FELLINI 100 : A Celebration in Images, Words and Music

by Gary Meyer

“Why don’t you make films in color?” Federico Fellini was asked shortly after his 1963 black and white hit 8 ½.  He explained that it was not his right to determine for the audience the exact color of, say, a blade of grass or the blue in the sky. I was a teenager with a passionate interest in all kinds of movies, especially the exotic foreign films playing at theaters like Mel Novikoff’s Surf Theatre, Pauline Kael and Ed Landsburg’s Studio & Guild Cinemas and at the San Francisco International Film Festival— this intriguing answer that made sense to me until his next feature came out where he more than broke his rule. Juliet of the Spirits was so overwhelming in its use of color one might have thought it was soon to be banned and he needed to splash every tint and tone across the screen while he could. I loved it in 1965 and can’t wait to see it again on the big screen as part of the Fellini 100 celebration at San Francisco’s Castro Theatre on Saturday, March 7 (it also screens at BAMPFA on May 9).

The Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive is in the midst of their extensive forty program Federico Fellini at 100 salute screening both the obscure and famous works from his career plus a sidebar series of lectures by Russell Merritt, Guy Madden and David Thomson with screenings on Wednesday afternoons called In Focus. It runs through May 17.

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We are pleased to present a collection of trailers, interviews and appreciations of Federico Fellini in honor of his 100th birthday.   The first four trailers are for the Fellini 100: Homage to Federico Fellini Marathon at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco, Saturday, March 7.  Fellini festivals and events are occurring throughout North America with the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive currently presenting a major retrospective. You will find dozens of photos, posters and articles about Fellini in our companion piece FELLINI 100 : A Celebration in Images, Words and Music.

Plus recipes Recipes for selected menu items and more surprises can be found on our special Feast with Fellini page.

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by C.J. Hirschfield


The Band (left to right): Rick Danko, Levon Helm, Richard Manuel, Garth Hudson, and Robbie Robertson in ONCE WERE BROTHERS: ROBBIE ROBERTSON AND THE BAND, a Magnolia Pictures release. Photo © by Elliott Landy.

A good documentary can take a subject we think we already know, and present it in a fuller and more complex context, leading us to a new level of understanding and appreciation. ONCE WERE BROTHERS; ROBBIE ROBERTSON AND THE BAND does just that, by telling the story of an iconic and pioneering Americana band of five that Robertson describes as “a beautiful thing—so beautiful it went up in flames.” The film, directed by Daniel Roher, also greatly benefits from interviews with the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Taj Mahal, George Harrison, and many others. Continue reading