La Dolce Vita (1960)

Federico Fellini directs Marcello Mastroianni, Anita Ekberg and Anouk Aimée in this Italian arthouse classic where a journalist spends a series of nights encountering the famous and feckless of Rome, slowly being corrupted.

The voluptuous Ekberg frolicking in a fountain. La Dolce Vita is a cinematic god, iconic for a five minute scene. It is also a three hour film. The remainder is waves of boredom, disappointment, grating bonhomie, isolation. All of it is very beautiful, peaks of it are very affecting… Marcello’s father’s night on the town ending in exhaustion and self realisation. Or another man coming to kiss and grope Maddalena moments after her disembodied voice has asked Marcello to marry her as he sits abandoned in another room. And then there are the glorious metaphors like Christ hanging from the helicopter over the city or the dead fish with its ever watching eye. What art or humanity can happen with the paparazzi always watching, the party guests always clamouring for attention and the streets always full. There is no solitude for grief, or writing, or romance…. no escape from society when it is so packed and constant.


Check out my wife Natalie’s Point Horror blog

We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here

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