i was reading this book called "150 Great Directors" or some such title and went straight to the section on Fellini and was disheartened to see the sorry sod had repeated the same old claptrap everybody who's never seen a Fellini film likes to say (like the joke in Annie Hall): sure, La Strada was a great film, but after 8 1/2 he just got indulgent and messy. My god that annoys me. Amarcord, for example, is post-8 1/2, and its one of the most beautiful films i've ever seen. And this "indulgent" business, i've never understood - what is an artist, after all, if not someone who satisfies their own whims. Who else's whims do they have to satisfy? And if such whims exist, if they follow those instead of their own, are they an artist at all? Maybe its just the old trouble of the movie business having its hand in both honeypots of art and commerce - those who are trying to judge based on commerce, appealability-to-the-ticketbuyers and convention, would naturally say that early Fellini has wider appeal than later Fellini, but those same people would also have to say that 2001 is "indulgent." But a circle of people who consider movies an art form would say that an artist who follows their whims to their fullest like Kubrick of Fellini (or Welles, when they let him, but he suffered from other circumstances and starting much earlier than the others) is much truer than someone like Scorcese who (by his own admission, and with Gangs of New York as a prime example) does his best to try and work with the business-side of Hollywood and make movies that will both satisfiy his artistic inclinations and make money.
Holy hell what a diatribe! I feel like Mel Gibson!
You may remember me from such sites as imdb, amazon and criterionforum as Ben Cheshire.