Short Takes: Dec. 7, 1992

CINEMA

On the Back Lot With Fellini

LONG BEFORE THE LITERATI INVENTED Magic Realism, the people who worked in movie studios were living it. On back lots all over the world, the harshly practical has always confronted the giddily romantic. In his faux documentary INTERVISTA (Interview), Federico Fellini imagines a fictional Japanese television crew interviewing him as he shoots an equally fictive movie version of Kafka's Amerika. The result is not so much a self-portrait as a sentimental-satirical vision of back-lot life, a jazzy juxtaposition of past and present, star egos and bit-player frustrations, epic pretensions and commercial hackery. It's a...

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