LA VOCE DELLA LUNA (1990) - Cinémathèque / Gusto! Little Italy


This is a very special screening.  This was Federico Fellini's last film before he died in 1993.  It was never released in the United States and actually was never imported until this past May when it had a premiere screening for only one night in New York City. It is not available on DVD.

Thanks to Cinematheque Director John Ewing, and at considerable cost, we will have a rare opportunity to screen this Fellini masterpiece here in Cleveland.  After one showing here the 35 mm print goes back to Italy.

Chances are that this will be your only opportunity to see Fellini's final film - his FINE.

His films included: La Dolce VitaLa Strada, 8½, and a host of others. But who was Federico Fellini?  He was, beyond a doubt, the most influential film maker in the history of cinema.  Many, myself included, consider him the greatest director in the history of cinema. -- Bill Johnson, Cine Arts Cleveland!

Those with a particular interest may review a snippet of his achievements here (click here).


Saturday, July 6, at 5:15 pm

Cleveland Cultural Gardens Film Fest

Imported 35mm Color Print!

Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Comedy



Italy/France, 1990, Federico Fellini

Roberto Benigni stars in Federico Fellini’s final film, the only Fellini movie never released in North America. (We will show a rare 35mm print from Europe that is temporarily in the U.S.)

A hit in Italy, where it was nominated for nine David di Donatello Awards (Italy’s Oscar) and won three (including Best Actor), The Voice of the Moon is a surrealistic comedy/drama in which a former mental patient obsessed with the moon (a true lunatic) and an ex-prefect team up to traverse a cultural landscape peppered with pagans, pompous fools, beauty queens, grotesques, and other eccentrics.

“A cockeyed lament on a world gone haywire, where traditions are dismissed and sensitive souls—what’s left of them—look to the moon for magic and nourishment.” –San Francisco Chronicle.

Adults only. Ohio premiere. Subtitles. 120 min. Special admission $12; members and age 25 & under $10; no passes, twofers, or radio winners. Print courtesy of Istituto Luce – Cinecittà (Rosaria Folcarelli); special thanks to BAMcinématek (Florence Almozini, David Reilly).

Tickets will be purchased at the door.  Early arrival is recommended since a large audience is expected.  We will be seated in the upper level, center in the stadium style seating a few rows above the aisle.

When you RSVP for this event, you will be asked three questions:  Are you joining the group for dinner/discussion after the film?; If so, please list your cell number (for texting) for any last-second changes.  This will be considered confidential and only used for this event if necessary; and, please post your direct email, again confidential and only used for dinner confirmation and an event reminder.

Over many years of organizing Meetup groups, these items have proven to greatly improve communication as well as reduce the dreaded No-Show, especially at dinner.

Thanks for your cooperation - Bill

This special screening is part of a series that Cinematheque is calling the Cleveland Cultural Gardens Film Fest.  It will consist of 10 films from ten of the communities represented in the Cleveland Cultural Gardens.

The elfin, irrepressible and very popular Italian comic Roberto Benigni and the similarly popular Paolo Villaggio star in this, the last of celebrated director Federico Fellini's films. The film's dreamlike story follows the meanderings of the moon-struck (or lunatic) Salvini (Benigni). As it opens, Salvini is out in a local wood near his village, appreciating nature, when he spies a group of men standing around looking intently at something. They are watching the window of a house where a portly woman is putting on a striptease for their pleasure. While he watches this, he has a memory of his grandmother. One adventure follows another, but Salvini is never crushed by events which would leave anyone less in love with life in the madhouse - because he is already slightly mad. ~ Clarke Fountain, Rovi

La voce della luna is one of Federico Fellini’s most fascinating and poetic adventures, based on smiles and jokes, and a disillusioned, heartbreaking and worrying vision of the world we live in. Through legends, fairy tales and oddities, Fellini presents his endless universe of symbols, memories, inventions; without ever repeating himself, he hints at all his films. In this last masterpiece, however, Fellini filters every stylistic element, and proposes other original elements, thus unveiling his amazing imagination. We find a a kaleidoscope of characters in a story that is made up of bitter, sweet and merciless traits, humor and melancholy, exuberance and elegance, psychological dreams and a great variety of themes. La voce della luna is a magic, hilarious, surreal and grotesque fairytale. It describes today’s myths and rites (television, fast-food, discos…). It hints at yesterday’s dreams (‘Bassa Padana’ or lower Po river area, the friendly attitude of Emilia-Romagna region’s inhabitants, country fairs, the Gnocchi Day, Miss Flour, jokes).

If you consider Amarcord as the village of memory, than you can say that La voce della luna gives us a shelter in our contemporary world.” – Vittorio Spiga “La Nazione”, 1 February 1990

Trailer (click here)

WHO: Ciné Arts Cleveland! and special guests from the Italian Language Group


WHEN: Saturday, July 6 at 5:15 p.m.

WHERE: The Cleveland Cinematheque,

DINNER: 7:30 p.m. - GUSTO! Ristorante

GUSTO! Ristorante | Little Italy | 12022 Mayfield Road | across from Holy Rosary Church |[masked]

MOVIE @ 5:15 p.m. Meet at the entrance door 15 minutes ahead of time or look for the group inside the theater.  DO NOT ARRIVE LATE!  We will sit in the upper level, center.  This film has only been shown one time previously (one day) in the U.S, so a large attendance is expected.  The flick is 120 minutes, so expect to be out around 7:15 p.m.  You may also meet us afterward outside the entrance door.  If you RSVP, we will wait for you.  If you do not have a photo posted, you will have to find us.

