FELLINI E FABRIZI: LO STRANO INCONTRO
2004 – color – 50’
Direction: Luca Verdone
With: Cielo Pessione, Massimo Fabrizi, Tullio Kezich, Tatti Sanguineti, Mario Verdone
Production: RAI International
On June 3, 1939, Federico Fellini met Aldo Fabrizi at Cinema Corso in Rome. The great director from Rimini had been living in the Eternal City for a few months and supported himself by writing articles for local and national newspapers and magazines. The subjects were varied. He alternated reports on the world of Avanspettacolo (Italian vaudeville shows) with humorous “pieces” for satirical magazine Marco Aurelio and sometimes came up with serial short stories for popular magazines.
Fellini imagined the Eternal City as if it had a big reddish face with the outlines of Aldo Fabrizi, Alberto Sordi, Anna Magnani. He drank from the source of Fabrizi, whom he imagined as a “good ogre”, and took notes. He hoarded jokes and comedic situations that would be useful to him in his following films. Fabrizi generously welcomed his new friend and used to invite him to lunch or dinner with his family. The documentary follows their friendship until the break-up in 1969, when Fellini cast “Moro”, the manager of a restaurant of the same name near Fontana di Trevi, for the role of Trimalcione in the film Fellini Satyricon, breaking his word with Fabrizi, who was to play that character.
“Fellini e Fabrizi: Lo Strano Incontro has been a useful opportunity to look into the relationships between show business artists in Rome shortly before the Second World War. Fellini’s youth years and Fabrizi’s early successes in the Avanspettacolo are evidence of how valuable and thriving the Italian Culture was even under the restrictions of Fascism.”