Friday, July 11, 2008

Federico Fellini's La Dolce Vita

Revisiting movies that made a big impression years ago, I recently watched La Dolce Vita / "The Sweet Life" (1960) again. The passage of time has made it all the better to my eyes. It's hard not to be dazzled by Anita Ekberg, Nico, Marcello Mastroianni, and my personal favorite in this film, Anouk Aimée (Françoise Sorya Dreyfus).

Fellini follows the existentially lost Marcello as he longs to become something more than a well-heeled celebrity journalist -- often in company with frenetic paparazzi associates (Fellini's character Paparazzo in La Dolce Vita inspired the jaded term we now take for granted). Though maddening in his indecisiveness, Marcello somehow remains sympathetic (he really wants to write novels, but seems to lack self-discipline of any kind). Perhaps because he's mortal and flawed and occasionally has flashes of self-understanding.

In black and white, sometimes brash, always stylish and meditative, this Fellini classic provides insight into today's world and refracts a colorful funhouse from the Fellini Rome's chiaroscuro nights and dawns of fifty years ago.

Today's Rune: Wholeness.


Charles Gramlich said...

Nice black and white visuals.

revRecluse said...

Great film; I just watched it again the other day after 10 or so years..

MacGuffin said...

What I wouldn't give to have Marcello Mastroianni's looks and more importantly, sense of style.