Fellini: I'm a Born Liar (2002)

Genres - Film, TV & Radio  |   Sub-Genres - Biography, Film & Television History  |   Release Date - Apr 2, 2003 (USA - Limited)  |   Run Time - 105 min.  |   Countries - France , United Kingdom , Italy   |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Todd Kristel

This documentary appears to be intended for people who are already Fellini fans. It does not provide a lot of background information on the director's life and career; the film clips (including extensive footage from 8 1/2) are not identified; the shots recreating original locations from Fellini's films are not identified; and the interview subjects are not identified until the end credits. However, some aspects of this film may disappoint diehard Fellini fans, as well. It devotes relatively little attention to the earlier stages of his career, concentrating instead on later films such as Spirits of the Dead and Casanova; it doesn't offer much insight into Fellini or critical analysis of his work; and director Damian Pettigrew didn't shape the film clips, location shots, archival production footage, and talking-heads interviews into a cohesive narrative (or display the level of imagination that enabled Fellini to get away with his own creative flights of fancy). Nonetheless, this documentary does offer viewers a chance to see interview footage with actors Donald Sutherland (who refers to Fellini as a "martinet" and "demon"), Terence Stamp (whose impression of Fellini is hilarious), and Roberto Benigni (who is also amusing), as well as others, including cameraman Giuseppe Rotunno, screenwriter Tullio Pinelli, author Italo Calvino, and, of course, Fellini himself. This is the reason for Fellini fans to watch this movie, despite its flaws.