La Dolce Vita – Federico Fellini (1960)


La Dolce Vita (Italian pronunciation: [la ˈdoltʃe ˈviːta]; Italian for ‘the sweet life’ or ‘the good life’) is a 1960 Italian drama film directed and co-written by Federico Fellini. The film follows Marcello Rubini (Marcello Mastroianni), a journalist writing for gossip magazines, over seven days and nights on his journey through the ‘sweet life’ of Rome in a fruitless search for love and happiness. La Dolce Vita won the Palme d’Or (Golden Palm) at the 1960 Cannes Film Festival and the Oscar for Best Costumes. … Based on the most common interpretation of the storyline, the film can be divided into a prologue, seven major episodes interrupted by an intermezzo, and an epilogue (see also Structure, below). If the evenings of each episode were joined with the morning of the respective preceding episode together as a day, they would form seven consecutive days, which may not necessarily be the case. 1st Day Sequence: A helicopter transports a statue of Christ over an ancient Roman aqueduct outside Rome while a second, Marcello Rubini’s news helicopter, follows it into the city. The news helicopter is momentarily sidetracked by a group of bikini-clad women sunbathing on the rooftop of a high-rise apartment building. Hovering above, Marcello uses gestures to elicit phone numbers from them but fails in his attempt then shrugs and continues on following the statue into Saint Peter’s Square. 1st Night Sequence: Marcello meets Maddalena by chance in an exclusive nightclub. A beautiful and wealthy heiress, Maddalena is tired of Rome and constantly in search of new sensations while Marcello finds Rome suits him as a jungle he can hide in. They make love in the bedroom of a prostitute to whom they had given a ride home in Maddalena’s Cadillac. … In various interviews, Fellini claimed that the film’s initial inspiration was the fashionable ladies’ sack dress because of what the dress could hide beneath it. … The character of Paparazzo, the news photographer (Walter Santesso), was inspired by photojournalist Tazio Secchiaroli and is the origin of the word paparazzi used in many languages to describe intrusive photographers. … Marcello is a journalist in Rome during the late 1950s who covers tabloid news of movie stars, religious visions and the self-indulgent aristocracy while searching for a more meaningful way of life. Marcello faces the existential struggle of having to choose between two lives, depicted by journalism and literature.  …”
Wikipedia
Guardian: Italian cinema’s sweet success
Roger Ebert
Classic Art Films
YouTube: ‘La Dolce Vita’ | Critics’ Picks | The New York Times – A. O. Scott

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