Bunch of likable misfits hanging out for no apparent reason, but Fellini's presence addresses them to happiness and nostalgia.
Fellini described the film as an informal chat among friends, and "Intervista" indeed has an enjoyably meandering, conversational structure. Not just a movie-within-a-movie, it even becomes a movie-within-a-movie-within-a-movie.
A chirpy Japanese crew maneuvers to interview Fellini as he shoots a retelling of Franz Kafka's "Amerika." He soon introduces actor Sergio Rubini, who will be portraying Fellini as a young man. Fellini advises a makeup girl to add a pimple to Rubini's nose for comic effect, but a short time later, the pimple is "real" and Rubini is dramatizing Fellini's memories of visiting a major Italian film studio for the first time. Innocent, awestruck Fellini sees various scenes being shot and eventually has trivial dressing-room dialogue with an aging movie queen. Once that section closes, the narrative moves to backstage sequences including a depiction of how Fellini casts his legendary "faces," a surreal attack by Indians wielding TV antennas instead of spears and, most touchingly, a reunion between Marcello Mastroianni and Anita Ekberg. Twenty-seven years have passed since the two splashed in a fountain during a famous "La Dolce Vita" scene, and Ekberg is much heavier and no longer a hot property. Of course, Mastroianni has become a superstar, but Ekberg shows no competitive bitterness. Their misty-eyed viewing of the old footage -- their tears require no acting, I'm sure -- is usually cited as "Intervista"'s highlight.
I liked some moments but this is not as good as many of Fellini's other works.