The Moon’s Voice (by Federico Fellini)
by Ciro Discepolo
Fellini asks himself, in his last film The Moon’s Voice if it is right
closing the dripping faucets. Really it is an ancient and important question
that moves the more open minds of the national and international intellighenzia
of every time. The characteristic of the “doctor”, with the raincoat
and the briefcase in his hand, almost to indicate his condition of perennial
hastiness in relation to the problems that he should help to examine, declares
that where there is a shutter that risks to permit filtering liquids it is
better to close it, to be more tranquil.
But, Fellini, instead, prefers to go down in the tubes, to go exploring the
deep wells of the Padan countrysides but that could be even the beautiful
ones of Capri’s cottages.
The author of Eight and a Half is fascinated by the selenic hydraulics of
the night wells and of the underground world of the water flows and of the
hidden tubes. As his Savini’s prefect of police, of Ermanno Cavazzoni’s
book to which Fellini inspired himself ultra-freely, he goes looking for the
Moon, tries to understand something of this very ancient satellite that spies
us from thousands of years and departs for this night and deep travel in the
Padan country side. He feels, at a certain moment of the movie, that this
journey is to be done in two persons, other wise the burden would be very
heavy to support on ones own shoulders and we know that many times, in Jungian
analysis, Fellini tried the voyage in his unconscious accompanied by the analyst.
We liked a lot of things very much, over all the first movie’s scenes,
the preambles, the poetic and baby talk of a Benigni made even more infantile
by the lunar pallor that whitens his face, the equal white and metallic Aldina
Ferruzzi that is another face of the Moon, some scenes of the universal selenic
images database where, but, we have to remember others of a very great suggestion,
from Bertolucci, to the Taviani brothers, from Ingmar Bergman to Stanley Kubrick.
Even during Jung’s life (read Dreams, Memories and Reflections) there
was a mysterious room that the Zürich studious, the most important inspirer
of Fellini’s thematic, discovered after his forties, enriching spiritually
a lot, but in that case it was related to a dark room and in the cellar, instead
here Benigni discovers it well illuminated and gets there going up the stairs.
Benigni goes up the stairs and goes on the roofs to discover that “if
the petals of the solar plexus flower will bloom it is possible to fly, it
is possible to be happy and this even if a person has the vocation of the
horse meat”: the important thing is to have a target, to raise ourselves,
to address the libido.
In this sense the church’s images and the same high position of the
Moon in the sky indicate us a target that if we would avoid from a Jungian
lecture of this movie, it would make us loose ninety per cent of the film.
It, in some moments, between a cut and another, even a little tired, but it
has some rare poetry and suggestion segments in the field scenes, with the
“specialized personnel”: the fat coloured matrons that propitiate,
rolling their gluteals, the action of our white satellite.
Not as nice, in according to my opinion, the pyrotechnical and explosive epilogue
of the “insane” that shoots to the Moon, in a festival with a
Ciociaria (a rural zone near Rome) taste in which we have the impression to
read captions by Renzo Arbore, Biberon (an Italian variety show) and Woody
Allen, but we must not forget that Fellini was born several decades before
To conclude we should solicit the tolerance of the cinema critics recommending
them this friend of ours, friend of track that, however sometimes he assumes
the moralist and over-devout behaviour of the Gonnella prefect of police that
would love to interdict the barbarians people that expresses itself over the
border of the eighty decibels, he is, however, a kind soul that still dreams
to go listening the tubes and the wells voices of the Padana country sides,
during the plenilune nights.
He doesn’t want to shoot on the superficial shouting legions and usual
consumers of the “vaginal activity”, but he feels the exigency,
declared by Terzio, that some small modifications should be made to the Moon.
Translated by Ciro Discepolo and Anna Carmela Mellone