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Italy 1960
Directed by
Frederico Fellini
174 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3 stars

Dolce Vita, La

La Dolce Vita is an iconic film that owes its status more to having struck a chord in an English-speaking world which was just beginning to go crazy over existentialism, Vespas and cappucinni than for its inherent merits. Although there are memorable scenes, it's largely an overlong anecdotal ramble through Fellini's universe as portrayed through the experiences of the sardonically compliant Marcello, a gossip columnist and would-be serious writer played by Fellini regular, Marcello Mastroianni. Marcello wanders aimlessly through the highways and byways of Rome, a man in search of himself, but not very determinedly so. The peripatetic format gives Fellini the opportunity to do what he does best, stringing together a series of loosely connected moments (Anita Ekberg in the Trevi Fountain, the statue of Christ being flown over Rome being a couple of the more memorable ones) however the lack of a robust narrative wears thin over the nearly 3 hour running time.

FYI:  Paolo Sorrentino effectively remade the film updated to a modern setting as The Great Beauty which won the Best Foreign Film Oscar in 2014.

DVD Extras: A mixed bag on the 2 disc package includes Magic of Fellini, an 86 minute documentary with Woody Allen, Marty Scorsese and Donald Sutherland; 2 recent interview segments with Anita Ekberg and Maurizio Porro, a critic and scenarist; Cinema Forever - a short documentary on film restoration focussing in the work of Enzo Retsini, who worked with Fellini; Fellini to New York, an odd mix of old and new footage in English and Italian dealing with a posthumous exhibition of the directors work ; The Fellini TV Collection, a group of spoof ads Fellini made but never used : Bios for Fellini, Mastroianni and Ekberg ; the theatrical trailer as well as trailers for the other Fellini films in the Umbrella catalogue.

Available from: Umbrella Entertainment




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