily have a clear direction for where he wanted to take the film. There was a lot of confusion and frustration on set. But there was also a lot of love, devotion and appreciation for working with a true legend.

 

     In the several months I worked on Towards the Moon with Fellini, often as the first one on set and the last to leave, I was able to capture the many sides of Federico Fellini; his charm, anger, passion, etc. I was also able to capture just how involved Fellini got in every single aspect of his films, well beyond directing.  He would coach his actors, set up shots and even help paint scenery if needed. More than anything, Towards the Moon with Fellini shows an artist doing all he can to bring his vision to life.

Christina Engelhardt * christinaengelhardt@yahoo.com

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