In 1963, with the revolutionary "8 1/2", Federico Fellini put his deepest desires and anxieties before the lens - and changed the art of cinema. Now, more than forty years later, film critic and Fellini's long-time friend Tullio Kezich has written the work against which all other biographies of the filmmaker will be measured. In this moving and intimately revealing account of a lifetime spent in pictures, Kezich utilises his friendship with Fellini to step outside the mythologies that surround him - many of which are of the director's own making. A great lover of women and a meticulous observer of dreams, Fellini, perhaps more than any other director of the twentieth century, created films that embodied a thoroughly modern sensibility, eschewing traditional narrative along with religious and moral precepts. His is the art of delicate pathos, of episodic films that directly address the intersection of reality, fantasy, and desire that existed as a product of mid-century Italy - a country that was reeling from a Fascist regime as it struggled with an outmoded Catholic national identity.
As Kezich reveals, the dilemmas Fellini presents in his movies reflect not only his personal battles but also those of Italian society. The result is a biography that explores both the machinations of cinema and the man who most grandly embraced the full spectrum of its possibilities.