La Dolce Vita

La dolce vita
La Dolce Vita (1960 film) coverart.jpg

Original movie poster by Giorgio Olivetti
Directed by Federico Fellini
Produced by Giuseppe Amato
Angelo Rizzoli
Screenplay by Federico Fellini
Ennio Flaiano
Tullio Pinelli
Brunello Rondi
Pier Paolo Pasolini
Story by Federico Fellini
Ennio Flaiano
Tullio Pinelli
Starring Marcello Mastroianni
Anita Ekberg
Anouk Aimée
Yvonne Furneaux
Magali Noël
Alain Cuny
Nadia Gray
Music by Nino Rota
Cinematography Otello Martelli
Editing by Leo Catozzo
Studio Pathé Consortium Cinéma
Distributed by Koch-Lorber Films
Release date(s)
  • February 5, 1960 (1960-02-05) (Italy)
  • April 19, 1961 (1961-04-19) (US)
Running time 174 minutes
180 minutes (US)
Country Italy
Language Italian
Box office $19,516,000 (US)

La Dolce Vita (Italian pronunciation: [la ˈdoltʃe ˈviːta]; Italian for “the sweet life” or “the good life”)[1] is a 1960 comedy-drama film written and directed by the critically acclaimed director Federico Fellini. The film is a story of a passive journalist’s week in Rome, and his search for both happiness and love that will never come. La Dolce Vita won the Palme d’Or (Golden Palm) at the 1960 Cannes Film Festival[2] and the Oscar for Best Costumes.[3]

Plot[edit source | edit]

Based on the most common interpretation of the storyline,[4] the film can be divided into a prologue, seven major episodes interrupted by an intermezzo, and an epilogue. If the evenings of each episode were joined with the morning of the respective preceding episode together as a day, they would form seven consecutive days, which may not necessarily be the case.

Prologue[edit source | edit]

1st Day Sequence: A helicopter transports a statue of Christ over an ancient Roman aqueduct outside Rome while a second, Marcello’s news helicopter, follows it into the city. The news helicopter is momentarily sidetracked by a group of bikini-clad women sunbathing on the rooftop of a high-rise apartment building. Hovering above, Marcello uses gestures to elicit phone numbers from them but fails in his attempt then shrugs and continues on following the statue into Saint Peter’s Square.

Episode 1[edit source | edit]

1st Night Sequence: Marcello meets Maddalena (Anouk Aimée) by chance in an exclusive nightclub. A beautiful and wealthy heiress, Maddalena is tired of Rome and constantly in search of new sensations while Marcello finds Rome suits him as a jungle he can hide in. They make love in the bedroom of a prostitute to whom they had given a ride home in Maddalena’s Cadillac.

1st Dawn Sequence: Marcello returns to his apartment at dawn to find that his fiancée, Emma (Yvonne Furneaux), has overdosed. On the way to the hospital, he declares his everlasting love to her and again as she lies in a semiconscious state in the emergency room. While waiting frantically for her recovery, however, he tries to make a phone call to Maddalena.

Episode 2[edit source | edit]

2nd Day Sequence: That day, he goes on assignment for the arrival of Sylvia (Anita Ekberg), a famous Swedish-American actress, at Ciampino airport where she is met by a horde of news reporters.

During Sylvia’s press conference, Marcello calls home to ensure Emma has taken her medication while reassuring her that he is not alone with Sylvia. After the film star confidently replies to the barrage of journalists’ questions, Marcello casually recommends that Sylvia be taken on a tour of St Peter’s.

Inside St Peter’s dome, a news reporter complains that Sylvia is “an elevator” because none of them can match her energetic climb up the numerous flights of stairs. Inspired, Marcello maneuvers forward to be alone with her when they finally reach the balcony overlooking the Vatican.

2nd Night Sequence: That evening, the infatuated Marcello dances with Sylvia in the Baths of Caracalla. Sylvia’s natural sensuality triggers raucous partying while Robert (Lex Barker), her bored fiancé, reads a newspaper. His humiliating remark to her causes Sylvia to leave the group, eagerly followed by Marcello and his paparazzi colleagues. Finding themselves alone, Marcello and Sylvia spend the rest of the evening in the alleys of Rome where they wade into the Trevi Fountain.

