The Fellini Maestro! exhibition, inaugurated on 4 October 2023 at the Fondation Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé as a marvellous exploration of Fellini's films and imagination, oFered its public a meeting with Milo Manara on 24 January, as a magnificent finissage event for this Fellinian presence in Paris. A year before Fellini's death, this great master of the 9th Art was able to give shape in a sumptuous comic strip to Fellini's mythical film, Il Viaggio di G. Mastorna, which had remained unfinished since 1966. Milo Manara catched the audience attention with adventures and work with Fellini. There were moments of great emotion and anecdotes underlining the kind of mystery that life around the Maestro always seemed to evoke - like the story of Fellini's hat, lost twice, once on a reconnaissance trip for a film in Mexico (Viaggio a Tulum), a film project also unfinished and later adapted into a comic strip by Manara and Fellini, and again, much later, on the Roman Raccordo Anulare towards Cinecittà, but each time found in his presence - Milo Manara recalled his immense friendship with the director of Otto e mezzo, emphasising how much this artistic dialogue has irradiated his work.
The meeting was preceded by a lecture by Stéphane Marti on Il Viaggo di G. Mastorna. Based on his study published in 2021, Fellini Le Miroir de Dante, a short film made for the occasion with Nicolas Brun, Vice-President of the Fellini Foundation, previously unpublished remarks by Fellini and documents from various collections presented by the Fellini Foundation, in particular the Keel Collection in Zurich and the Jacqueline Risset Archives in Rome, the lecture highlighted the connections between Fellini's unfinished project and the genre of the catabasis, a descent into the Underworld at the heart of the myth of Orpheus, Virgil's Aeneid and La Divina Commedia. Although Il Viaggio di G. Mastorna was never made, its influence, Fellini even admitted it, seems to have overshadowed all his films from the mid-1960s until his last opus, La voce della luna, presented in 1990. The lecture was followed by a screening of an extract from Block-notes di un Regista, Fellini's 1969 hybrid film, a kind of pseudo-documentary set amid the ruins of the Mastorna set, and a program of forthcoming films.
To continue the story of this famous Fellini hat: after a few recent vicissitudes, this mythical object can now be found with other legendary pieces from the Fellini world, such as the claps from Amarcord and Casanova, in the Collection of the Fellini Foundation in Sion. As luck would have it, this hat shouldn't be lost a third time...
The Fellini Foundation, through its Board of Trustees, would like to express its sincere thanks to the Fondation Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé for the honour of being associated with this prestigious exhibition.
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