Federico prepares "Fellini Casanova"
“Fellini Casanova” combines realism with fakery. Donald Sutterland’s acting, camera and actors’ staging and space organization all fit “natural” representation of reality. Plastic bags pretending to be sea do not. Then there is a third stylistic element: grotesqueness of secondary characters and their costumes.
Can naturalism be smoothly combined with breaking off the cinematic “fourth wall” and with outrageous, flamboyant stylistic choices?
Why does the Maestro do that? Some say the directorial maneuvers of Fellini spring from him despising the main character and his world. This interpretation assumes that we the viewers have to suffer a bit because the film is about a shallow man for who sex is plastic and shallow.
Indeed, contrary to the tangible intoxication with the world displayed in “La Dolce Vita”, “Amarcord” or “8 1/2” not much joy is on the screen of “Casanova”.
“The defiance of realism is total” somebody wrote at imdb - I would say not really total, but there are glimpses of yearning to transcend it. What Fellini started in "Casanova" Lars von Trier expended upon in "Dogville"
Another contributor at imdb wrote: “It is clear, anyway, that after 8 1/2 he could only go this way - towards a progressive abandonment of any kind of mimetic "realism". - that’s clever but I don’t think the film fully supports this statement. At lease not from the 2012 perspective.
From jet another imdb review: “This is Fellini's last great movie. After this he seemed to get so disgusted with the modern world that he withdrew intellectually; you see this a lot in older men. They turn away then they get out of touch.” - that’s too easy of an assertion for my taste. While some geezers indeed go misanthropic, film directors on screen usually don’t. The joy of filmmaking prevents them from doing so. Would Fellini be different?