2nd Dawn Sequence: Like a magic spell that has suddenly been broken, dawn arrives at the very moment Sylvia playfully “anoints” Marcello’s head with fountain water. They drive back to Sylvia’s hotel to find an enraged Robert waiting for her in his car. Robert slaps Sylvia, orders her to go to bed, and then assaults Marcello who takes it in stride.

Episode 3a[edit source | edit]

3rd Day Sequence: Marcello meets Steiner (Alain Cuny), his distinguished intellectual friend, inside a church playing Bach on the organ. Steiner shows off his book of Sanskrit grammar.

Episode 4[edit source | edit]

4th Day Sequence: Late afternoon, Marcello, his photographer friend Paparazzo (Walter Santesso), and Emma drive to the outskirts of Rome to cover the story of the purported sighting of the Madonna by two children. Although the Catholic Church is officially skeptical, a huge crowd of devotees and reporters gathers at the site.

3rd Night Sequence: That night, the event is broadcast over Italian radio and television. Blindly following the two children from corner to corner in a downpour, the crowd tears a small tree apart for its branches and leaves said to have sheltered the Madonna. Meanwhile, Emma prays to the Virgin Mary to be given sole possession of Marcello’s heart.

3rd Dawn Sequence: The gathering ends at dawn with the crowd mourning a sick child, a pilgrim brought by his mother to be healed, but trampled to death in the melee.

Episode 3b[edit source | edit]

4th Night Sequence: One evening, Marcello and Emma attend a gathering at Steiner’s luxurious home where they are introduced to a group of intellectuals who recite poetry, strum the guitar, offer philosophical ideas, and listen to sounds of nature recorded on tape. While one of the women declares it better not to get married so that one does not need to choose, Marcello responds that it is better to be chosen than to choose. Emma appears enchanted with Steiner’s home and children, telling Marcello that one day he will have a home like Steiner’s.

Outside on the terrace, Marcello confesses to Steiner his admiration for all he stands for, but Steiner admits he is torn between the security that a materialistic life affords and his longing for a more spiritual albeit insecure way of life. Steiner philosophizes about the need for love in the world and fears what his children may grow up to face one day.

Intermezzo[edit source | edit]

5th Day Sequence: Marcello spends the afternoon working on his novel at a seaside restaurant where he meets Paola (Valeria Ciangottini), a young waitress from Perugia playing Perez Prado‘s cha-cha Patricia on the jukebox and then humming its tune. He asks her if she has a boyfriend, then describes her as an angel in Umbrian paintings.

Episode 5[edit source | edit]

5th Night Sequence: Marcello meets his father (Annibale Ninchi) visiting Rome on the Via Veneto. With Paparazzo, they go to the Cha-Cha-Cha Club where Marcello introduces his father to Fanny (Magali Noël), a beautiful dancer and one of his past one-night stands (he had promised to get her picture in the paper, but failed to do it). Fanny takes a liking to his father. Marcello tells Paparazzo that as a child he had never seen much of his father, who would spend weeks away from home. Fanny invites Marcello’s father back to her flat, and two other dancers invite the two younger men to go with them. Marcello leaves the others when they get to the dancers’ neighborhood. Fanny comes out of her house, upset that Marcello’s father has gotten ill.

4th Dawn Sequence: Marcello’s father has suffered what seems to be a mild heart attack. Marcello wants him to stay with him in Rome so they can get to know each other, but his father, weakened, wants to go home and gets in a taxi to catch the first train home. He leaves Marcello forlorn, on the street, watching the taxi leave.

