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Fellini - I'm a Born Liar

10 customer reviews

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(Dec 02, 2003)
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Editorial Reviews

What sets this film apart from other portraits of Fellini is that director Damian Pettigrew -- who knew Fellini fairly well after meeting him in 1983 -- was afforded a lengthy, privileged, unprecedented access to the man himself. Laced with interviews and classic clips, the film literally retraces Fellini’s footsteps with actors Donald Sutherland and Terence Stamp each contributing valuable insight into the Maestro’s working methods and madness.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Roberto Benigni, Federico Fellini, Terence Stamp, Donald Sutherland, Italo Calvino
  • Directors: Damian Pettigrew
  • Producers: Olivier Gal, Daniel Denis, Noé Mendelle, Herlé De Pol, Giovanni Quaregna
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English, Italian, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Alchemy / Millennium
  • DVD Release Date: December 2, 2003
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000D0YVM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #118,910 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Fellini - I'm a Born Liar" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Mastorna on August 21, 2004
Format: DVD
As a professional film editor and Fellini enthusiast (I own over 150 scholarly texts on Fellini published in English, Italian, French, German, Spanish, and Portuguese), I feel well equipped to assess whether a documentary on Fellini is remarkable or mediocre. I have viewed this film several times on DVD and conducted extensive research on the critical reviews it received in America and internationally. In my opinion, I'm a Born Liar is a remarkable feature-length study that takes the scholarship of Fellini and his complex personality forward in many subtle ways. There are several reasons for this assessment but I would like to share the seven most significant points with Amazon readers:

1) Anyone with a good knowledge of the great director's work will be impressed by the extreme rigor involved in "the paring down to essentials" that this film displays: and it does so without sacrificing content or clarity. 2) It is strikingly edited by one of France's best editors, Florence Ricard (she won the coveted French `César' for her work on Microcosmos). Ricard not only tailors the rhythm to capture Fellini's physical presence in long sequences filmed with two cameras, she deftly manipulates the interviews and archival footage so as to interact with the film clips in such a way that meaning is blended with ambiguity, a cinematic quality that Fellini himself would have appreciated. 3) Lavishly produced, the film is an archival goldmine. It exploits haunting imagery of past film locations interwoven with film clips and rare documentary footage rescued from the archival obscurity of Europe's major television networks. These lengthy clips showing the Maestro at work are a major attraction that will appeal to experts and novices alike.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Robert Carlberg on May 29, 2004
Format: DVD
It's rare after an artist passes away to find out anything new about him that surprises and delights you, but this documentary film, which draws heavily on Fellini's own work for inspiration and illumination, gives new insights into the oeuvre he left behind. We learn that Federico scripted everything out beforehand, then let the film lead him where it wanted. We learn that, far from fearing women (as he was often accused) Federico cannot imagine a life in which women do not complete the man. We learn that, although famously relentlessly hard on actors and actresses, he in fact adored them, and the puppetmaster wished he could have changed places with the puppets.
This is a valuable addition to Felliniana, and a suitable bookend to the legacy he left behind.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Martha Ann Kennedy on February 21, 2004
Verified Purchase
In the midst of working on a project about five of Fellini's films, I rented this DVD. I was absolutely stunned. Fellini's candor, the choices of cuts from several of his films, Pettigrew's sense of Fellini's gentleness, fury, determination and compassion I found all very moving. Interviews with Terence Stamp, Donald Sutherland, some of Fellini's producers, set designers, etc added a depth to this that made it much more than a paeon to Fellini. That he was a human being, fixated on the realization of his idea shows he was a true artist, and, at the same time, a challenge to work with. It is a film as visually stunning as Fellini's own works and as inspiring. If you are not familiar with Fellini's work this is probably not the film for you. Fellini is not -- in my opinion -- a huge challenge if you simply allow the images to do their magic, still, it would be better to start with Amarcord which is tender, funny, ironic and accessible.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Samurai Girl VINE VOICE on October 31, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
If you are interested - in even the most casual way - in how directors make their films, this gem of a small documentary will not only satisfy that idle curiosity, but absolutely enlighten you as to the processes of genius in action.

Fellini may outrage some and bore others-and somehow manages to do both things at the same time for some viewers! But, most people "get" his films. For those lucky ones who love Fellini, this documentary will give you additional pleasure and understanding of his work!

Fellini's films speak to the most secret, private, creative spirits of joy, love, loss and longing...those emotions and feelings we all share. What is more, he makes this communication through mostly visual means-crossing boundaries of time, space and culture to speak quietly, like a friend confiding a secret, or grandly as under the big top, with the smell of animals and sweat, and the wizened eyes of the clown under his makeup communicating with one look everything...Everything.

This film is crazy-cool: showing Fellini directing! It's crazy to see "Satyricon" and then, to see how he directed the threesome scene! Oh, my gosh, this film reveals the humanity, the warmth, the wit of the man more clearly even than the written word!

How does Fellini really communicate? It is the sound of his voice, the look in his eyes...those eyebrows that appear so forbidding in still photos (Fellini always complained of looking less attractive in photos than he felt he was...and ended by saying "why do I look so unattractive...? I suppose it is because I really look that way...") those brows that seem to frame an enormous intelligence and spirit when you see him speak. It is movement that reveals his reactions, his humor.
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