Fellini's Casanova

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German title Fellini's Casanova
Original title Il Casanova di Federico Fellini
Country of production Italy
original language Italian , English , French , German , Latin
Publishing year 1976
length 148 minutes
Age rating FSK 12
Director Federico Fellini
script Federico Fellini
Bernardino Zapponi
production Alberto Grimaldi
music Nino Rota
camera Giuseppe Rotunno
cut Ruggero Mastroianni

Fellini's Casanova (Original title: Il Casanova di Federico Fellini ) is a 1976 film by the Italian film director Federico Fellini based on the autobiography Story of my Life (French original title: Histoire de ma vie ) by Giacomo Casanova , an adventurer and writer in the 18th century. Century .


The film is divided into a series of episodes based on a free re-arrangement of events and encounters from Casanova's autobiography.

At the Venice Carnival, the giant head of the goddess Luna is said to appear from the depths of the Grand Canal in a magnificent ceremony in the presence of the Doge . But the pulling ropes break and the head sinks back into the depths. Luna's eyes light up in the dark water, an image that is quoted again at the end of the film. The downfall of the goddess is seen as a bad omen . In the hustle and bustle that followed, the masked Casanova was given a ticket inviting him to a rendezvous on an island in the lagoon .

There he finds the nun Maddalena, with whom he unites, while a mechanical music box in the form of a golden rooster runs its program and the French ambassador watches the couple's love game through a hole in the wall. After the end of the sexual intercourse, which had already assumed slightly acrobatic forms, Casanova tried to recommend himself to the ambassador as a diplomat, scientist and alchemist , which apparently did not interest him, who had already left.

On the way home from this rendezvous, Casanova is arrested and thrown into the infamous lead chambers , where he remembers his past erotic adventures, including the seduction of Anna Maria, an anemic girl he met in an embroidery factory whose rooms he is responsible for took advantage of discreet meetings with a fat lady.

After escaping from the lead chambers , Casanova had to go into exile in France. There he is the guest of the very rich and very old Madame d'Urfé , who longs to attain the immortal soul of a man. Casanova offers her his help through a sex-magic operation. Due to the lack of attractiveness of his aged hostess, he has to ask for the support of his butt-wiggling helper Marcolina.

This is followed by an encounter with Henriette, Casanova's great love, who is traveling through Italy in the company of a Hungarian officer in men's clothing. With Henriette, now dressed as a lady again, Casanova visits a company of the eccentric Marquis Du Bois in the Duchy of Parma . The guests are a strange mixture of frivolous French and Spanish dressed in strict black. With a gloomy look, the audience follows a little opera penned by the Marquis: he himself is following a golden butterfly in a shimmering blue insect costume, a half-naked, boyish appearance that hops across the stage in delicate ballet steps. Finally the marquis overpowers the youth and sucks him up, driven by his hunger for love. Shortly afterwards, Casanova, to his greatest regret, is separated from Henriette by higher powers.

In his desperation, he thinks about becoming a monk or exterminating himself, which leads to an episode in London years later. Casanova, ruined by mother and daughter Charpillon, suffering from syphilis and impotent, has reached a rock bottom and tries to drown himself in the Thames . The sight of a giantess accompanied by two dwarfs (played by Sandra Elaine Allen , then the tallest woman in the world) brings him back to life. He follows the trio to a fair. The main attraction is a huge, wooden whale that visitors step into its mouth. Inside, images projected by a magic lantern are shown that have only one theme: the female lap - as an octopus , as a devouring vortex, or the grinning devil's face hidden in shame. Here the hero finds the giantess who appears in exhibition fights. He bribes her servants and secretly watches her in her tent, where this barbaric giantess of the mountains plays with her dolls and bathes with the dwarves. The next morning the fair is gone.

The next stop is Rome, where Casanova experiences a wild orgy in the palace of Lord Talou. He gets involved in a competition and chooses the mistress of the host, Romana, as his partner. Through concentration, mental superiority and slurping 19 raw eggs, he wins the competition against the coachman Righetto.

In Bern , the womanizer in the house of the entomologist Moebius suddenly falls ill after observing the researcher's daughters impaling larvae . Isabella and her sister take care of him. The recovered Casanova falls in love with Isabella and arranges a meeting with her at the "Gasthof zu den Drei Mohren" in Dresden . Moved by Isabella, he passes the time in the company of the singer and whore Astrodi and the hunchbacked Susanne, who rides him through the night until she is exhausted. Overwhelmed by lust, all the residents of the inn indulge in an orgy.

In the evening Astrodi sings in the Dresden Opera and Casanova stays after the performance. In the empty theater, Casanova meets his ancient mother, who is waiting for a servant to carry her out to the carriage. Casanova travels from court to court through Europe and finally ends up at the court of the Duke of Württemberg , a surreal stronghold of barbarism: uniformed Germans sipping wine from tankards roar and gossip, in the corner sits with a childish grin listening to a shell Herzog and the culture at this court consists of "organ cannonades". In this chaos Casanova finds the doll Rosalba, a mechanical creature that enchants him. He leads Rosalba to his bedchamber and, to the sound of the mechanical music box, performs an equally mechanical coitus with the automaton woman .

