Screened as part of NZIFF 2011
Quite possibly the world’s best known ‘foreign-language’ film, his 1960 La dolce vita is the latest beneficiary of Gucci and The Film Foundation’s film restoration programme. Both ageless and utterly of its time in condemning the modern decadence it so stylishly flaunts, the film that coined the term paparazzo stars Marcello Mastroianni as jaded Marcello, a journalist pursuing the good life in Rome at the dawn of the 60s. Condemned by the Vatican, the film was an international succès de scandale.
The film’s iconic images – the statue of Christ being flown over Rome, Anita Ekberg frolicking in the Trevi Fountain – are instantly recognisable symbols of Italian society in glamorous dissolution. Nino Rota’s score is just as indelible. Otello Martelli’s sparkling black-and-white widescreen cinematography has never looked better than in this stunning restoration. — BG
“After La dolce vita, Fellini was suddenly more than just a director. He was a maestro. His vision was extravagant, almost unprecedented. Like many filmmakers of that era, Fellini was trying to create a genuinely modern cinema… He transformed Marcello’s journey through this glittering, empty world into a spiritual epic, a sprawling, episodic tapestry of Roman cosmopolitan life with all its excesses.” — Martin Scorsese