• Criterion Tube: Playful Fellini and Benigni

    By Mary Manning

    Here are three rare gems showcasing the larger-than-life personalities of a couple of Italian greats. In the first video, we see Federico Fellini sitting with composer Nino Rota as he plays some bits from the Amacord soundrack. All in Italian, but no translation needed, really. Just pretty to see and hear. Then in the last thirty seconds of the clip, there is Fellini chucking snowballs at Magali Noël on the film’s wintry set. Good times! In the first half of the next one, Roberto Benigni shares a theory about Fellini in his own special comic way. Luckily, this one is subtitled, albeit in Italian. Thanks to the strange poetry of Google Translate, I can pass along the theory: “Fellini is a tie. Nobody said this about Fellini . . . like a tie that should be used by everyone! We give Fellini for everyone as a gift. Fellini’s clothing modern man . . . is the grocery store . . . the fabric of the universe . . . ” Okay! Sure! I welcome other translations. And finally, a very hilarious and young Benigni being interviewed by Dutch host Adriaan van Dis at the 1987 Rotterdam Film Festival. Roberto asking the questions and answering them before Adriaan can stop laughing. Charlotte Rampling in the audience smoking. Talk of learning English on the Down By Law set with Jim Jarmusch. Talk of Italy. Red wine flowing. So much life!

    Mary Manning makes the site unchangingwindow.com, mostly in the mornings.

5 comments

  • By paulina
    January 29, 2013
    09:44 PM

    Amazing! And just once I'd like to be in an audience with Charlotte Rampling.
    Reply
  • By Collection
    January 30, 2013
    08:00 PM

    Well, if I don't feel like one of Benigni's passengers in Night on Earth after viewing the videos above. You did well to welcome translations beyond that obtained from Google, and I would be happy to oblige. Please note that the subtitles are in Portuguese, not Italian, and as with any subtitles, there is speech left untranscribed or Lost in Translation. As such, unlike the subtitle work in question, the translation that follows constitutes a complete transcript of the monologue: Fellini is a tie, nobody has ever said that about him, it’s hard to know what to say about Fellini. Like a tie that one would share with everyone, as they would a gift. They could wrap [Fellini] around their neck, going to and fro with Fellini in tow. Fellini is the wardrobe for the modern man, the boutique for the universe, the woven fabric… Fellini is, he is…let’s see…
    Reply
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    • By Collection
      January 31, 2013
      12:00 AM

      Ought to mention that the extras for Criterion's include expanded sequences from the first video you posted featuring Fellini's go-to-maestro Nino Rota. Not only does the Nino Rota: Between Cinema and Concert documentary that is included with contain the behind the scenes snowball fight set to Nino Rota's "Amacord," but it has subtitles, as well! In this case, I am happy to spare the transcription/translation and encourage anyone who finds your post intriguing to go find a Criterion copy of .
  • By Matt Wolf
    January 31, 2013
    10:52 AM

    Love
    Reply
  • By Brock Shorno
    February 02, 2013
    11:42 AM

    This is great! I love this whole series.
    Reply

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