This picture will be science fiction. You are astonished? But science fiction can be in the past as well as the future. This picture is a trip back to Nero’s time, and that means it is a trip into an unknown dimension. What do we know about the Romans? This has made problems for me. My other pictures have all been autobiographical to one degree or another… But now I must become detached, and that has been very hard work.
First I have to invent this world of Nero. Then I must see it from a very narrow point of view, so it will appear foreign and unknown. I am examining ancient Rome as if this were a documentary about the customs and habits of the Martians. To be detached from your own creation is unnatural—I must look on my son as a stranger…
Because the film is so detached, the sex in it will not be erotic. Everyone says Fellini is making a dirty movie. But everything will be abstract, detached. The sex in SATYRICON will be like those ancient Indian statues on the positions of love. Even as you see a woman kissing a monster, it means nothing, because it is so old, so far away, from another civilization…
If you see with innocent eyes, everything is divine… All artists are equal when they are themselves. — Federico Fellini
Wednesday, January 22, at 7 pm.
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Federico Fellini, Fellini Satyricon (1969), from top: Hiram Keller; Keller and Martin Potter (right); Mario Romagnoli (right); Fellini with actor on set; Fellini Satyricon; Capucine; U.S. poster; Fellini Satyricon; Keller.