FELLINI: An Intimate Portrait by Lilliana Betti

FELLINI: An Intimate Portrait

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A dossier on the working life of filmmaker/eccentric Federico Fellini. Without providing even the most cursory data on Fellini's career and personal background, Betti--his aide over the past five years--plunges into a skein of anecdotes illustrating the maestro's approach to, for example, the telephone (""Fellini. . . telephones in order to live, or else he lives from call to call""); the mail (""The first culling of a bundle of correspondence promptly results in the destruction of a good half of it""); and meals (""One of Fellini's daily problems is to avoid eating alone""). Betti calls herself ""disorganized, careless, easily distracted,"" and these traits show in a book that hops from a sketch of Fellini's phys. ed. teacher, to a chatty tale about his barber, to an analysis of why Fellini usually--but not always--returns borrowed money. When she's not being coy, Betti is a pleasant narrator, and occasionally she produces a vivid description--of the shepherd chosen to play the ""elegant, authoritarian"" Dario in The Clowns, or of Fellini's wife turning up on the set of Satyricon and palliating his terror of horses. But those who've read Peter Bondanella's excellent 1978 compilation of interviews with and critiques on Fellini, or the solid evaluations of the man and his work by Stuart Rosenthal and Edward Murray, will find no significant new data here.

Pub Date: Aug. 14th, 1979
Publisher: Little, Brown