Combining memoir, archival photos and footage with complete recreation, director Ettore Scola lovingly depicts his relationship with friend, fellow journalist, and icon of postwar Italian cinema, Federico Fellini.



How Strange to be Named Federico: Scola narrates Fellini

Ettore Scola

When nine-year-old Ettore Scola read a newspaper to his blind grandfather, little did he know that he would soon become fast friends with one of the journalists whose articles he was digesting. The paper was the influential Marc'Aurelio, the writer was Federico Fellini, and the year was 1939. These were the Italian filmmaker's salad days — Fellini kicked around as a journalist for years before starting to write scripts for vaudeville, and then the movies. Scola was destined to walk in the master's footsteps a few years later when he too joined the masthead at Marc'Aurelio. So began a long relationship between two icons of postwar Italian cinema.

Combining memoir and archival photos and footage with complete recreation, in How Strange to be Named Frederico: Scola narrates Fellini Scola lovingly depicts his relationship with the young Fellini, who would go on to international fame as the director of masterpieces like La strada, La Dolce Vita, 8 1/2 , and Amarcord. Shooting at Cinecittà's venerable Studio 5, where Fellini himself lensed many of his most famous films, Scola delves back into those moments when the two of them sat in Rome's Cinquecento Square talking about life and future projects, prowled the streets in search of stories, or sat around the offices of Marc'Aurelio deciding what cartoons to publish.

Fellini was a true original and, in the affectionate words of his wife Giulietta Masina — as well as his long-time collaborator Marcello Mastroianni — a gigantic liar, but his creative mind turned him into a genius of the medium. The name Fellini became a brand, and Felliniesque an adjective, summoning up a world of outlandish, oversized, carnivalesque reverie, full of eccentric people and extravagant costumes, mixed in with a dash of postwar ennui. Scola was in a unique position to observe Fellini — and this magical film is their story.



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