There's a charming, dazzling idea at the heart of director and video artist Luca Magi's brief moodpiece: retracing the fictional journey of the lead character in a film that was never made. In 1957, Federico Fellini wrote with Tullio Pinelli a screenplay loosely based on his own journey back home to visit his dying father, but Viaggio con Anita in its original form was never shot (to the director's great remorse; having sold the script to producer Alberto Grimaldi, Fellini was disappointed in the adaptation shot by Mario Monicelli in 1978 with Giancarlo Giannini and Goldie Hawn). Anita is an impressionist, enveloping combination of documentary and essay that seeks to recreate the original script's journey from Rome to Fano, finding the traces of the past in the present and fiction in reality, and vice-versa, by dovetailing newly-shot footage with period home movies in 8mm and 16mm.

     Asking what is the part of nostalgia and the part of fantasy, how much of it is actual memory and how much of it projection, Anita asks how does the real world become affected by the overlay of fiction and artistic experience. By intertwining "old" and "new" footage, Mr. Magi creates an oneiric, phantasmagorical palimpsest of ideas and memories awakened by a film that never existed - a love letter whose magic lies in its small scale. Anita would very probably not survive a longer cut - even at under one hour there are some longueurs - and its very specific mood means it's not for everyone, but for those who enjoy it, it's a thought-provoking, very lovely piece of work.

Director: Luca Magi
Screenwriter: Antonio Bigini, inspired by the screenplay Viaggio con Anita by Federico Fellini and Tullio Pinelli
Cinematographers: Mr. Magi, Claudio Giapponesi (colour)
Music: Massimo Carozzi
Editor: Mr. Giapponesi
Producer: Alessandro Carroli (Kiné Società Cooperativa and Vezfilm)
Italy/United Kingdom, 2012, 55 minutes

Screened: DocLisboa 2013 official competition screener, Lisbon, October 22nd 2013

Trailer ANITA (2012)- Luca Magi from Kiné Coop on Vimeo.


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