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Architecture on Film: Fellini's Roma

20 January 20:30 - 22:45
Organized by: The Architecture Foundation
Venue: Barbican
Silk Street



(Italy, France, 1972, Frederico Fellini, 120 mins)


100 years to the day after Fellini’s birth, the UK premiere of Cineteca di Bologna’s new 4K restoration of the Italian director’s bold, lavish and kaleidoscopic love letter to the Eternal City.


Arriving to Rome in the 1930s during the time of Mussolini, ‘Fellini’ (played by Peter Gonzales) arrives to an eccentric boarding house. Pleasures of gastronomy and the flesh, the sacred and profane, saturate a portrait of the physical and psychic depths of the city as the film proceeds into the present (1971), to find a place shared by Roman ruins, a new ring-road, brothels, vaudeville, hippies and even – in Fellini’s unforgettable ‘Ecclesiastical Fashion Show’ – roller-skating priests.


“A narrative that has a city for its protagonist instead of a single character… This is Fellini’s Rome and nobody else’s… The only sly thing is that the city isn’t Rome, it’s Fellini, disguised in bricks, mortar, and ruins.”– Rodger Ebert


Featuring cameos from Gore Vidal and Anna Magnani, and music by Nino Rota, Fellini’s open, episodic collage of fantastical tableaux combine to create a truly idiosyncratic piece of exuberant cinema, a fever dream and imaginarium folding Rome and Fellini’s biographies into a surreal, hallucinatory and irreverent ode to the Italian capital.