We have multiple meeting places: 1. Entrance door to the movie in the theater hallway 10 minutes before the movie starts, 2. By the Marquee (or auditorium entrance) after the movie, or 3. Reserved table at the restaurant under the name "Movie Group".


PARKING: The Cleveland Institute of Art has a free parking lot in the rear of the building.  Enter off East Boulevard where the sign marks the entrance.

Please let us know your dinner plans on your RSVP so that we can either save you a seat at the "Movie Group" table or plan to meet you at the movie.  We have asked for separate checks but please bring cash to pay for your meal.

Movie events are successful partly because members have a genuine interest in meeting fellow cinema lovers for a discussion after the film.  You are never required to purchase dinner but wine, coffee or desert is appropriate.  We don't always know where to look for you, especially those without a profile picture and first timers.

It’s very important to RSVP early and cancel your dinner reservations if you can’t attend.  Please be respectful of the Organizers and the Restaurants we patronize.

Movie Fan Review

Rated – 20 STARS

Visual poetry

2 July 2007 | by rockisforever (Italy) – See all my reviews

This is one of Fellini's best movies, and one of the most underrated pictures of all time. This masterpiece includes all the main themes of Fellini's career. It doesn't follow a "prose style", but a "lyric style". It's like a visual poem.

In fact this film narrates the journey of Ivo Salvini (Roberto Benigni) through dreams and memories, which actually belong to the great director. As a matter of fact Salvini, alter ego of Fellini, says: "I love to remember, maybe more than living".

The protagonist wanders in the countryside, asking himself about life, and meets Gonnella (Paolo Villaggio), who feels himself oppressed by the giant and factitious society, made of useless appearance. The noisy square is the symbol of a chaotic society (circensian, as Fellini would say), where the individuality is dead, superseded by an alienated mass.

This crowd is insensitive to the voice of inner being, to the voice of the moon. In this film the noise contrasts with the silence, the loud public square contrasts with the noiseless countryside, which helps along subjectivity.

The omnipresent television clashes with the moments of poetry, like the scenes of Benigni reciting poems of the Italian romantic poet Giacomo Leopardi. Poetry wins over the modern society, which doesn't listen the voice of inner being, deafened by the noise of the Machine. Poetry is like a flight, like a dance, like music (the waltz scene in the disco is wonderful).

At the end only the most misunderstood people can catch the moon, that glow of infinite. Nobody can explain what happens. Maybe it's not necessary to explain. It's enough to keep silence and listen.

Benigni and Villaggio are two great actors, the soundtrack by Nicola Piovani is impressive and touching, the set design by Dante Ferretti has a beautiful imagery, and the direction of the master is outstanding as usual. All that enables us to listen for a moment the voice of the moon.


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  • Mary V.

    This Fellini film was a rather accurate depiction of is heart wrenching to see what these tortured souls go through...this main character was one of the lucky few since he had a family who cared about him...thanks Bill for organizing this.

    July 8, 2013

  • Carlo G. G.

    movie was ok, but dinner was fantastic. great time talking to all of you.


    July 8, 2013

  • Victoria N.

    Mi e piacutto,
    Thank you bill for organizing

    1 · July 7, 2013

  • ariela

    super bello

    1 · July 7, 2013

  • Cécile G.


    1 · July 7, 2013

  • Vittorio

    Molto bello

    2 · July 7, 2013

  • Bill J.

    RSVPs open for the FILM ONLY. Dinner reservations closed on Tuesday. We have had some cancellations and may have more. Please know that a 24-hour notice is required unless there is an emergency or urgent situation.

    From our discussion board:
    DINNER Reservations for Saturday night closed on Tuesday, July 2, due to an overwhelming response. Since we may have cancellations see Bill or Suzanne before but not after the film. Please arrive early.

    You may still RSVP for the film only but do not plan on dinner with the group. We have 25 at this point and that may be difficult for the restaurant to handle.

    July 5, 2013

  • ariela

    Oh no the rsvp is closed. Let me know if anything opens up!

    July 5, 2013

    • Bill J.

      Reopened but please use direct email since I don't check this comment section and my Internet is down.

      July 5, 2013

  • ariela

    I will be coming. Is there still space for dinner?

    July 5, 2013

    • Bill J.

      we may have a spot for you - RSVP and I'll put you on the list

      July 5, 2013

  • ariela

    Let me know if anyone cancels! Grazie mille e a domani!

    1 · July 5, 2013

  • Mary V.

    My friends cannot attend the movie or dinner. I will be there. Sorry if there is any inconvience.

    July 5, 2013

    • Bill J.

      not at all - we have several folks waiting who may now participate. thanks for the early notice too! that really makes organizing much easier - grazi!

      July 5, 2013

  • Diane Y.

    Am bringing my friend, Barb Colombi. I know I am reserved for movie and dinner. Can I add a plus one to waiting list.

    July 4, 2013

  • Bill J.

    DINNER Reservations closed on Tuesday, July 2, due to an overwhelming response. Since we may have cancellations see Bill or Suzanne before but not after the film. Please arrive early.

    July 2, 2013

  • Victoria N.

    Non vedo l'ora!

    July 2, 2013

  • Vittorio

    Dinner to

    July 2, 2013

  • Bill J.

    Thanks Fabio for this link: Roberto Benigni

    July 2, 2013

  • Fabio


    you should watch this video about Roberto Benigni when he went at David Letterman's show. From min 13:53 to 19:00 it's in English. It's fantastic.

    Take care,


    June 30, 2013

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