Maestro Fellini, Studente Angelucci

By Fumento, Rocco | Literature/Film Quarterly, October 1, 1982 | Go to article overview

Maestro Fellini, Studente Angelucci

Fumento, Rocco, Literature/Film Quarterly

"You've helped others besides Gianfranco," I said to Fellini. He raised a questioning eyebrow, forcing me to say, "Like Lina Wertmuller." He laughed, as though I'd told him some marvelous joke. Then he threw out his arms and raised his eyes in mock despair as he looked first at my wife, seated on a couch across from us, then at Gianfranco, at whom he winked. Gianfranco smiled wryly, apparently knowing what Fellini was thinking. Then Fellini turned back to me and laughed again. "Lina Wertmuller! She tells everyone she was my assistant. She worked for me ten minutes-and with no pay!"

Lina Wertmuller may have worked for Fellini for ten minutes, which I doubted, or for ten weeks, which is more likely. The point is he obviously did not care much for Wertmuller and wanted no one to believe either that she'd ever been his assistant or that her work was influenced by his. Critics have accused Fellini of not saying enough in his films. Fellini implies that Wertmuller says too much-that she's too involved in political and social issues, that she's a cartoonist who smothers her viewers in polemics.

Gianfranco tells of his first meeting with Fellini. We, with our wives, were sipping espresso at an outside cafe in the Borghese gardens. "I was a student of literature at the University of Bologna," he said. "One of my teachers thought I might do, as my thesis, a comparative study between film and literature. I went to Rome and this teacher, who knew Fellini and was very fond of him, arranged that I should meet him. This was in the later sixties when students all over the world were in revolt. Two minutes after we met, Fellini and I began to argue and we argued throughout that first meeting."

My own first meeting with Gianfranco Angelucci was somewhat more relaxed. In the early spring of 1980 he'd come to the University of Illinois to give a talk on Fellini and to show a film he'd made on the making of Amarcord. It was an ambitious film, not merely a sixty-minute trailer for Amarcord. We saw Fellini picking out his cast, his face very expressive, amused by this performer, bored by that one, enchanted by another. We saw him in conference with composer Nino Rota, with cinematographer Giuseppe Rotunno, with writing collaborator Tonino Guerra; we saw him directing his players in scenes from the film and often what was in the script was changed radically for the cameras. There was so much loving attention paid to Fellini himself (a pensive Fellini, a distracted Fellini, a melancholy Fellini and, now and then, a Fellini whose face broke into a radiant smile when a scene went well) that I suddenly remembered he'd also been an actor, most notably playing the Joseph character opposite Anna Magnani in The Miracle. And I was also made aware of the fact that the maker of this film was deeply committed to both Fellini the artist and to Fellini the man.

After the film showing I attended a reception for Gianfranco at the home of a colleague. I watched, from across a table burdened with a huge punch bowl, as he talked with others. He smiled a great deal but seemed ill-at-ease. An art professor's wife, slightly tipsy, was asking him about Marcello Mastroianni (she pronounced it Mastrianni, dropping the "o"), who was starring in Fellini's latest film. She was more interested in Mastroianni the offscreen lover than in Mastroianni the actor. A graduate student, who wrote very serious, very cerebral film critiques for the campus newspaper, was obviously irritated by her frivolous questions. Like Mike Wallace on 60 Minutes he shot bullet-paced questions at Gianfranco about Fellini and "why hasn't he done anything really decent since 8??" Gianfranco smiled and seemed distraught as he turned from one to the other. "Mastroianni nearly ruined 8'h for me," said the young critic. "He's much too handsome." The art professor's wife smiled sweetly at him. "Oh really? Does that prevent him from being a good actor?" Gianfranco backed away from them and that's when I went up to him and introduced myself. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Maestro Fellini, Studente Angelucci


Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

    New feature

    It is estimated that 1 in 10 people have dyslexia, and in an effort to make Questia easier to use for those people, we have added a new choice of font to the Reader. That font is called OpenDyslexic, and has been designed to help with some of the symptoms of dyslexia. For more information on this font, please visit

    To use OpenDyslexic, choose it from the Typeface list in Font settings.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search


    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.