"Too straightforward to honor Fellini, even as a doc."
Released in honor of Fellini’s death ten years ago, Damian Pettigew’s documentary takes a look at the revered director from the perspective of his past casts and crew members.Some share how they initially became involved with him, and others give their anecdotes. There is some meat in what a few have to say (especially Terence Stamp’s enthusiastic memories and impressions), and a lot of repetition — both by actors and Fellini himself in old clips — of his idea of being a puppetmaster and controlling his actors, the puppets. (“Mastroianni’s the only one who didn’t give a damn.”) There are conflicts, pitting the interviewees in archival footage, particularly between Fellini’s relationship with actors (Donald Sutherland, being very unenthusiastic), but nothing can be taken for much since the majority of the movie comes across as choice clips and brief statements taken partially out of context. Little appears to be filmed for the movie itself, or at least within the last decade, and the caliber tends to be less than a Bravo profile. Another detriment is the neglect to identify whom is being interviewed, until the very end when it’s too late to care. With Roberto Benigni.[See it if you must.]