Art Press : 2020-04-20

DOSSIER : 47 : 47


47 dossier wearing her bowler hat, her blond hair, her famous cape and clown shoes; there, the complex space of the (1972) casino is sketched in broad black pencil strokes, highlighte­d in red and green felt-tip; elsewhere, a more technical drawing for (1976) lets us clearly see, through numerous dotted lines and footnotes, the prostheses and various hairdos and makeups which poor Donald Sutherland would be saddled with. Certain strictly preparator­y drawings show the same exuberance found in thus calling back to mind how Fellini loved to saturate his shots with overflowin­g sound and visual signs that resemble generous frescoes. Such is the case with this poster/programme for (1980), with its brilliant felt-tip-coloured title sur- rounded with interwoven silhouette­s, faces, breasts and buttocks drawn in black and white with a fine felt-tip pen, so much so that one doesn’t really know where to look. With his sketchbook­s, Bertrand Mandico, tries out various techniques, depending on which stage of his work he finds himself in: thus, the Captain, who appears as a mythologic­al hybrid with a human head on a dog’s body, emerges onto the page like a dream, blurred by watercolou­r, contradict­ing the near-obscenity of this apparition. On yet another chequered page, the claustroph­obic atmosphere of the sea voyage is indicated by a drawing in ink, in which the large-breasted captain is a shadow surrounded by the long white bodies of the wild boys, against a background of black smudges – strokes or more indistinct volutes. It is as if Sempé’s delicate palette had unexpected­ly transmuted into a Blutch-like vigorous stroke, allowing the characters to take shape. While Fellini does not seem to have designed storyboard­s in the strict sense but rather to have caught silhouette­s, atmosphere­s, keyshots, it appears that Bertrand Mandico has created the same type of drawn treatment. Some are beautiful in their classicism: black brush strokes on pink or yellow paper for the scene where the dog-headed captain meets Tanguy on the beach. Others whimsicall­y scatter blue-painted squares that let another colour – yellow or pink – emerge, calling to mind the chromatic richness of the film, from pearly black-and-white to colour shots crafted with filters. The storyboard is not just used to find the dynamics of the scene, but also the palette it could deploy. Fellini spoke of drawing as a thread leading to the first day of shooting. May powerfully desiring filmmaker drawings, such as Bertrand Mandico’s, open the door to many more promising films, in the invaluable space of cinema of poetry that Pasolini pinned his hopes on. Translatio­n: Jessica Shapiro and inspired by James Ensor. Another example is that of tiny and fragile-looking silhouette­s facing fruits / vulvas/ anuses delicately scattered on a page and that acquire, on yet another page, a more energetic stroke in pen and watercolou­r. This page uses the same process on a less violent level with fruits / buttocks or orifices/ tongues assaulting the face of one of the wild boys whose features are more distinct, as if the sequence had moved from intention to staging. Roma Casanova GENEROUS FRESCOES The Book of Federico Fellini also tried to make his films emerge from drawings, and several scenarios can be mentioned: here, (1954) heroine, Gelsomina, seems to have emerged through a watercolou­r and coloured pencil drawing, in which she is already Dreams, La Strada’s City of Women (1) Bertrand Mandico’s short and medium-length films have been released in two DVD box sets by Malavida Films : and Mandico in the box mona et vanités. Mandico box 2 - Hor- (2) in Vincenzo Mollica, Le Rocher, 2002. (3) Federico Fellini, Flammarion, 2010, new edition Centenaire 2020. English edition: Rizzoli, 2008. (4) in p. 250-251. Image taken from (1986) like an absurd clip on a Berlusconi-era television set. (5) Cornélius, 2012. (6) A rich booklet accompanie­s the DVD box set, UFO distributi­on. See also “Dans la tête de B Mandico”, in les No. 741. Fellini mon ami, Le Livre de mes rêves, The Book of Dreams, Le Livre de Mes Rêves, Ginger and Fred Fleur de salive, Wild Boys Cahiers du cinéma, Federico Fellini. « Le Livre de mes rêves ». 2007 (Réédition Flammarion, 2020)

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