Paolo Sorrentino

Why Paolo Sorrentino Is and Isn’t the New Fellini

I was so put off by just the sacrilege inherent in the title of an article by Jimmy So in The Daily Beast that I couldn’t read it, and was less inclined to see Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty than ever. The blasphemous title was The New Fellini: Paolo Sorrentino’s ‘The Great Beauty.’ Sorrentino a new Fellini? Why, how dare he! Many Italian directors have added Fellinesque elements to their work, Woody Allen even make Stardust Memories as a spoof of il maestro’s , but to actually declare anyone to be Fellini himself? Like I said: sacrilege.

Eventually I was forced to surrender to the positive buzz and see the film. And then I read So’s article, in which he has a few of my same observations, namely that Sorrentino

The Girl With The Orchid Medallion


by James Killough

Shortly after his disastrous foray into animation with Arthur and the Invisibles in 2006, semi-auteur Luc Besson announced he was retiring from directing.  Steven Soderbergh did the same thing last year.  Both have been directing since they were in their mid-twenties, and the process has clearly long since lost its appeal.  As Marcello Mastroianni, playing an uninspired director in Federico Fellini’s autobiographical 8 ½, says in a panic to his lading lady Claudia Cardinale, Ma non c’ho niente più da dire!”  But I have nothing left to say!

"Next motherfucker tells me I have a 'bootie like Beyoncé,' I'll blow a hole in his groin with the Mossberg 500. How's my hair?"

Or, as Michael Bay’s putative natural father John Frankenheimer—who was so furious that Bay claimed to be his son that he tried to disprove it, but failed—said in an NPR interview shortly before he died, “Directing is for younger men.”  What Frankenheimer, who directed the seminal thriller French Connection, was referring to was the sort of hyper-kinetic action adventure films he helped pioneer with Connection, and which his natural son took to an extreme that I am not alone in considering unwatchable, despite the fact my dog Henry co-starred in Bay’s graduating student film at Wesleyan University.