Episode 6[edit source | edit]

6th Night Sequence: Marcello, Nico (playing herself), and other friends met on the Via Veneto are driven to a castle owned by aristocrats at Bassano di Sutri outside Rome. There is already a party long in progress, and the party-goers are bleary-eyed and intoxicated. By chance, Marcello meets Maddalena again. The two of them explore a suite of ruins annexed to the castle. Maddalena seats Marcello in a vast room and then closets herself in another room connected by an echo chamber. As a disembodied voice, Maddalena asks him to marry her; Marcello professes his love for her, avoiding answering her proposal. Another man kisses and embraces Maddalena, who loses interest in Marcello. He rejoins the group, and eventually spends the night with Jane (Audrey McDonald), an American artist and heiress.

5th Dawn Sequence: Burnt out and bleary-eyed, the group returns at dawn to the main section of the castle, to be met by the matriarch of the castle, who is on her way to mass, accompanied by priests in a procession.

Episode 3c[edit source | edit]

7th Night Sequence: Marcello and Emma are alone in his sports car on an isolated road. Emma starts an argument by protesting her love, and tries to get out of the car; Marcello pleads with her not to get out. Emma says that Marcello will never find another woman who loves him the way she does. Marcello becomes enraged at her, telling her that he cannot live with her maternal and smothering love. He now wants her to get out of the car, and she refuses. With some violence (a bite from her and a slap from him), he throws her out of the car and drives off. She is left alone on a dark, lonely road, in the dark. After some hours (it is now dawn), Emma is still alone on the road, holding flowers, when she hears his car approaching. She gets in the car without saying a word.

6th Dawn Sequence: Marcello and Emma are asleep in bed, tenderly intertwined; Marcello receives a phone call. He rushes to the Steiners’ apartment and learns that Steiner has killed himself and his two children.

6th Day Sequence: After waiting with the police for Steiner’s wife to return home, he meets her outside to break the terrible news while paparazzi swarm around her snapping pictures.

Episode 7[edit source | edit]

8th Night Sequence: An unspecified amount of time later, an older Marcello—now with gray in his hair—and a group of partygoers break into a Fregene beach house owned by Riccardo, a friend of Marcello’s. To celebrate her recent divorce from Riccardo, Nadia performs a striptease to Perez Prado‘s cha-cha Patricia. The drunken Marcello attempts to provoke the other partygoers into an orgy. Due to their inebriated states, however, the party descends into mayhem with Marcello throwing pillow feathers around the room as he rides a young woman crawling on her hands and knees. Riccardo shows up at the house and angrily tells the partiers to leave.

Epilogue[edit source | edit]

7th Dawn Sequence: The party proceeds to the beach at dawn where they find a modern-day leviathan, a bloated, stingray-like creature, caught in the fishermen’s nets.[5] In his stupor, Marcello comments on how its eyes stare even in death.

7th Day Sequence: Paola, the adolescent waitress from the seaside restaurant in Fregene, calls to Marcello from across an estuary but the words they exchange are lost on the wind, drowned out by the crash of the waves. He signals his inability to understand what she is saying or interpret her gestures. He shrugs and returns to the partygoers; one of the women joins him and they hold hands as they walk away from the beach. In a long final close-up, Paola waves to Marcello then stands watching him with an enigmatic smile.

Cast[edit source | edit]

Themes and motifs[edit source | edit]

Marcello is a journalist in Rome during the late 1950s who covers tabloid news of movie stars, religious visions and the self-indulgent aristocracy while searching for a more meaningful way of life. Depicting the ease, confusion, and frequency with which Marcello is distracted by women, the film’s theme “is predominantly café society, the diverse and glittery world rebuilt upon the ruins and poverty”[1] of the Italian postwar period.

In the film’s opening sequence, a plaster statue of Christ the Labourer suspended by cables from a helicopter, flies past the ruins of an ancient Roman aqueduct.[6] The statue is being taken to the Pope at the Vatican. Journalist Marcello and a photographer named Paparazzo follow in a second helicopter. The symbolism of Christ, arms outstretched as if blessing all of Rome as it flies overhead, is soon replaced by the profane lifestyle and neomodern architecture of the “new” Rome founded on the economic miracle of the late 1950s. (Much of this was actually filmed in Cinecittà or in EUR, the Mussolini-style area south of Rome.) The delivery of the statue is the first of many recurring scenes placing religious icons in the midst of characters demonstrating their “modern” morality influenced by the booming economy and the emerging mass-consumer lifestyle.

