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la Biennale di Venezia
Main Visual Sezione Cinema EN (new)


70th Venice International Film Festival

Director: Alberto Barbera

28th August > 7th September 2013

Special Screenings

All sections »
I first met Fellini in January of 1956. He had been on his way to Hollywood for the Oscars, but he never went there. Instead he met all my Beatnik friends: Alan Ginsberg, Shirley Clarke, Susan Sontag, Jonas Mekas, Robert Frank, Peter Bogdanovich. He went back to Rome and made La dolce vita. Suddenly, America woke up to him. So I was not surprised when “Life” magazine asked me to go to Rome and take some pictures of him while he was working. And Simon & Schuster, big American publishers, asked me to do a book about him. So I went, in the fall of 1962, and fell straight into the mayhem that was the set of . I took 3000 photos. 40 years later I was still in Rome. I told Federico that I wanted him to tell me the story of his life on tape and allow me to take some shots on the set. That’s how naive I was. I didn’t realise at the time that my task was impossible. How did I dare to ask for the story of a life that was far from finished? In fact, he didn’t seem to know what to do with me, so he put me in his film, and sent me all around Italy with my tape recorder to talk to his family members, to his former girlfriends, to actors he’d worked with, his artistic collaborators. The tapes accumulated. By the time I had done all that I had an apartment in Rome, had learned Italian, had gone with Federico to New York for the opening of . Still no tapes with Federico. But I kept asking. After my first 3 years in Rome, waiting, suddenly he did it. I got 5 hours of tape with him. The next day, they were stolen. He never agreed to do it again. It took me many years to understand why he wouldn’t: he had invented his life story for me. And he was afraid the second time it would not be the same story.
Gideon Bachmann
6 September 14.30 - Sala Pasinetti SPECIAL SCREENINGS Dietro le quinte di Otto e ½ by Gideon Bachmann - Italy, -

Photographer’s Statement
I used a Minolta SR-2 (35-mm single lens reflex) that had been lent to me by Shirley Clarke in New York, and at the time was something new. But the film was even more interesting, as I utilized the “short ends” of Fellini’s own film stock, i.e. the pieces left over at the end of the day in the Mitchell movie camera used by Gianni di Venanzo for the shooting. Every evening in my boardinghouse in Rome I would roll up these pieces of film, so that I could use them in my reflex. So my photos were taken on the same Ilford HP-4 film that Federico used to shoot .