Federico Fellini

Icons of the Century

Paddy Chayefsky’s formula for figuring a story was: “Who is your hero, what does he want and what’s stopping him?”

Fellini’s formula for creating his masterpiece “8½” was a hero named Guido, a director who wants to make a movie and is being stopped by not knowing what movie to make.

So thank God 21st-century Hollywood filmmakers are finding inspiration in comicbooks and not in Fellini films, as did American directors of the ’60s and ’70s. We’d have films with existential angst and dark social commentary like “La Dolce Vita,” or explorations of the feminine psyche like “Juliet of the Spirits,” powerful fables like “La Strada” and wild historical hallucinations like “Satyricon.”

What kind of a business would that be?

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