Exploring Federico Fellini’s Last Direction: The Enigmatic World of La voce della Luna
“La voce della Luna” (translated as “The Voice of the Moon”) is a 1990 film, marking the final directorial work of the renowned Federico Fellini. The film features lead performances by Roberto Benigni and Paolo Villaggio. It is co-written by Fellini and draws its inspiration from the novel “Il poema dei lunatici” (1987) by Ermanno Cavazzoni.
Set in the foggy lowlands near Bologna, the story follows the poetic and melancholic character Ivo Salvini, portrayed by Roberto Benigni. Salvini wanders through the countryside, chasing voices that seem to emanate from wells. He is on a quest for the ideal woman, a figure resembling his true and only love – the moon. In his village, he becomes infatuated with a young woman named Aldina. Peering through her window, he catches her attention, and she throws a shoe at him, which he then carries with him during his nocturnal wanderings.
During the “Gnoccata” festival, a series of comedic and peculiar events unfold. Salvini ends up dumping a plate of gnocchi on a suitor of Aldina, leading to a chase by the villagers. His escape takes him to the countryside where he meets the paranoid Prefect Gonnella, who sees conspiracies everywhere. Gonnella takes Salvini to a rave, suspecting a conspiracy against him. Here, Salvini tries Aldina’s shoe on various girls, concluding that “they are all Aldina.” The evening ends with Salvini being found and taken home by his sister and her husband. Later, the villagers capture a slice of the moon and celebrate with a television round table. The film concludes with Salvini urging silence among humans to hear the voice of the moon.
The filming of “La voce della Luna” took place from February 22 to June 15, 1989. Key filming locations included an abandoned factory, now the “Cineland” multiplex in Ostia, and a reconstructed village set at the former Pontini Film Studios in Castel Romano, located at km 23.650 of the Via Pontina.
This movie, being Fellini’s last directorial endeavor, holds a significant place in the history of Italian cinema, encapsulating his unique storytelling and visual style. The film’s exploration of themes like obsession, fantasy, and the quixotic nature of human desires is reflective of Fellini’s broader cinematic legacy.
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