Censorship[edit source | edit]

Perceived by the Catholic Church as a parody of Christ’s second coming, the scene and the entire film were condemned by the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano in 1960.[7] Subject to widespread censorship, the film was banned in Spain until 1975 after the death of Franco.[8] Umberto Tupini, the Minister of Culture of the Tambroni government censored it and other “shameful films”.

Production[edit source | edit]

Critics have often commented on the extravagant costumes used throughout Fellini’s films. In various interviews, Fellini claimed that the film’s initial inspiration was in fact this particular style.[9] Brunello Rondi, Fellini’s co-screenwriter and long-time collaborator, confirmed this view explaining that “the fashion of women’s sack dresses which possessed that sense of luxurious butterflying out around a body that might be physically beautiful but not morally so; these sack dresses struck Fellini because they rendered a woman very gorgeous who could, instead, be a skeleton of squalor and solitude inside.”[10]

Credit for the creation of Steiner (played by Alain Cuny), the intellectual who commits suicide after shooting his two children, goes to co-screenwriter Tullio Pinelli. Having gone to school with Italian novelist Cesare Pavese, Pinelli had closely followed the writer’s career and felt that his over-intellectualism had become emotionally sterile, leading to his suicide in a Turin hotel in 1950.[11] This idea of a “burnt-out existence” is carried over to Steiner in the party episode where the sounds of nature are not to be experienced first-hand by himself and his guests but in the virtual world of tape recordings.

Most of the film was shot at the Cinecittà Studios in Rome. Set designer Piero Gherardi created over eighty locations, including the Via Veneto, the dome of Saint Peter’s with the staircase leading up to it, and various nightclubs.[12] However, other sequences were shot on location such as the party at the aristocrats’ castle filmed in the real Bassano di Sutri palace north of Rome. (Some of the servants, waiters, and guests were played by real aristocrats.) Fellini combined constructed sets with location shots, depending on script requirements—a real location often “gave birth to the modified scene and, consequently, the newly constructed set.”[13] The film’s famous last scenes where the monster fish is pulled out of the sea and Marcello waves goodbye to Paola (the teenage “Umbrian angel”) were shot on location at Passo Oscuro, a small resort town situated on the Italian coast 30 kilometers north of Rome.[14]

Fellini scrapped a major sequence that would have involved the relationship of Marcello with Dolores, an older writer living in a tower, to be played by 1930s Academy Award-winning actress Luise Rainer.[15] If the director’s dealings with Rainer “who used to involve Fellini in futile discussion” were problematic, biographer Kezich argues that while rewriting the screenplay, the Dolores character grew “hyperbolic” and Fellini decided to jettison “the entire story line.”[16]

The famous scene in the Trevi Fountain was shot over a week in winter: in March according to the BBC,[17] in late January according to Anita Ekberg.[18] Fellini claimed that Ekberg stood in the cold water in her dress for hours without any trouble while Mastroianni had to wear a wetsuit beneath his clothes – to no avail. It was only after the actor “polished off a bottle of vodka” and “was completely pissed” that Fellini could shoot the scene.[19]

The character of Paparazzo, the news photographer (Walter Santesso), was inspired by photojournalist Tazio Secchiaroli[20] and is the origin of the word paparazzi used in many languages to describe intrusive photographers.[21] As to the origin of the character’s name itself, Fellini scholar Peter Bondanella argues that although “it is indeed an Italian family name, the word is probably a corruption of the word papataceo, a large and bothersome mosquito. Ennio Flaiano, the film’s co-screenwriter and creator of Paparazzo, reports that he took the name from a character in a novel by George Gissing.”[22] Gissing’s character, Signor Paparazzo, is found in his travel book, By the Ionian Sea (1901).[8]

Structure[edit source | edit]

Seven principal episodes[edit source | edit]

The most common interpretation of the film is a mosaic, its parts linked by the protagonist, Marcello Rubini, a journalist.[23] The seven principal episodes are as follows:

