Too young to hear the drum beat of a world preparing for war, little Federico daydreamed on the shores of Italy’s Adriatic Sea. At night the boy soared over his provincial town, his head swimming with fantastical visions unconstrained by earthly boundaries and limitations.

As he came of age, Fellini found his soul in the heart of Rome. Through his work as a caricaturist and journalist he played a leading role in the city’s avant-garde scene and soon found his inspiration behind the film camera. Fellini held tight to the world of childhood, imagination and the dream state. His ability to capture the frailty and wonder of what it is to be human, and to find irony, humor and beauty in the life of post war Italy earned him four best Foreign Language Oscars. Film directors worldwide study his craft in neo-realist masterpieces such as I Vitellonni, La Strada, La Dolce Vita, and 8 1/2 the magic of which gave birth to the well-familiar addition to our lexicon—Felliniesque.

By Kate Fuglei

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Read the first chapter here.