This is an ever-evolving story of a girl writer and her two greatest loves, the movies and travel. As she hikes the trenches of Hollywood, you're brought along for the ride.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Dreaming and Awakening

Too many times, my day off evaporates like a droplet of oil on a hot griddle. I know I should've planned something, but before I know it, time's up. Likewise, time was almost up for other things, too...

It was closing this week... last chance to get my butt into gear to see The Academy's landmark Fellini exhibit, Fellini: Book Of Dreams. A showcase of Federico Fellini's massive dream notebooks, this is the exhibit's first appearance in the United States. With the cooperation of the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, the Fondazione Federico Fellini and the Fondazione Cinema per Roma, it is available for viewing and astonishingly enough-- free. Two days before the close of the exhibit, I finally made it!

Well worth the wait (and the drive) the Fellini exhibit was more expansive than I'd imagined. Fellini kept records-- sketchbooks, really-- of his dreams for the better part of thirty years (1960-1990.) He not only wrote out the details as he remembered them, but he illustrated his dreams whenever possible. His illustrations are vivid, fantastical, colorful, imaginative, and often circus-like. Many of Fellini's illustrated dreams seem familiar-- as a number of the images and/or themes later appeared in some of his films.

Fellini's actual "dream notebooks" are housed in a glass display, meaning the general public (for obvious reasons) cannot flip through them. Alternatively though, there is a computer touch screen that allows you to scroll through as many as 250 pages of Fellini dreams. The sheer volume is daunting, but extraordinarily intoxicating.

After viewing many of the articles on display, I scrolled through a handful of the digital notebook pages as well. Fellini's dreams ran the gamut from men on stilts to elephants, big-busted women, and firebursts of exploding blimps. I laughed aloud after reading Fellini's expressions of an erotic and wildly humorous, imagined romp with Sophia Loren. Men will be men... On the other side of the spectrum, I snickered at an illustration of a rather mundane dream: a horribly plugged toilet. There stands Fellini in front of the constipated throne-- overflowing with toilet paper and feces and "even a little Fiat!," as Fellini proclaims. Indeed, a little car is zooming its way out.

For Fellini, this expansive Book Of Dreams brought about a better understanding of his own subconscious as well as ideas for his films. For us today, it's also an incredible and inspiring look into the intimate workings of a vastly creative mind.

GO >> Fellini's Book Of Dreams-- through April 19, 2009 in the Academy's Grand Lobby Gallery: 8949 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills CA 90211

*Also through April 19 in the Academy's 4th floor Gallery:
GO >> Douglas Fairbanks: The First King Of Hollywood exhibit displays rare costumes, props, articles, and correspondence from the actor's career-- including his commemorative Oscar and a telegram from Charlie Chaplin.

Copyright 2009 by KLiedle

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