ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

To Be Experienced and Not Watched: The Cinema of Federico Fellini Films

Updated on September 3, 2020

A Great Director Offers a Unique Viewing Experience

What is it about the films of Federico Fellini that make them so enjoyable to the fans that appreciate his work? Many will look for an overtly intellectual answer to this question or mire the answer in deep introspective forms of film criticism. In his lifetime, Fellini outright rejected any approach to examining his films in such a way. He considered such techniques to be overly analytical and thoroughly unnecessary.

Of course, many great works of cinema criticism have been written about the virtuoso director. While delving into critical analysis has its merits, it might simply be best to view the films experientially.

That means just watch the top Fellini films. Well, you don't "just watch" these intriguing works of cinematic art.

The Experiential Journey of Fellini

Fellini described his conception of a film as a "journey, adventure, and an odyssey." The words he used were/are apt ones. The narrative structure of numerous Fellini films unfolds in a strange narrative-but-not-a-narrative way. That, among other reasons, makes the auteur director's work so compelling.
Fellini films' style certainly did not follow the typical conventions, and his auteur fingerprints frequently reflected the presence of surrealism within realism. This might seem incomprehensible, but when you watch his films through his characters' eyes, you will notice their detached otherworldly witnessing to the events that unfold in front of them. While coherency can suffer at varying points of the typical Fellini narrative, the viewer can just enjoy the journey as it moves towards an eventual conclusion.

Welcome to the world of Italy's greatest director.

The Road Traveled By Fellini

Federico Fellini may very well be one of the greatest directors in world cinema. Sadly, he has also become one of the more forgotten directors. The notion that he would become forgotten would have been considered an outrageous notion during his height of success, which lasted from the 1950s to the early 1970s. Yet, outside of serious fans of foreign films, cinema history, and the legacy of classic Italian motion pictures, Fellini does not gain the wide fanfare, so many other directors do.

Fellini was not a director of Hollywood blockbusters. He filmed incredibly stylized personal films that were effective to those that found Fellini movies appealing. While many heard of Fellini during his heyday, many of those same filmgoers might never bought a ticket to one of his films.

Those wishing to enjoy something unique and different may want to invest some time watching a few of the great director's classic works. La Strada, La Dolce Vita, and 8 ½ are considered his most seminal works as well as the best Fellini films. The documentary I Clowns may be a better introduction to Fellini, although it is atypical of his work. Since it is less esoteric, Fellini's style can be enjoyed while watching a much more linear event.

In the Shadow of Neorealism

Contributing to Fellini's cinematic works' uniqueness was that the emerged in the shadow of Italian neorealism, a film movement rooted in depicting how the "common person" of Italy lived. This was a cinema-style that went to almost painful lengths to capture realism through sometimes incredibly slow pacing. It could be said that one film or art movement can beget another that builds on it or creates a movement far removed from it. Fellini borrowed aspects of neorealism to a strange degree but combined it with his unique sense of surrealism. Again, a Fellini film is more of an adventure that needs to be experienced. Through the experience, the audience will eventually (or hopefully) understand the actual narrative the film is presenting.

For those that are fans of Fellini movies, there is no reason to criticize the surrealist elements. It was the uniqueness of Fellini's work that draws so many to the films. Rather than worry about the narrative structure, it is best to concentrate on the themes which emerge through the presentation. It is the thematic elements that make his films most rewarding to view.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)