1. Marcello’s evening with the heiress Maddalena (Anouk Aimée)
2. His long, frustrating night with the American actress Sylvia (Anita Ekberg) that ends in the Trevi fountain at dawn
3. His reunion with the intellectual Steiner (Alain Cuny); their relationship is divided into three sequences spread over the entire film: a) the encounter, b) Steiner’s party, and c) Steiner’s tragedy
4. The fake miracle
5. His father’s visit/Steiner’s Party
6. The aristocrat’s party/Steiner’s tragedy
7. The “orgy[24] at the beach house

Interrupting these seven episodes is the restaurant sequence with the angelic Paola; they are framed by a prologue (Christ statue over Rome) and epilogue (the monster fish), giving the film its innovative and symmetrically symbolic structure.[1] The evocations are obvious: seven deadly sins, seven sacraments, seven virtues, seven days of creation.

Other critics claim that this widespread view of the film’s structure is inaccurate. Peter Bondanella, for example, argues that “any critic of La dolce vita not mesmerized by the magic number seven will find it almost impossible to organize the numerous sequences on a strictly numerological basis.”[25]

An aesthetic of disparity[edit source | edit]

Critic Robert Richardson suggests that the originality of La dolce vita lies in a new form of film narrative that mines “an aesthetic of disparity.”[26] Abandoning traditional plot and conventional “character development,” Fellini and co-screenwriters Ennio Flaiano and Tullio Pinelli, forged a cinematic narrative that rejected continuity, unnecessary explanations, and narrative logic in favour of seven non-linear encounters between Marcello, a kind of Dantesque Pilgrim, and an underworld of 120 different characters. These encounters build up a cumulative impression on the viewer that finds resolution in an “overpowering sense of the disparity between what life has been or could be, and what it actually is.”[27]

In a device used earlier in his films, Fellini orders the disparate succession of sequences as movements from evening to dawn. Also employed as an ordering device is the image of a downward spiral that Marcello sets in motion when descending the first of several staircases (including ladders) that open and close each major episode. The upshot is that the film’s aesthetic form, rather than its content, embodies the overall theme of Rome as a moral wasteland.

Critical reception[edit source | edit]

Writing for L’Espresso, Italian novelist Alberto Moravia highlighted the film’s variations in tone: “Highly expressive throughout, Fellini seems to change the tone according to the subject matter of each episode, ranging from expressionist caricature to pure neo-realism. In general, the tendency to caricature is greater the more severe the film’s moral judgement although this is never totally contemptuous, there being always a touch of complacence and participation, as in the final orgy scene or the episode at the aristocrats’ castle outside Rome, the latter being particularly effective for its descriptive acuteness and narrative rhythm.”[28]

In Filmcritica XI, Italian poet and film director Pier Paolo Pasolini argued that “La dolce vita was too important to be discussed as one would normally discuss a film. Though not as great as Chaplin, Eisenstein or Mizoguchi, Fellini is unquestionably an author rather than a director. The film is therefore his and his alone… The camera moves and fixes the image in such a way as to create a sort of diaphragm around each object, thus making the object’s relationship to the world appear as irrational and magical. As each new episode begins, the camera is already in motion using complicated movements. Frequently, however, these sinuous movements are brutally punctuated by a very simple documentary shot, like a quotation written in everyday language”.[29]

In France, Jacques Doniol-Valcroze, film critic and co-founder of Cahiers du cinéma, felt that “what La dolce vita lacks is the structure of a masterpiece. In fact, the film has no proper structure: it is a succession of cinematic moments, some more convincing than others… In the face of criticism, La Dolce Vita disintegrates, leaving behind little more than a sequence of events with no common denominator linking them into a meaningful whole”.[30]

