Federico Fellini, Italian motion picture director (b. 1920 – 1993)

This is the opening of the film La Dolce Vita by Federico Fellini (1920-1993). La Dolce Vita has many scenes where Fellini uses lights as dramatic agents in order to intensify a scene.

In La Dolce Vita, Fellini shows a television remote unit covering the events of an alleged miracle. Young children pretend to have seen the Virgin Mary descend from Heaven and heard her speak to them. There is a lot of confusion. Fellini uses close-ups of lighting instruments being turned on, shining their cold, controlled light beams over the highly emotional, ecstatic crowd. To counterpoint even more the discrepancy between the highly emotionally charged crowd, which represents the uncritical world of blind faith, and the analytical and soulless modern age as symbolized by the lighting instruments and cameras, he shows a tight close-up of a huge Fresnel lens bursting in the first seconds of a chilling downpour.

Source: Sight, Sound, Motion by Herbert Zettl

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Filed under Applied Media Aesthetics, Fellini

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