Cinema of Dreams: Fellini & Poetry

Cinema of Dreams: Fellini & Poetry

Walk the streets of Cinecittà and find inspiration in the cinema of Fellini as we experiment with dreams and memories, alongside fictional and theatrical scenes in our poetry.

In this course we will create poetry inspired by five of Fellini’s masterpieces: I Vitelloni, La Strada, La Dolce Vita, 8 ½, and Roma. Each session will explore one film, focusing on its central themes and characters, taking them as starting points in our own individual creative process. 

Beginning with two early films – I Vitelloni and La Strada – we will study the ways each film engages with the themes of home, memories, and change. We will observe the way different characters bring to life a provincial seaside town through their interlinking stories in I Vitelloni, and we will experiment with creating a strong sense of place in our own poetry. Studying La Strada, we will discuss the links between loss, travel and theatricality, and explore these themes in our own writing.  

Continuing with Fellini’s 1960 masterpiece La Dolce Vita, we will walk the streets of Swinging Rome, alternating between scenes of glamour and poverty, seashores and cityscapes, private corners and public arenas. We will experiment with contrasting images and opposite themes in our own poetry and see how they can enrich our writing process. During the fourth session we will delve into the breathtakingly beautiful and chaotic 8 ½. We will see how the creative process itself takes centre stage in the film amidst personal crises, creative blocks, dream sequences and an ever-growing set of demanding characters eager to get on stage and perform. We will experiment with portraying our own writing process and creative blocks and see where they can take our own poetry!  

Completing the course with the fantastically fragmented world of Roma, we will observe the ways Fellini showcases the city of Rome as the film’s protagonist. We will experiment with various ways of portraying a place as an ever-changing entity, deploying dreams, fantasies, historical episodes, fictional and autobiographical notes – everything that can bring a place, a film or a poem to life! 

All students enrolled on this course will be provided with private links to view the films mentioned above. 

5 fortnightly sessions over 10 weeks. No live chats. Suitable for UK & International students.  

To apply for a concessionary rate, please send relevant documentation showing your eligibility for one of our concessions to [email protected] Conditions of eligibility are detailed here. If you have any questions or wish to be added to the waiting list of a sold-out course, please email [email protected] For more information visit our Online Courses page. 

Image Credit: Kévin et Laurianne Langlais

About Stav Poleg View Profile

Stav Poleg‘s debut poetry collection, The City, is out from Carcanet in March 2022. Her poetry has appeared on both sides of the Atlantic, in The New Yorker, Kenyon Review, Poetry London, Poetry Ireland Review, PN Reviewand elsewhere. A selection of her work is featured in New Poetries VIII (Carcanet, 2021). Her graphic-novel installation, ‘Dear Penelope: Variations on an August Morning’, created with artist Laura Gressani, was acquired by the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. She serves on the editorial board of Magma Poetry, and has recently facilitated collaborative work between poets and filmmakers for the magazine. Her theatre work was read at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh and the Shunt Vaults, London, and, most recently, at Kettle’s Yard gallery, Cambridge.

‘The course that I took online through The Poetry School took my writing to a significantly higher level of quality and depth.’

– Summer 2019 survey response

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