Portrait of Casanova as the frontispiece of his novel Icosameron , which also appears in a film scene with the abortions at Dux Castle.

Casanova's last stop was the position as librarian for Count Waldstein at Dux Castle in Bohemia . The hero remembers his life in writing. It appears to the county as a dusty relic of a bygone era. Casanova's arrogance and his quirks provoke torture on the part of the servants under the leadership of Feldkircher, the caretaker at Dux Castle. The end awaits him in his room, on the wall stands the golden cock of his music box with a broken wing, the wind of the Bohemian winter whistles outside and Casanova remembers a dream: the women from his past appear and disappear on a wide ice surface - and deeply under the ice the eyes of the sunken goddess Luna shine.


“Casanova appears as a tragicomic hero who, in a hermetic world of masks and scenery, becomes the victim of self-imposed sexual pressure to perform. Wavering between pity and unmasking, Fellini uses the example of a single figure to portray a decadent society that, isolated from the real world, hides its fear of death behind artificial aesthetic rituals. "

“Born out of an original aversion to the legendary womanizer and his memoirs, Fellini's work is partly a self-portrait of the artist looking at the planet woman, partly a journey to the end of the night, since Fellini's Casanova does lust without passion, acrobatics, is a sad person . The gilded mechanically circling bird, a metronome of love, employed during the act is characteristic. "



Oscar 1977, USA

David di Donatello 1977, Italy

  • David di Donatello in the Best Music category for Nino Rota

British Academy Film Award 1978, Great Britain

  • BAFTA Award in the Best Costume Design category for Danilo Donati
  • BAFTA Award in the Best Equipment category for Danilo Donati and Federico Fellini
  • Nomination in the category Best Cinematography for Giuseppe Rotunno


The film was shot entirely in the Cinecittà studios in Rome .


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. The nun from Murano , who appears at Casanova under the initials MM, has not been identified with certainty. It may be Maria Lorenza Pasini, whose name as a nun was Maria-Maddalena. Cf. Casanova: story of my life . 1983-1988, Vol. 4, p. 342
  2. Fictional name. Probably Jeanne-Marie d'Albert de Saint-Hyppolyte (1718–1795). Cf. Giacomo Casanova: Story of my life . Kiepenheuer Verlag, Leipzig and Weimar 1983–1988. Vol. 3, p. 318, note 3
  3. Baron Michel Dubois-Chatelleraut (also Chateleraux; 1771–1776), ducal mint director in Parma. See Giacomo Casanova: Story of My Life . Kiepenheuer Verlag, Leipzig and Weimar 1983–1988. Vol. 3, p. 322, note 22
  4. The song is based on the poem La Mantide religiosa ("The praying mantis ") by Antonio Amurri (1925–1992).
  5. Marie-Anne-Geneviève Augspurgher, also Auspurgher (approx. 1746–1777), called “La Charpillon”, and her mother Rose-Elisabeth (approx. 1720– after 1764) were two successful prostitutes and courtesans in London. See Casanova: Story of My Life . Kiepenheuer Verlag, Leipzig and Weimar 1983–1988. Vol. 5, p. 407 and register of persons, sv "Augspurgher"
  6. The pictures are by Roland Topor , the text La Grande Mouna by Tonino Guerra .
  7. James Daniel O'Bryan, Viscount Tallow, Earl of Lismore (1736 – after 1789), French officer of Irish descent, but was not an old man, but much younger than Casanova. See Casanova: Story of My Life . Kiepenheuer Verlag, Leipzig and Weimar 1983–1988. Vol. 7, p. 367, note 21
  8. The "Gasthof zu den Drei Mohren " was a well-known and highly renowned inn, in which Casanova stayed several times, not in Dresden, but in Augsburg, today Hotel Drei Mohren .
  9. During a stay in Avignon, Casanova met a singer Astrodi and a hunchback. Casanova: story of my life . Kiepenheuer Verlag, Leipzig and Weimar 1983–1988. Vol. 7, Chapter 3
  10. Duke was Carl Eugen at the time of Casanova . However, this bears no resemblance to the Duke drawn by Fellini. Carl Eugen was sensible and an energetic man, which can be seen in 77 illegitimate children. Casanova had contact with him several times.
  11. In the film scene, however, a drawing with Donald Sutherland's trains is used.
  12. Count Joseph Karl Emanuel Waldstein (1755–1814)
  13. Georg Feldkircher (also Feltkirchner, septic Kircher; to 1733-to 1793). Casanova: story of my life . Leipzig and Weimar 1983–1988, person register sv Feldkircher
  14. ^ Fellini's Casanova. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed March 2, 2017 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 
  15. http://www.kino.de/kinofilm/fellinis-casanova/28284