The film director Frederico Fellini is often thought of as heady, art-film neorealist auteur, dealing in heavy themes. So imagine my surprise when, a Sunday morning a few years ago, my six-year-old daughter noticed my DVD copy of Fellni’s film La Strada, asked me about the people on the cover, then sat down and watched it with me—and loved it.
The truth is that for all his seriousness, Fellini was frequently funny and childlike in his directing style. Now, to celebrate the centennial of the director’s birth, the Castro Theater hosts Fellini 100, an all-day celebration with four Fellini films: La Strada, Juliet of the Spirits, Amarcord, and I Vitelloni. I may be biased, but if you’re a newcomer to Fellini’s work, start with La Strada—a charming, slightly dark movie about a brutish traveling strongman and his partner, with brilliant star roles for Anthony Quinn and Guilietta Masina. Fellini 100 gets underway on Saturday, March 7, at the Castro Theater in San Francisco. Details here.—Gabe Meline