February 4 ~  With Childlike Wonder Fellini on Fellini

"An artist is a child always and sees things with childlike wonder. That is what makes him an artist." ~ Federico Fellini

An artist with a unique vision, Italian movie director Federico Fellini (1920-1993) maintained his childlike wonder and celebrated visual splendor in his very personal films.

"All art is autobiographical," he explained when asked about his inner-life creations. "The pearl is the oyster's autobiography."

Born in Rimini, Italy, the colorful Fellini, a visionary, sketched fantasy drawings, which he called "the dramatic tale of the unconscious." He invented the word "paparazzo" to describe celebrity-hunting photographers.

"There is no end. There is no beginning," he revealed. "There is only the infinite passion of life."

Considered a motion picture pioneer, he masterfully created 20 films, including: La Dolce Vita (1960), 8-1/2 (1963), and Amacord (1974). For inspiration, Fellini tapped his dreams and fantasies, examining life, sometimes with bawdy desire, sometimes with tender melancholy.

"The visionary is the only true realist," he said. "Everyone lives in his fantasy world, but most people don't understand that."

Fellini used film to boldly, fearlessly, celebrate life, with vivid images of Catholicism, the circus, Rome, and more. He took chances. He didn't care about failure. "One of the greatest handicaps is to fear a mistake," he said. "You have stopped yourself. You have to move freely into the arena."

"Don't wait for perfection. You cannot schedule a golden moment at will. Even from making a bad film you learn something. And perhaps it takes you on a path to something better."

In tribute, director Martin Scorsese observed, "Fellini was continuously rediscovering the cinema, reinventing it, exploring its unique properties, those that set film apart from any other art."

Health, Mind & BodyHold on to your childlike wonder.