The Essential Movie Library #58: La Dolce Vita (1960) - The Culture Files Blog - Los Angeles magazine
 
 

The Essential Movie Library #58: La Dolce Vita (1960)

The impossibly ripe and glowing Anita Ekberg splashing in the Trevi Fountain in her shimmery black dress has become an image for the time capsules.

Following his La Strada in 1954 and Nights of Cabiria in 1957, director Federico Fellini’s biggest breakthrough to date wasn’t just a phenomenon but became the face of world cinema in all its sophistication and uncensored bravura. Just a step ahead of the photographers whom this picture first designated “paparazzi,” scandal columnist Marcello Mastroianni (cast against the wishes of the producers, who wanted Paul Newman) frolics with the party-set in Rome, pursuing sensuality and decadence while a stone Jesus is transported over the city by helicopter, as though three millennia of Judeo-Christian repression was being airlifted out of our lives.

The impossibly ripe and glowing Anita Ekberg splashing in the Trevi Fountain in her shimmery black dress has become an image for the time capsules, and for anybody 100 years from now who wants to know what euphoric and gleeful futility the world felt in the aftermath of fascism and war, and in the face of nuclear armageddon. Part of Fellini’s revolution was the acknowledgement that before the cold light of dawn leaves us wanting more from life, or vaporizes us altogether, the preceding night of aimless sensation—to the immortal musical accompaniment of Nino Rota—looks like a pretty good time.

Read them all:
The Essential Movie Library #57: Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid
The Essential Movie Library #56: Contempt
The Essential Movie Library #55: Sunset Boulevard
The Essential Movie Library #54: Metropolis
The Essential Movie Library #53: In A Lonely Place
The Essential Movie Library #52: Talk to Her

The Essential Movie LIbrary #51: To Be or Not To Be
The Essential Movie Library #50: The Battle of Algiers
The Essential Movie Library #49: Notorious
The Essential Movie Library #48: Wings of Desire
The Essential Movie Library #47: L'Avventura
The Essential Movie Library #46: Malcolm X
The Essential Movie Library #45: In the Mood for Love
The Essential Movie Library #44: Touch of Evil
The Essential Movie Library #43: Once Upon A Time in the West
The Essential Movie Library #42: Belle de Jour
The Essential Movie Library #41: Apocalypse Now
The Essential Movie Library #40: Out of the Past
The Essential Movie Library #39: Branded to Kill
The Essential Movie Library #38: The General
The Essential Movie Library #37: Lord of the Rings
The Essential Movie Library #36: Aguirre, the Wrath of God
The Essential Movie Library #35: Raging Bull
The Essential Movie Library #34: The Rules of the Game
The Essential Movie Library #33: Chinatown 
The Essential Movie Library #32: Stalker
The Essential Movie Library #31: Weekend
The Essential Movie Library #30: Some Like It Hot 
The Essential Movie Library #29: Red River
The Essential Movie Library #28: The Passenger
The Essential Movie Library #27: Singin' in the Rain
The Essential Movie Library #26: Heat
The Essential Movie Library #25: L'Atalante
The Essential Movie Library #24: Sunrise
The Essential Movie Library #23: His Girl Friday
The Essential Movie Library #22: Black Narcissus
The Essential Movie Library #21: Blade Runner
The Essential Movie Library #20: Persona
The Essential Movie Library #19: The Shop Around the Corner
The Essential Movie Library #18: Lost Highway
The Essential Movie Library #17: Tokyo Story
The Essential Movie Library #16: 8 1/2

The Essential Movie Library #15: City Lights
The Essential Movie Library #14: Seven Samurai
The Essential Movie Library #13: Lawrence of Arabia
The Essential Movie Library #12: Citizen Kane
The Essential Movie Library #11: Jules and Jim
The Essential Movie Library #10: My Darling Clementine 
The Essential Movie Library #9: Double Indemnity 
The Essential Movie Library #8: That Obscure Object of Desire 
The Essential Movie Library #7: 2001: A Space Odyssey 
The Essential Movie Library #6: Casablanca
The Essential Movie Library #5: The Lady Eve
The Essential Movie Library #4: The Third Man 
The Essential Movie Library #3: The Passion of Joan of Arc 
The Essential Movie Library #2: Vertigo 
The Essential Movie Library #1: The Godfather Trilogy

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