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The Journey of G. Mastorna
The Film Fellini Didn't Make
With the collaboration of Dino Buzzati, Brunello Rondi, and Bernardino Zapponi
Translated with a commentary by Marcus Perryman
226 pages, 6 illus., bibliog., index
ISBN 978-0-85745-970-1 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (August 2013)
ISBN 978-1-78238-230-0 $24.95/£19.95 Pb Published (August 2013)
eISBN 978-0-85745-971-8 eBook
“Perryman performs a superlative job in placing Mastorna's genesis, development, and ultimate abandonment in the context of the Fellini oeuvre, and he does even better when considering what Mastorna would have looked and sounded like, making reference to Fellini's notes, other unrealized projects, and the film's connections to Greek myth, postmodern science fiction, and It's a Wonderful Life. Through only 65 pages, Perryman's 'Imagining' is as dense as the script that inspired it, while leaving room for readers to envision the film for themselves.” • Film Comment
“Fellini’s unrealized film, The Journey of G. Mastorna, became [his] white whale after the smashing popular and commercial successes of La Dolce Vita and 8½ and the relative failure of Juliet of the Spirits. … [In this book] Marcus Perryman not only furnishes the reader, without access to the Italian script, a fine translation of the original but also an infinite amount of information about almost everything surrounding the place of Mastorna in Fellini’s life. He provides an invaluable contribution to the critical literature on Fellini… Even without the completed film, the reader fascinated with Fellini’s universe will find this unrealized script quite an adventure and a delight.” • Peter Bondanella, from the Preface
Federico Fellini’s script for perhaps the most famous unmade film in Italian cinema, The Journey of G. Mastorna (1965/6), is published here for the first time in full English translation. It offers the reader a remarkable insight into Fellini’s creative process and his fascination with human mortality and the great mystery of death. Written in collaboration with Dino Buzzati, Brunello Rondi, and Bernardino Zapponi, the project was ultimately abandoned for a number of reasons, including Fellini’s near death, although it continued to inhabit his creative imagination and the landscape of his films for the rest of his career.
Marcus Perryman has written two supporting essays which discuss the reasons why the film was never made, compare it to the two other films in the trilogy La Dolce Vita and 8½, and analyze the script in the light of It’s a Wonderful Life and Fredric Brown’s sci-fi novel What Mad Universe. In doing so he opens up an entire world of connections to Fellini’s other films, writers and collaborators. It should be essential reading for students and academics studying Fellini’s work.
Federico Fellini is considered to be one of Italy’s greatest modern film directors. He began his career working as a script writer for Roberto Rossellini but later, as a director, developed his own striking cinematic style, which blended memories, dreams, and fantasy and explored themes such as redemption, faith, and decadence. During his forty-year career he won five academy awards.
Marcus Perryman is the co-editor and co-translator with the distinguished British poet Peter Robinson of The Selected Poetry and Prose of Vittorio Sereni (Chicago University Press, 2006). He translated Orson Welles in Italy by Alberto Anile (Indiana University Press, 2013) and advised on the Italian translation of Naomi Klein’s No logo.