Toby Dammit (Federico Fellini, 1968)

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King Prendergast
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Toby Dammit (Federico Fellini, 1968)

#1 Post by King Prendergast » Tue Sep 09, 2008 3:54 pm

Any thoughts on this bizarre, structuralist masterpiece segment in the AIP omnibus film Histoires extraordinaires ?

planetjake

#2 Post by planetjake » Tue Sep 09, 2008 8:12 pm

I'm lost as to how the film is structuralist. Central Region? Yes. Ultrarouge-Infraviolet Heck yeah! Toby Dammit? I dunno.

That notwithstanding. I enjoy the film. I must say the high-point for me is the very end, when (spoiler) Fellini denies his protagonist self-martyrdom.

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King Prendergast
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#3 Post by King Prendergast » Tue Sep 09, 2008 8:48 pm

planetjake wrote:I'm lost as to how the film is structuralist. Central Region? Yes. Ultrarouge-Infraviolet Heck yeah! Toby Dammit? I dunno.
Okay, maybe a little Wikipedia is in order. Structural film is not to be be confused with the critical theoretical/philosophical concept, structuralism. Guy Fihman's film, like Michael Snow's Wavelength for example, are structural films.

Toby Dammit is a structuralist film because it even self-referentially calls itself a structuralist film, something that gets to the heart of its very structuralism.

planetjake

#4 Post by planetjake » Tue Sep 09, 2008 8:58 pm

King Prendergast wrote:Okay, maybe a little Wikipedia is in order. Structural film is not to be be confused with the critical theoretical/philosophical concept, structuralism. Guy Fihman's film, like Michael Snow's Wavelength for example, are structural films.

Toby Dammit is a structuralist film because it even self-referentially calls itself a structuralist film, something that gets to the heart of its very structuralism.
But nothing in that article supports your argument. Toby Dammit is a complex film. And since when are films allowed to critically assess themselves? Are you trying to say that Toby Dammit has structural ideas in it? Because that I agree with and can see. But you're still calling it a Structuralist Film, which it is not.

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King Prendergast
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#5 Post by King Prendergast » Tue Sep 09, 2008 9:02 pm

Right. I'm not saying it is a structural film. Thats what that article is about.
It is structuralist. You know... Foucault, Barthes, Lacan, Althusser.....structuralism.

planetjake

#6 Post by planetjake » Tue Sep 09, 2008 9:05 pm

King Prendergast wrote:Right. I'm not saying it is a structural film. Thats what that article is about.
It is structuralist. You know... Foucault, Barthes, Lacan, Althusser.....structuralism.
I know the difference between Structuralist Philosophy and Structuralist film. It was your phrasing I was stumbling on. But we're on the same page now. No biggie. No drama. No antagonism.

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King Prendergast
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#7 Post by King Prendergast » Tue Sep 09, 2008 9:10 pm

I know the difference between Structuralist Philosophy and Structuralist film. It was your phrasing I was stumbling on. But we're on the same page now. No biggie. No drama. No antagonism.
Right. Just gotta watch out for those "-isms". So you can see how the film could be considered structuralist in certain respects, not least of which is the fact that in the early scene when the producers are talking to Toby about the western they plan to make they say explicitly that it will be a "structuralist film" which draws on Pasolini, Dreyer, Zinneman, and "of course John Ford" along with Barthes, Lukacs, etc. Its pretty clear that that is meant to be self referential to Toby Dammit itself.

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HypnoHelioStaticStasis
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#8 Post by HypnoHelioStaticStasis » Tue Sep 09, 2008 9:23 pm

King Prendergast wrote:It is structuralist. You know... Foucault, Barthes, Lacan, Althusser.....structuralism.
I'm really excited that you cited Foucault when it comes to this film as structuralist. I haven't seen this or any of the other films in the omnibus, but that statement really intrigued me.

Care to elaborate on the film for newbies, King? What makes it structuralist? Is it along the lines of something like Tom Jones or Richard Lester's stuff? Am I even correct in seeing those films as structuralist? Of course, all this is completely subjective... :wink:

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Mr Sausage
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#9 Post by Mr Sausage » Wed Sep 10, 2008 1:13 pm

King Prendergast wrote:It is structuralist. You know... Foucault, Barthes, Lacan, Althusser.....structuralism.
No love for Levi-Strauss?

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Dylan
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 9:28 pm

#10 Post by Dylan » Thu Sep 11, 2008 2:23 pm

There are already quite a few threads discussing Toby Dammit on this forum (check out the thread on Federico Fellini in the director's section). Yes, it's one of Fellini's best works, but it's a shame the original English/Italian track isn't available.

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