Il Casanova di Federico Fellini - Fellini's Casanova

"For to understand them and to love them one must suffer at their hands". Casanova

 "For to understand them and to love them one must suffer at their hands". Casanova


☆ Masterpiece 


Il Casanova di Federico Fellini - Fellini's Casanova (1976) is a magnificent portrait of a complex historical figure.

Directed by Federico Fellini.

Starring Donald SutherlandTina Aumont and Daniel Emilfork among many others.


What a strange, poetic film. Fellini's Casanova is visually arresting, disturbingly satirical and an artistic marvel. Instead of rowing a boat in water Fellini has Sutherland dip his oars into black plastic sheets in hurricane level squalls which at first I thought, this film has a very small budget, then as I drowned in Federico's mad fantasy I realized that Fellini's Casanova was being consumed by his own lifeless desires.

Federico stated that he hated Giacomo Casanova and sought to show his deceitful, boastful, arrogance. Once Fellini began writing he started feeling pity for Casanova. Donald being a truly gifted actor sought to add an elegance to Casanova that was not in the script. The titanic arguments that erupted during filming between two massively gifted artists created a unique well rounded portrait a very complex man.

Viewing Sutherland's masterful work in which I see he is desperately and vainly trying to portray Giacomo as graceful, beautiful, wise, talented and sensitive. Frederico meanwhile forces Donald into brassieres, facial makeup, partly shaved forehead with curly golden locks of hair on the sides of his head blend to make a truly unique character portrait of a well documented historical figure.  Donald looks like a transvestite after a drunken brawl. I could not understand Sutherland's marvelous contrasting character choices which elevated the performance until I read that Frederico and Donald clashed bitterly throughout the production about how to portray Casanova. Sutherland sought to make him wise, dignified and smart. Fellini sought to portray Giacomo as a disgusting, lued, power hungry social climber. The result is a beautifully twisted, disturbing, haunting portrait of a much admired historical lothario. Once you understand the creative fight between actor and director the films true beauty emerge. The decadence of the sets, costumes, music contrasts luminously with Sutherland's sophisticated, witty and gentle performance. Actor and director choices merge into a beautifully stark, funny, poignant and painful portrait of a much admired man.

The scene below was added by Fellini once he saw Donald's work in the nun scene. Federico started feeling sorry for Casanova, because he did not know how to love someone. Sutherland is simply magnificent in his honesty and simplicity in his character portrayal.







Trivia - Fellini saw Casanova as an evil character because "he did not love." Originally the script was very hard on the Casanova. After filming the scene of Casanova and the nun Federico began to sympathize with Casanova's inability to love, Fellini then added the character of the mechanical doll and the dream ending.
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I love about the interview clip below with Fellini is how he equates art with math. To Federico his art was as calculated as math. Fellini actually had his actors count out loud while doing a scene and he would yell out directions as follows, at count 6 move your right hand up and turn your head towards camera. Then later in post he would have the actors dub their lines into a scene.


Fellini Interview




Film Photos - Posters



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Note - If you would like to view Il Casanova di Federico Fellini - Fellini's Casanova to rent or buy please click on the link below the comments. It is sponsored by Google, so it is the safest and most secure way to get a copy for your film library.