E103 FELLINI AND FANTASY introduces the student to Italy's greatest film director, a man who in 1992 was voted the most important film director in the history of the cinema by 100 directors and people in the industry (edging out Orson Welles!). The same professional people in 1992 voted two of his films, La Strada and 8 1/2, as among the best 10 films ever shot. We shall read a number of essays, interviews, and critical works devoted to Fellini and Italian film culture. The focus of the course will be upon how a personal vision, even a poetic and fantastic perspective, may be developed in a medium that is too often seen as only a business or a low-brow form of entertainment.
During the course of the semester, lectures and special resources available only at IU, either from the instructor's personal collection of materials or from the Lilly Library's Fellini Archive (the only such archive available at the present time) will be employed to give students first hand knowledge about such themes as Fellini's dream notebooks (the ultimate source of his imagery and films); Fellini's drawings and sketches, many of which are done on manuscripts of his screenplays for other directors that the Lilly Library preserves; videotapes of Fellini's out-takes of certain films, of his parodies of television commercials, and of Fellini working on the set to create artificial images in the studio rather than imitating reality outside the studio; and slides of Fellini's early cartoons and colored drawings that he employs in making his films. The class will visit the Lilly Library and examine some of these original manuscripts during the course of the term.