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Italy / France, 1953 (MIFF 1957, Programme 3)

Director: Federico Fellini

Federico Fellini was scarcely a new name to the critics when his film La Strada was shown at the Italian Film Festival. Fellini had been active on the creative side of the Italian neo-realist movement from almost the beginning.

He worked with Rossellini in Open City and Paisa and wrote the original story of The Miracle. Later again he collaborated with Lattuada on a number of films and co-directed Cammino Delia Speranza.

However, I Vitelloni and La Strada are the films that won Fellini his reputation as the most important new filmmaker to have come out of the neo-realist movement since Renato Castellani.

I Vitelloni is a film "on a very Italian theme - the idle young men, who, when the bands and bathing beauties of the summer season are gone, loaf about their little provincial, seaside town. There they dream of an escape to Rome, albeit their dreams are desultory and have none of the passionate wistfulness with which Chekhov's Three Sisters used to dream of Moscow: they hope, one day, to write a novel, or they sponge on a hardworking sister, or they drift from one casual seduction to another. In short, their ageing, shop-worn immaturity is passing into the disenchanted thirties while they do almost nothing except avoid honest work".

Fellini has avoided social argument in favour of characters compassionately drawn and realistically presented. In its juxtaposition of images, the eloquence of its acting and the apposite moods of its music, I Vitelloni provides the viewer with a cinematic experience of unusual quality.

See also...


Clowns, freaks, circuses have been consistently recurring facets of Fellini films from La Strada through 8 1/2 to Satyricon. Now Fellini has given bent to his creative sympathies and made The Clowns ... More »


Arguably one of the greatest directors to have ever lived, Fellini forever changed the way we watched, understood and made film. This year MIFF is holding a special, one-off screening of his ... More »

Tired and unsure, a famous film director, about to start a new picture, goes to a spa near Rome, hoping that rest will restore his perspective. Joined by his co-workers who hound him with suggestions ... More »


The Bandit is the first Brazilian film to be shown in Australia. In 1953 it was awarded the prize for "films of adventure" at the Cannes Festival, being described as a "tragic-love story, played out ... More »

Conquest for Muzjilgi

In July, 1955, the inhabitants of Osh, a town in Kirghizia, witnessed the departure of a mountaineering party which set out to scale the heights of the Mazar Range in northwestern Pamirs. Though not ... More »

Chinese Checkers

Two lesbians play Chinese Checkers and ascend into dreamy, communication, each absorbing the other to bring their latent feelings to the surface. An underground movie in the American style. ... More »

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