The New York Times film critic Bosley Crowther praised Fellini’s “brilliantly graphic estimation of a whole swath of society in sad decay and, eventually, a withering commentary on the tragedy of the over-civilized… Fellini is nothing if not fertile, fierce and urbane in calculating the social scene around him and packing it onto the screen. He has an uncanny eye for finding the offbeat and grotesque incident, the gross and bizarre occurrence that exposes a glaring irony. He has, too, a splendid sense of balance and a deliciously sardonic wit that not only guided his cameras but also affected the writing of the script. In sum, it is an awesome picture, licentious in content but moral and vastly sophisticated in its attitude and what it says”.[31]

To this day, La Dolce Vita remains a classic and one of the most critically acclaimed films of all time. Film critic Roger Ebert considered it Fellini’s best film[32] and listed it in his Top 10.[33] He mentioned in his “great movies” review of the film that “Fellini and Marcello had taken a moment of discovery and made it immortal”.[34]

The movie earned $6 million in North American rentals on original release.[35] The film was re-released in North America in 1966 and earned $1.5 million in rentals.[36]

Awards and recognition[edit source | edit]

La dolce vita was hailed as “one of the most widely seen and acclaimed European movies of the 1960s” by The New York Times.[37] It was nominated for four Academy Awards, winning one for Best Costume Design: Black-and-White. La dolce vita also earned the Palme d’Or (Golden Palm) at the 1960 Cannes Film Festival.[2][38] It was voted the 6th Greatest film of all time by Entertainment Weekly.[39]

In 2010, the film was ranked #11 in Empire magazine’s “The 100 Best Films Of World Cinema”.[40]

In popular culture[edit source | edit]

The film has influenced or else been referenced in contemporary films, television shows, and songs. In Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation (2003), Kelly’s interview for LIT resembles Sylvia’s interview scenes in La dolce vita. Charlotte and Bob later meet in the middle of the night and watch the famous Trevi Fountain sequence while drinking sake.[8] Coppola said, “I saw that movie on TV when I was in Japan. It’s not plot-driven, it’s about them wandering around. And there was something with the Japanese subtitles and them speaking Italian – it had a truly enchanting quality”.[8] Steve Martin‘s L.A. Story (1991) opens with a hotdog stand dangling under a helicopter passing by a roof-top pool with the sunbathing women waving as it passes, a reference to the opening scene of a statue of Christ being carried into the Vatican in La dolce vita.[original research?] In Goodbye Lenin (2003), directed by Wolfgang Becker, a statue of Lenin is flown across Berlin, recalling the opening scene of Fellini’s film. The title of Korean film, A Bittersweet Life (2005), is a pun on the English translation of La dolce vita (“The Sweet Life”) and the restaurant that the protagonist enforces for the mob is called La Dolce Vita. The two protagonists of Marcos Carnevale’s Elsa y Fred (2005) recreate the scene in the Fontana di Trevi performed originally by Ekberg and Mastroianni while in Simon Pegg‘s How to Lose Friends & Alienate People (2008), Alison (Kirsten Dunst) cites La dolce vita as her favourite movie. Fellini’s film is later shown playing on a large, outdoor cinema screen. In the Daria episode “Fire”, Daria is quoted saying “watching a dead fish wash up on shore always puts me in a good mood” in reference to recommending the film earlier in the episode.[41] Woody Allen‘s Celebrity (1998) is a New York-set re-working of La dolce vita with Kenneth Branagh taking up Mastroianni’s role, and Winona Ryder and Charlize Theron taking on the roles held by Anouk Aimée and Anita Ekberg, respectively.

Comediennes Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders drew from La dolce vita (among other Fellini films) for an episode of their television series, French & Saunders. Entitled “Franco E Sandro”, the episode parodied the surreal motifs in Fellini’s films, including replacing the flight of the Christ statue with a statue of Madonna. In the episode “Marco Polo” of the TV series The Sopranos, Junior Soprano falls asleep watching La dolce vita. When Bobby Baccalieri enters the room, Junior wakes up and comments on the statue of Christ hanging from the helicopter saying, “You can tell it’s fake.” Homer Simpson dresses for his date with Marge in “Some Enchanted Evening” while humming the theme from La dolce vita.

