Frederico Fellini on two of his greatest passions – Films and Spirituality

Frederico Fellini on two of his greatest passions – Films and Spirituality

Beginning his career as a Comedy Writer, Frederico Fellini rose to fame with films such as Eight and half and La Dolce Vita. His filmmaking journey started with Variety Lights, which was co-produced and co-directed by Alberto Lattuada.

Frederico regarded the process of filmmaking as a spiritual experience and always wanted to seep into the process so much so that the thin line between imagination and reality is blurred out completely. You can see the glimpse of his unusual approach in his distinctive style that blends fantasy and flamboyant images with a hint of earthiness.

Throughout his career, Fellini showed relentless pursuit of art. From flying to war-stricken Libya in 1942 to work on a screenplay to bleaching his hair blond to act in his film, L’Amore, he donned a number of hats to make his art come alive on screen.

To say that he is one of the most influential filmmakers of his time is a modest statement.  This Oscar Lifetime Achievement awardee is nothing short of exceptional talent. His films received nominations for Academy Awards not once or twice but twelve times! Four of his motion pictures have won Oscars. Apart from this, he has also won Oscars for best costume design for La Dolce Vita (1960) and Il Casanova di Federico Fellini (1976).

Fellini’s immense interest in parapsychology is not hidden from his audiences and peers. In this 1965 interview, he emphasizes this by saying that, “You have to be a yogi to see your work beforehand in a detached way.” Fellini’s encounter with LSD, a hallucination drug became one of the hottest talks of the town. His work was no less than a spiritual discovery for him.

In this excerpt from his 1965 interview, he talks about his experience with LSD, the extent of absorption in his projects and his spiritual excursion. Fellini remarkably comments, “once you open that door, it’s impossible to go back”.