During a recent press conference in Milan for the presentation of the first Drawing Biennial in Rimini (Italy) – see my previous post – I had the great occasion to admire the original Fellini’s Book of Dreams (the two volumes were brought to Milan from Rimini by a special security team…).
Anyone familiar with the films of Fellini knows that he gave importance to dreams. The extent of that devotion is fully evident with his “Il Libro dei Sogni” (The Book of Dreams). These sketches are mostly done with variously colored felt-tip pens. Urged by the Jungian analyst Ernst Bernhard, Fellini jotted down and illustrated his own nocturnal fantasies over the space of thirty years. The first volume (approximately 245 pages) goes from November 30, 1960 to August 2, 1968, while the second (154 pages) goes from February 1973 until the end of 1982: a span of 22 years, which is supplemented by other scattered pages and several notes dated 1990.
Long before he ventured into the oneiric universe with the cognitive tools recommended by Bernhard, however, Fellini was well aware of the importance of dreams. Indeed, he often asked his friends to tell him their dreams and urged them not to waste what he called “the night work” , at least as important, if not more so, than the thoughts and activities of one’s waking hours. Having seen for himself that a dream could only be remembered for a few minutes upon awakening, the director kept a notebook on his bedside table where he jotted down his visions and feelings as soon as he opened his eyes.
The original “The Book of Dreams” is displayed at Museo della Città di Rimini; the work was published in 2008 by Fondazione Federico Fellini and Rizzoli New York. Last year the events of ‘Fellinianno 2013’, symbolically inaugurated with the opening of a room in the Museo della Città dedicated to the ‘Book of Dreams’. Rimini promoted a series of initiatives and events to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the death of the great director and to celebrate the decennial anniversaries of ‘I vitelloni’ (60 years), ‘8 e ½’ (50 years), ‘Amarcord’ (40 years) and ‘And the Ship Sails On’ (30 years). These films trace and expose the strong connection with Rimini found in the work of the great Maestro.