"There is no end. There is no beginning. There is only the passion of life." - F. FelliniAs an artist, I strive to find the humanity in my characters even in the most inhumane situations. Behind the cacophony of events, there's a hand, a brain, and ultimately, a heart. A maestro at accomplishing this was Federico Fellini who would have been 91 this week. His films have been a deep source of inspiration since I discovered La Dolce Vita (1960) for the first time about twenty years ago.
I still get mesmerized by the "helicopter Christ" scene, the graceful flight of the saviour over the skyline of Rome that opens the film. Christ is plucked from his pedestal and brought back down to earth. Then there's the sweet tenderness in the face of Giulietta Masina at the end of Nights of Cabiria (1957).
Fellini's films reveal the entire spectrum of human endeavor with nothing but a lust for life offered as explanation for any transgressions, perceived or actual.
As the closing scene of La Dolce Vita suggests - Fellini, as played by Marcello Mastroianni, has nothing to feel sorry for, nothing to be ashamed of in his pursuit of life's passions and pleasures. The young girl, representing the future and absolution, sees him for what he is and casts no judgment but an affectionate smile. And in the end, that's all each can hope for...or deserves.