Federico Fellini directs INTERVISTA in which he is a player. While apparently directing a film adaptation of Kafka's AMERIKA, Fellini takes the viewer on a journey into his past, including an apparently semi-autobiographical portrait of him as a young reporter and numerous personalities from earlier films. Unfortunately, INTERVISTA is so relentlessly confusing that only the most hard-core Fellini fan will appreciate it.
A film within a film within a film, Italian film director Federico Fellini’s INTERVISTA offers Fellini in front of the camera as well as behind it. The great director is about to embark on another film, his version of Kafka’s AMERIKA, when a Japanese film crew arrives to do a documentary on Fellini. Preparing for his new film, Fellini regales the Japanese, and the viewer, with his vivid memories of his first visit to the mammoth Cinecitta studios. Fellini closely controls his film and even directs his own flashback, casting director-writer-actor Sergio Rubini in the role of the young reporter Fellini. In INTERVISTA, Fellini continually cuts back and forth between the past and the present and offers the viewer a glimpse of him at work. Elements from his previous films are strewn all about the set, as are the multitude of bizarre characters, animals and props. One touching scene reunites Anita Ekberg and Marcello Mastroianni as they look back at their own celluloid past in LA DOLCE VITA.
Regrettably, INTERVISTA lacks a discernible plot and, as a result, becomes confusing. It is more an experimental work from which young filmmakers might learn. At worst, the film represents art for the sake of art produced on film. Although this is vintage Fellini, it also illustrates that he has crossed the border from true art to self-indulgence: he has become a “Sunday painter” as one critic has remarked.
(L, N) 5 obscenities & reference to masturbation; one brief glimpse of upper female nudity.