Federico Fellini was born on January 20, 1920, and at a very young age, he began his career as a caricaturist. The influence of this period is noticeable in the rest of his work, especially in film, where the characterization of the disproportionate characters with far-fetched features seemed to take up again those beginnings in caricature.

Federico Fellini always considered cinema inferior to other artistic manifestations such as painting and literature. In his work, he strove to "settle" some of that debt, to create structures that would move cinema away from the simple visualization of a story. He always wanted to be remembered as a creator, a thinker, or an artist, without the label of "filmmaker", which he considered a kind of contempt.

Federico Fellini started in journalism, reviewing and writing chronicles of various shows, through this work he would eventually reach the radio. In Rome, where he had migrated in 1939 to study law, he acquired certain notoriety among young readers for the cartoons and serialized stories he published in the magazine Marco Aurelio, as well as coming into contact with the comedian Aldo Fabrizi, with whom he collaborated intensely in the following years as the author of gags for his shows.

In 1940 he ventured into radio writing short comic pieces for a production conducted by Macario, who in those years had a radio series on the air. Although it was an economic necessity that led him to venture into this medium, it was undoubtedly very relevant in his artistic career: on the one hand, it put Federico Fellini in contact with many writers who would eventually link him directly to film production and, on the other hand, it was of great importance for his training and the acquisition of expressive tools, dialogue management, sounds, and other technical and conceptual elements.

Although it is difficult to ponder the importance of the filmmaker's radio experience, it is not difficult to find in Federico Fellini's works a development of the sound aspect that goes beyond simple correction. We know that the dialogues of his films were reworked in the studio after shooting, and often the director despised direct sound as limiting. On the other hand, in the recording room, the actors reinterpreted and repeated the audio takes as much as they had done with the image, even privileging the expressive aspect of the dialogues and sounds over absolute synchrony.

The term "Fellinesque" is used in cinema to refer to a scene that has been altered by adding hallucinatory images.

Another aspect in which Fellini's "ear" can be appreciated is in the intense relationship that his cinema has with the work of Nino Rota, whose music became the perfect signature of Fellinian cinema, with a combination of carnivalesque spirit and a sense of melancholy. Federico Fellini's circus-like vision of the world finds in Rota's music its ideal complement. Thus, the collaboration between these artists took shape in fourteen of the twenty-four films shot by the director.

Beyond the musical aspect, throughout the twenty-four feature films he shot during his lifetime, Fellini knew how to interweave the themes he was passionate about. His cinema shows veneration for childhood memories, his stories are marked by nostalgia for the paradise lost in puberty, as well as by an eroticism that is often far removed from romance. It was not for nothing that Federico Fellini said he would have liked to have once filmed a love story.

The imprint of creative freedom is felt with an impulse that moves Federico Fellini's cinema, where his characters are entangled in the search for their freedom. In each of his films, one can find someone who, suffocated by his environment, appeals to his own free will, to his absolute determination, although these characters often clash with reality. Thus, in La Strada (1954), Matto tries to make Gelsomina aware of the slavery to which Zampanó subjects her, but this struggle leads to his death; La dolce vita (1960) recounts how society impedes the freedom of the individual, in a glamorous environment; Rehearsal of the Orchestra (1978) uses the figure of the conductor in front of his orchestra to make an allegory of the control and authoritarian subjection that human beings endure.

One of Federico Fellini's most iconic films

Guido (Marcello Mastroianni) is a successful film director who wanders, wanders as if searching for meaning. He is harassed by all those around him: the producer, the actors, and the technical crew of the film for which they have been summoned and which Guido is unable to start. Eight and a Half (8½) is a film about impotence, the impossibility of making, but also about nostalgia, about the sadness of existence and the meaninglessness of life; it includes, however, great moments of joy and hope.

With just eight and a half films directed before, Fellini approached the realization of this film with a multi-star cast that includes several of the most important stars of the moment: along with Mastroianni, we can mention Claudia Cardinale, Anouk Aimée, or Sandra Milo, among many others. A film within a film, film tells the story of creative impotence and uses the representation of a series of images that haunt the director. He is surrounded by his memories, his dreams, and his desires in a carnival in which Guido is permanently in a line of flight, in an atmosphere between nostalgia and celebration, very close to the spirit of the circus, to which our director felt so close.

Guido, throughout Eight and a Half (8½), tries to vindicate his freedom in front of the production, but making any decision implies facing the impossibility of carrying it out fully without having to condescend to those around him. Unable to run away forever, eventually, as a director, he must confront them all in a libertarian explosion. In this film, as in the rest of his work, Fellini speaks of the tragedy of life that happens because of the impossibility of freedom -in this case, creative freedom- in the face of the world as a construction, as a spectacle.

On October 31, 1993, Federico Fellini died of a heart attack one day after a day after celebrating his 50th wedding anniversary with Giuletta wedding anniversary with Giuletta Masina.

By: Javier Ramírez, Source: radio.unam.mx