Sunday, 30 August 2009

Federico Fillini's Casanova



Federico Fellini's 1976 film with Donald Sutherland is a veritable masterpiece. Having never watched a Fellini flick before I was hesitant on why so many higher-brow film buffs think him genius. Now, I can't speak for his other work but certainly Casanova is a film that moved me inspirationally.

If you are familiar with Casanova, the film faithfully follows the quandary Giacomo had in life, being an entrepreneur and a diarist he was cast as a "sex machine" by reputation. His writing is much like Pepys, not a lot of literary merit in the sense of ornate or sophisticated writing, but rather a document to the times and his affairs. His writing is not explicit, not like Nicolas-Edme Rétif or the Marquis de Sade - and it is important to remind oneself that he was a bit before their time - indeed Casanova was rather like Vladimir Mayakovsky, obsessed with the concept of Love. 



Federico, spills onto the screen a lavish philosophy of aesthetics and design. Acceptance of humanities urges towards Perversion and Meta-Ethical Morals are all fleshed out in Fellini's film. A friend of mine on FBI (FaceBook Inc) sent me this quote by Fellini when I Updated my Status to show I had watched the movie - "Everyone lives in his own fantasy world, but most people don't understand that. No one perceives the real world. Each person simply call his private, personal fantasies the Truth. The difference is that I know I live in a fantasy world. I prefer it that way and resent anything that disturbs my vision."

This is an area of study of mine, it dates back to ideas by Arthur Schopenhauer who preceded Sartre's and Nietzsche's ideas on Existentialism. It goes beyond that, is there such a thing as "Aesthetialism"? Fellini obviously understood this patch of philosophy and visually succeeded in mapping it out on screen with Casanova. Donald Sutherland makes a remarkable performance amongst tiny blink and you'll miss it cameos by a sea of well known actors. If you are quick you'll catch the likes of Nicholas Smith from "Are you being served" and  Aubrey Morris from "A Clockwork Orange".

My wife and I watched this film appropriately, I stewed Quail wrapped in Russian Kale in a Tawny Port and Beef Broth sauce surrounded by a moat of Netttle Champ, and framed with a simple Garden Salad drizzled with homemade Parsley Mayonnaise followed by Sago Pudding infused with Vanilla Essence, Coconut Cream, Banana, nested on bottled Strawberries and topped  with Passionfruit Pulp. Completed by a drop of Port and an Apple.

There 'aint half been some clever bastards as Ian Dury would say, and Fellini can now go in my Good Books.

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