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In Search of Fellini
In Search of Fellini is a strange,
offbeat, quirky film
which was inspired by a true story from co-screenwriter Nancy
of Bart Simpson on The Simpsons). Executive produced by Monika
Maria Bello, Kevin J. Burke,Nancy Cartwright, and Andrea Iervolino, In
Search of Fellini is a odd little indie move which has its heart
right place but absolutely falters as an experience.
Lucy (Ksenia Solo) is a young, naive woman who
a film festival playing a series of Federico Fellini films. After she
magnificent La Strada for the first time she becomes completely
enthralled in the rich imagery and storytelling. Lucy falls in love
films. It's love at first sight.
She proceeds to rent as many of the filmmakers
works as she
can find. She consumes each and every one of them with the same rabid
excitement. Each viewing brings her more joy and she implores her
watch some with her. Claire (Maria Bello), Lucy's mother, is ill and
sheltered her from experiencing life outside of her room and her
encourages her daughter's enthusiasm.
Lucy's daydreams start to turn into a strange,
journey when Lucy decides she must meet the filmmaker who made these
begins writing letters to people who might have a connection to
Fellini. She is
determined that she meet him. Despite getting many responses indicating
meeting cannot happen, Lucy sets out to meet him anyway and she goes on
journey to find Fellini.
Along the journey, Lucy encounters a number of
characters much like those in Fellini's films and environments which
are quite reminiscent
of sequences from his filmography. Each strange experience seems to
another as she journeys across Italy looking for her beloved director.
Lucy even starts to find romance with a fellow young man, which begins
new feelings inside her.
Intended in part as a love letter to Fellini, the
too earnest and well-intentioned to be completely loathe to everything
it. It's trying to pay homage to the great filmmaker. It attempts,
to paint a portrait of why people love Fellini's films. It does so with
clear references throughout the film. You can't 100% hate it. You can
that the filmmakers at least tried.
However, to be frank, this film is essentially a
quality television movie attempting to be a gem of an indie sensation
buffs. In Search of Fellini is a frustrating, numbing, and
experience. It's difficult to image diehard Fellini fans actually
movie after seeing it. Loving it? Inconceivable! That's a fundamental
One of the reasons why it fails so terrifically is
seems to only see Fellini's films at their surface level: the strange
quirkiness which composes so much of his filmography. It's approach to
exploring his style feels gimmicky and uninspired, lacking the same
pathos, and genius of Fellini. It's concept of Fellini is simply to be
and offbeat. The result is a unwaveringly awful filmmaking experience
rampages from one poorly-conceived scene to another.
The movie has some below-average production design
Todd Jeffery. Frequently trying to imitate Fellini's films, each
sequence is staggeringly
ill-conceived at actually conveying the spirit of these classics. It
false and uninspired by simply trying to recreate his work. Clearly
homage, to be fair, but the effort doesn't succeed.
Written by Nancy Cartwright and Peter Kjenaas, In
of Fellini has a serious storytelling issue. The concept is okay.
that it wants to be a love letter to Fellini is charming. The execution
dire. The characters feel paper-thin and the story progresses into
Directed by Taron Lexton, In Search of Fellini
at the highest level as a film on the directing scale. Making a love
a great filmmaker is one thing. Trying to emulate their filmmaking
is another. Lexton doesn't seem to grasp why Fellini's movies are so
so many decades on: their heart, their soul, their majesty. These are
things that carry them. This is why audiences love them. This film
close to conveying that.
Presented on DVD in the original 2.35:1 widescreen
ratio with anamorphic enhancement for widescreen televisions. This is a
looking DVD release. The film has modern, digital cinematography and
clarity and detail.
English 5.1 Dolby Digital is
provided. Though the film lacks an immersive surround sound mix, the
occasionally create a wider soundstage. The dialogue is easy to
release does lack in bass but is otherwise perfectly fine for this type
In Search of Fellini (SD, 9 min.) is a
the scenes featurette with interviews with the cast, crew, and
Audio commentary by writer/producer Nancy
Cartwright and director Taron
Theatrical Trailer (and "bonus" trailer
This Beautiful Fantastic)
In Search of Fellini is a terribly botched
making a ode to Fellini. It's an embarrassing made-for-television
which doesn't even remotely manage to inspire the wonder Fellini's
create. On paper, the idea for the film sounded excellent. However,
regards to the execution, In Search of Fellini leaves much to
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema. He aspires to make movies and has written two screenplays on spec. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.