cover image Federico Fellini: His Life and Work

Federico Fellini: His Life and Work

Tullio Kezich, , Trans. from the Italian by Minna Proctor with Viviana Mazza. . Faber & Faber, $27.50 (444pp) ISBN 978-0-571-21168-5

This is a revised and updated edition of Kezich's 1988 biography of Fellini (1920–1993), one of several books the Italian film critic has written about his longtime friend since the two met at a film festival in the early 1950s. Despite the close author-subject connection, however, the biography rarely presents an intimate view of the director, preferring to view Fellini primarily through the prism of his films and other work. Much of what readers learn of Fellini's life before movies, for example, comes through Kezich's examination of Fellini's old newspaper columns and radio scripts; the personal, conversely, is largely reduced to the anecdotal. The translation, which sets a conversational, at times flippant, tone by using the present tense, reinforces the lightness of Kezich's account, suggesting early on that it's up to readers whether to believe what they read. As a guided tour through films like 1960's La Dolce Vita and 1963's , with unusual side paths, like the discussion of an aborted collaboration with Carlos Castaneda, this is entertaining enough, but fans hoping for more than an occasional glimpse of the man behind the movies will have to keep looking. B&w illus. (Mar.)