Fellini of Rome

I have not matured enough to discuss Fellini or Rome, but I visited Margutta street where Fellini I lived with Giulietta Masina, so I decided to jot some things down.

Fellini left his home Rimini, which he depicted in Amarcord, and came to Rome when he was 17 under the Mussolini government.
It was inevitable to enter the movie industry from the scenarios of Rossellini’s “Roma città apert.
The atmosphere here is well depicted in the vulgar scenes of Trastevere neighborhood in “Fellini’s Roma.

“Fellini’s Roma” shows chaos and freedom.
The confusion of war, hippies in 72, motorcycles racing by, or the bizarre and brilliant fashion shows by priests, they are all the same Roma.
The scene where the old Fresco drawings disappear as soon as it touches modern air is an homage to uncertainty of beauty.

“La Dolce Vita”.
From the intro when the helicopter hangs the statue of Christ to the scene where Silvia and Marcello climb up the stairs of St. Peter's Basilica, it represents the chaos of modern and old times.
(When I visited St. Peter's Basilica, the “holy gates” which only opens once every 25 years was open. Apparently, having gone through the gate, all my sins have been forgiven.)

Fatigue and depravation. You reach for the elegant lady but you can’t get her.
The intelligent elite professor kills himself, taking his family with him.
Cannot be saved. Cannot be saved.
Fellini says the Rome he draws in “La Dolce Vita” is “The town in my imagination”.
The monument that remains on Veneto street.
Tired from the party, Marcello finds a dead body of an ugly fish/stingray.
What awaits us past disorder and despair.
The screaming voice of the beautiful girl on the shores do not get to him. Marcello says “Chao” and turns around.
Suburbs of Rome, Ostia shores.
Today, these are shining resorts.

Similarly at Ostia shores, Guido, impersonated by Mastroianni, is told “Chao” by Saraghina, a strange girl dancing the Rumba at “8 1/2”.
A beautiful and sad parting from boyhood.
A beach that shines on the history of film.

In “8 1/2” Fellini filmed himself.
The title came from the number of pieces he had shot up to that point. He thought of the structure while he was driving to Ostia.
He filmed it on site and he improvised based on instinct.
You could say it was Nouvelle Vague.

This shore is known as a place where Pasolini was killed after filming “Salò”.

“Life is a festival”
The last scene of “8 1/2” where he runs in circles is one of the best 3 ending scenes (for me) next to Ferdinand exploding in Godard’s “Pierrot Le Fou” and the long take on the beach in Kenji Mizoguchi’s “Sansho the Bailiff”. Although apparently “Pierrot Le Fou” is an homage to Mizoguchi.
They are all shot on the beach.

Fellini uses plazas like these very preciously.
Anita Ekberg walks into an empty Trevi Fountain with a kitten on her head.
A famous scene from “La Dolce Vita”.
Drew the holy plaza with strong paintbrush strokes.

Renzi Park is where the boxing match takes place in “Fellini’s Roma”.
Plazas like these are what makes Italy, Italy.

I visited a village called Bagnoregio in Lazio, where “La Strada” was shot.
Was Gelsomina here, or Zampano...?
I could not find out,

Right across from there, the “Castle in the Sky” called Civita was enshrined.
I hear it is the model for Miyazaki Hayao’s “Castle in the Sky”.

The white spa in “8 1/2” was Chianciano Terme, near Siena, Toscana.
It was a sad village.
Fellini kept drawing elegant women.
But maybe he was looking for tranquility.

Yes, just like Marcello and Guido.


Udon in Italy

I keep traveling.
Normally, the Siena plaza is big and calm, but during Palio di Siena, a horse race that takes place twice a year, things get ugly. It is too narrow for 10 horses to race and many riders fall off and horses fall.
What do the locals eat while they get heated up with the thrilling race?

They eat “Udon”.
Thick hard noodles made with wheat and water. Italian Udon, made in Toscana.
It is quite different from spaghetti.
It is called PICI.
In front of Siena park, people eat cream and bacon PICI.
It takes a lot of effort to chew on.
This is interesting. I will walk around and try these.

I came to the supposedly number 1 cafeteria in Siena.
Italian Udon, PICI was a popular menu here too.
A strong culture of wheat.

Italian Udon PICI is strong.
But it has no taste of salt.
So you want to eat it with sauce that has a strong taste.
Wild boar ragoût is the classic sauce.
Toscana is the countryside.

A small village called San Quirico in Toscana.
In Japan, they used to call wheat, Merican powder.
This is because they imported them from America.
They should have called it Tarian powder.

Garlic tomato PICI is thick, hard, and unrefined. I want to chew on it forever.
As I eat, I think to myself, Japanese Udon has a lot of potential.
The sun is still up, but bring on the thick red wine and Grappa!
Italian Udon PICI, duck ragoût @ San Quirico.
A famous comedian from back in the day once said Udon was a drink. He actually drank it.
I respected that.

Montepulciano, an old village on top of Mt. Toscana.
Later, I practiced drinking Udon without chewing on it for a few days.
I was a child but I tried it with soft udon from Osaka, so I was able to do it.
No way I can do it with Italian Udon, PICI.

Italian Udon PICI, tomato garlic.
Thick. Hard. Strong.
There was another comedian who would eat Udon, sneeze, and pull out noodles form his nose.
I cannot do that with these noodles. I would get a nosebleed.
But I’m eating tomato sauce so I guess it’s okay.

Wild boar ragoût, a classic sauce for Italian Udon, PICI.
But there’s more boar meat than noodles.
Ragoût with PICI.
Can I get some strong red wine from Toscana?
Also, do you have any white rice?

Next to the state of Toscana is Umbria, Assisi.
Here too the Italian Udon awaits the pilgrims.
It is the same thickness and stiffness, but instead of PICI, it is called Strangozzi.
This name gives it a better sense of how strong it is.

Cream and black pepper Strangozzi.
Simple, but its strength stands out.

Orvieto, top of Mt. Umbria.
Upon arrival, a dignified strong cathedral from the 13th century awaits the pilgrims, and they cry.
Eat Italian Udon and wipe your tears.

This store had shortened pasta, so they called it Umbrian pasta instead of Strangozzi.
Stiff noodles and ragoût with strong tomatoes.
Orvieto is known for its strong white wine.
That too please.

Sorry, I cheated on you at the end.
This is Tagliatelle.
It said artichoke pasta, so I couldn’t stop myself from ordering it.

The end.