Fellini: I’m A Born Liar

Fellini: I’m A Born Liar


Reviewed by: George Williamson

Federico Fellini was one of the world's most renowned filmmakers. His brand of fantastic cinema is hugely respected and yet often difficult to comprehend. Damian Pettigrew's documentary is somewhat similar. It delves deep, with much detail, interviewing the man himself and several important actors who worked with him.

The problem from the outset is that, like many of Fellini's films, it makes no concessions to understanding, jumping wildly and directionless, loosing the viewer. I'm sure that for aficionados, it will be a rare insight into the life, but for the less avid cinemagoer, who has seen only a fraction of the work, it is a stunningly tedious, incomprehensible, pretentious pile of cack.

Copy picture

It would be acceptable if this was the way documentaries are made, but having seen so many good ones recently, which work well, regardless of personal knowledge of the subject, it is almost unforgivable to produce something so impenetrable to the casual viewer.

The interview with the maestro is long-winded and unedited, as he rambles on about everything from his directorial technique to his upbringing. The title, I'm A Born Liar, stems from conversations with Terence Stamp, Donald Sutherland, and Roberto Benigni, who contradict his statements and generally paint a more plausible picture of the man, as a micro-dictator on the set.

The worst parts of the documentary are scenes of rural Italy, shot by Pettigrew, punctuating the interviews in a pointless way - pretty but void. Rather than sit though the film, I'd recommend you go and see Fellini's instead. They are just as pretentious, but infinitely more interesting.

Reviewed on: 22 Aug 2002
Share this with others on...
Fellini: I’m A Born Liar packshot
Documentary of a final interview with Federico Fellini, plus rare footage.
Amazon link

Read more Fellini: I’m A Born Liar reviews:

David Stanners **1/2

Director: Damian Pettigrew

Starring: Roberto Benigni, Italo Calvino, Federico Fellini, Terence Stamp, Donald Sutherland

Year: 2001

Runtime: 100 minutes

Country: Italy/ France/ UK


Search database: