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Thomas Fleming

Thomas Fleming is president of the Fleming Foundation. He is the author of six books, including The Morality of Everyday Life and The Politics of Human Nature, as well as many articles and columns for newspapers, magazines,and learned journals. He holds a Ph.D. in Classics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a B.A. in Greek from the College of Charleston. He served as editor of Chronicles: a Magazine of American Culture from 1984 to 2015 and president of The Rockford Institute from 1997-2014. In a previous life he taught classics at several colleges and served as a school headmaster in South Carolina

8 Responses

  1. Eleanor Lacy says:

    You forgot ME

  2. Dominick D says:

    When my son was very young, he ambushed me with a question about mortal sin; we read The Tell-Tale Heart and that disturbed the point into him and his little brother.

  3. Ken Rosenberger says:

    I will have to look up Fellini’s early films. I think very highly of 8 & 1/2. I watch it every couple of years and it gets better with each new viewing. Arty but well-paced. Very fluid. I get the sense that Fellini really did want to be a good Catholic boy.

    What do you think of La Strada? That one seemed a little little too harsh for me, that poor woman (played by Fellini’s wife) was just constantly abused by the boorish Anthony Quinn (his character, that is).

  4. Raymond Olson says:

    Ken–Go for The White Sheikh, which is very funny, and Il Bidone (The Swindle), which is very un-funny, among Fellini’s pre-fantasy early films. La Strada I don’t recommend; it’s sentimental and brutal and rather icky. I bailed on Fellini after Juliet of the Spirits. I’ve taken him up again recently and found that the post-Juliet demifantasies are more fascinating and entertaining than I had expected. Roma, a succession of memories about a young man (Fellini) from a small town (see I vitelloni) coming to the big city and making his way, is probably the best.

  5. Vince Cornell says:

    I finished the January Birthday Podcast series today – these podcasts are delightful. Rex really brings a lot to the table both as Dr. Fleming’s foil and his post-production work which keeps the podcast sprightly. I was happy to hear “To Be or Not to Be” getting some favorable recognition – the funniest movie I’ve ever seen. Y’all should really consider making the podcasts more easily accessible (like putting them on iTunes or whatnot) – I think they would potentially open the door to a wider audience.

  6. Avatar photo Thomas Fleming says:

    The White Sheikh is very good, and Variety Lights is not bad. My favorite is I Vitelloni. I can tolerate Giulietta the way I enjoy Trollope’s feebler productions. Of the later films I enjoyed E la nave va and, especially, Ginger e Fred.

    If there is a funnier movie than “To Be or Not to Be,” I don’t know what it is. Jack Benny as a Polish, probably Jewish ham actor who has to impersonate a Nazi, is at his best, “So they call me Concentration Camp Earhart, do they?” We have a few things on Youtube and Rex wants to put more. These would be a good place to start.

  7. Avatar photo Thomas Fleming says:

    PS I concur completely with Ray on La Strada. It was the first Fellini film I saw and it put me off him for a long time. Il Bidone is dark but quite funny, as Broderick Crawford pretends to be a Monsignor who finds treasures on the properties of the peasants he fleeces. Alas, his character is now close to the norm. The conman routines are quite funny, and even the dark conclusion is pure Fellini in creating some sympathy for this inexcusable rogue. The renegade Catholic could not escape the Hound of Heaven.

  8. Raymond Olson says:

    Yes, I overstated the sombreness of Il Bidone. I should have said that Il Bidone leaves me very solemn and reflective about its portrayal of petty human sinfulness, about our propensity to ruin our own lives by ruining others. Tom is perfectly correct about the comedy of the conman’s scams. I have yet to see E la nava va and Ginger e Fred.