La Dolce Vita

From Academic Kids

Missing image
2004 DVD release. Pictured: Anita Ekberg.

La Dolce Vita (1960) is a film directed by Federico Fellini. One of the works that defined the characteristic Fellini style, it is a vast panel of long, loosely connected scenes that paint a portrait of the high and low life of Rome in the late fifties and early sixties, as seen through the eyes of its main character, a jaded society reporter, Marcello (played by Marcello Mastroianni), in his dealings with his simple, jealous lover (Yvonne Furneaux), a sophisticated woman (Anouk Aime) with whom he has an episodic relationship, a beautiful bombshell (Anita Ekberg) whom he follows in her wanderings through Rome (including the notable scene of her night bath in the Fontana di Trevi), and a multitude of other characters of all walks of life. Fellini observes all these people with evident affection, but passes no moral judgment on their actions.

Among the more famous episodes of La Dolce Vita are the large-scale, Goyesque scene of the false miracle, when two children fake an appearance of the Virgin on the outskirts of Rome, drawing immense crowds, and the episode of Steiner (played by Alain Cuny), an intellectual friend of Marcello with a perfect family life, who ends up murdering his children and committing suicide. After Steiner's death Marcello embarks on an aimless life of orgies, after one of which he walks outside in the early morning to find a dead sea monster on the beach, the symbolic end to the film.

La Dolce Vita earned the Palme d'Or at the 1960 Cannes Film Festival and the 1961 Academy Award for Best Costume Design, Black-and-White (designed by art director Piero Gherardi).


  • the character Paparazzo, the news photographer (played by Walter Santesso) who works with Marcello, is the origin of the word used in many languages (normally in the plural, paparazzi) to describe these intrusive photographers.
  • One of the major scenes of the film would turn around the relationship of Marcello with an older writer living in a tower, to be played by thirties actress Luise Rainer. After many difficult dealings with Rainer, Fellini decided to scrap the scene for good, to which the actress reacted furiously, complaining that she had "spoiled a priceless piece of cloth to dress this character that will never be!"
  • In the "party of the nobles", attended by Marcello in a castle outside Rome, some of the servants and waiters (as well as some of the guests) are played by real aristocrats.

External links

it:La Dolce Vita ja:甘い生活


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