Friday, December 10, 2010

La Dolce Vita

Federico Fellini, 1960, Italy, bw (8.4*)
Palm D'or Award, Cannes
This study of moral decadence and boredom among a group of wealthy film personalities is for many the best by legendary director Federico Fellini - it's certainly my favorite. Not as confusing as some others, like 8 ½, it is a simple, plotless story that puts us in the position of papparazzi with a motion picture camera giving us glimpses into unique personalities, primarily those in entertainment.

Led by Marcello Mastrianni and Swedish bombshell Anita Ekberg, we get to see the kind of life we imagine others live on a day-to-day basis. Depending on your moral mindset, this is either a depraved life of decadence or a glittering night life of fun and frivolity with the 'beautiful people'.

This film says a lot about the human condition, as most of us are trapped in a humdrum daily routine like Marcello, from which we imagine escaping to our own personal fantasies of happiness. Some may be bored by this, as it is lengthy at 170 minutes, but many find it a unique work of creative genius. Those who have trouble with Italian neo-realism should probably avoid this. For those who don't, also check out Antonioni's L'avventura, and De Sica's Umberto D.

Winner of 7 awards out of 14 nominations, including the Palm D'or at Cannes.
Awards page at IMDB

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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.



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