Federico Fellini

Federico Fellini

Federico Fellini was born and raised in Italy where he imaginatively played as a child and also grew up under the dictatorship of Benito Mussolini. He bounced around various careers in his late teens and early 20s before eventually finding his way into the world of film. His earliest works were on screenplays for films such as "Knights of the Desert" (1942) and "Rome, Open City" (1945), the latter of which earned him his first taste of the Academy Awards with a nomination for Best Original Screenplay. While writing was his first fascination, he worked his way behind the camera, making his directorial debut with the Italian comedy "Variety Lights" (1950), though the film was poorly received. His second film "The White Sheik" (1952) had an incrementally better reception when released, but still wasn't beloved. "I Vitelloni" (1953) was his first success and also his first internationally distributed film. That paved the way for his inventive and influential true breakthrough "La Strada" (1954), which was the inaugural winner for the Best Foreign Film Oscar. The film was also Fellini's first brushes with both depression and chaotic filming, as he had a breakdown during the filming of "La Strada." Still, in spite of any personal troubles, Fellini's groundbreaking Italian films reached a level of international critical acclaim. He won gobs of awards for the controversial "La Dolce Vita" (1960), Jung-influenced "8 1/2" (1963), and ambitious fantasy "Satyricon" (1969). His frenetic pace started to slow as he moved into his 50s and 60s, but he still produced compelling works, including the loosely autobiographical drama "Amarcord" (1974) and the biopic "Casanova" (1976). His final film was the Roberto Benigni-starring "The Voice of the Moon" (1990), though it never saw an American release. In 1993, months after receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award Oscar, Fellini died of complications from a heart attack.