Fellini saw his film as life affirming (thus its title, "The Sweet Life"), but it's impossible to take him seriously. While Mastroianni drifts from one worldly pleasure to another, be it sex, drink, glamorous parties or rich foods, they are presented, through his detached eyes, as merely momentary distractions. His existence, an endless series of wild evenings and lonely mornings, is ultimately soulless and facile. Because he lacks the courage to change, Mastroianni is left with no alternative but to wearily accept and enjoy this "sweet" life. --Dave McCoy, Amazon.com
Set in 1950's Rome, La Dolce Vita follows the life of a journalist (Marcello Mastroianni), a man who can write great prose but whose work is devoted to the trivia of society gossip, the sensational, and celebrity hype: his life is empty and meaningless, filled only by sex, boredom, and flight from commitment. His girlfriend wants to marry him, but is driven to attempt suicide because of his philandering. He prefers, instead, to romp with the society figure, Maddalena (Anouk Aimee) on a whore's bed, or to flirt with a visiting Hollywood screen idol (Anita Ekberg).
Modelled on a Rome which had become an outpost of Hollywood, attracting many American actors, La Dolce Vita presents that unreal world which working class Italians could only glimpse through the pages of a new generation of celebrity, illustrated magazines. In Hollywood, the studios protected their stars and managed their publicity: in Rome, they were exposed to the local press - Mastroianni's ever-present photographer, Paparazzo, would give his name to the job. Indeed, two of the film's memorable scenes - Anita Ekberg dancing in the Trevi Fountain, and the striptease towards the end - were modelled on Ekberg's own, well-publicised exploits.
Throughout the film, Italian references are sparse. The real Italians are mere onlookers.... Read more ›
Fellini had abandoned his earlier, celebrated, 'neo-realist' style for a more image centered approach, and 'La Dolce Vita' illustrates this perfectly. From the opening shot of the statue of Christ being lifted by helicopter over Rome to it's most famous scene of Anita Ekberg dancing in the Trevi fountain, the film is full of eye catching moments. Regular Fellini collaborator Nino Rota, provides a wonderful score which is as central to the film as the work of its director.
Marcello Mastroianni plays a gossip columnist who although dissatisfied with what he sees as his worthless life, is unwilling to give up 'the sweet life' among Rome's café society in favour of a more rewarding existence. With a cigarette in his mouth and a jaded look in his eyes, Mastroianni perfectly plays the part of a bored tabloid journalist, constantly socializing with Rome's high society, but always disappointed with himself. Most of the characters in the movie are directionless and without morals, which makes its setting in Rome all the more ironic.
The DVD release of this classic movie contains an excellent transfer from a good quality print, However the subtitles are built into the picture and cannot be turned off, In addition I also feel that the subtitles don't translate all the dialogue from the original script, and finally, the disc is regrettably light on extras. That said, For any broad minded movie lover, 'La Dolce Vita' is a more than worthy addition to their DVD collection.
This product's forum
Active discussions in related forums
Search Customer Discussions