Steiner’s pessimistic speech about the future is quoted in an English translation in the song “The Certainty of Chance” by The Divine Comedy from their 1998 album Fin de Siècle. It is the speech that begins, “Sometimes at night the darkness and silence frightens me. Peace frightens me. I feel it’s only a facade, hiding the face of hell.” Fashion model and singer Christa Päffgen, who adopted the pseudonym of Nico and later performed with The Velvet Underground before pursuing a solo career, plays herself in the “party of the nobles” scene. Adriano Celentano, who later became famous in Italy as a singer and actor, appears in the scene in the pseudo-ancient Roman nightclub, where Marcello makes his first advances to Sylvia. Bob Dylan‘s “Motorpsycho Nitemare” from Another Side of Bob Dylan (1964) references the title of the film as does Blondie‘s “Pretty Baby” from Parallel Lines (1978).

Tributes to Fellini in the “Director’s Cut” of Cinema Paradiso (1988) include a helicopter suspending a statue of Christ over the city and scenes in which the Trevi Fountain is used as a backdrop while Toto, the main character, grows up to be a famous film director.

The 2003 film Under the Tuscan Sun has a tribute to the famous scene in the Trevi Fountain. One of the characters (Catherine), dances in a fountain in a manner reminiscent of Anita Ekberg’s scene.

References[edit source | edit]

Notes[edit source | edit]

  1. ^ a b c Kezich, 203
  2. ^ a b “Festival de Cannes: La Dolce Vita”. Retrieved 2009-02-15. 
  3. ^ Pettigrew, 169
  4. ^ Cf. Bondanella, 143 and Kezich, 203
  5. ^ The fish is not specified in the film script nor identified by critics or biographers. Set designer Piero Gherardi described his creation as “a kind of huge beast with blobs of plaster all over it like veal tripe. For eyes I gave it convex enlarging lenses”. Alpert, 141. Cf. Kezich, 204-205 and Bondanella, 144
  6. ^ The aqueduct can be seen from the railway lines south of Termini station in Rome or by visiting the Parco degli Acquedotti.
  7. ^ Kezich, 209
  8. ^ a b c d French, Philip (February 17, 2008). “Italian cinema’s sweet success”. London: The Observer. Retrieved 2008-02-19. 
  9. ^ Fellini states that the fashionable ladies’ sack dress proved to be his first inspiration because of what the dress could hide beneath it. Pettigrew, 57.
  10. ^ Bondanella, Peter, The Cinema of Federico Fellini, 134
  11. ^ Kezich, 198
  12. ^ Fellini, 67-83.
  13. ^ Bondanella, The Cinema of Federico Fellini, 142
  14. ^ The feature documentary, Fellini: I’m a Born Liar, shows many of these real locations used throughout the maestro’s films.
  15. ^ Kezich, 199
  16. ^ Kezich, 199, 241
  17. ^
  18. ^ Interview with Anita Ekberg by Roberta Licurgo included in 2004 DVD edition of La dolce vita.
  19. ^ Costantini, 47
  20. ^ Aspesi, Natalia (2010-02-07). La Dolce Vita ha 50 anni ma sembra scritta oggi – Dopo mezzo secolo La Dolce Vita fa ancora scandalo”. La Repubblica. Retrieved 2012-08-03. 
  21. ^ “Definition of paparazzi at Merriam-Webster”. Retrieved 2012-08-03. 
  22. ^ Bondanella, The Cinema of Federico Fellini, 136
  23. ^ Bondanella, The Cinema of Federico Fellini, 143
  24. ^ “At a villa on the coast near Fregene, Marcello presides over what passed for an “orgy” in 1959.” Bondanella, 144
  25. ^ Bondanella, The Cinema of Federico Fellini, 145
  26. ^ Richardson, Robert, ‘Waste Lands: The Breakdown of Order’ in Bondanella (ed.), Federico Fellini: Essays in Criticism, 111
  27. ^ Richardson, ‘Waste Lands: The Breakdown of Order’, 111.
  28. ^ Moravia’s review first published in L’Espresso (Rome), February 14, 1960. Fava and Vigano, 104
  29. ^ Pasolini’s review first published in Filmcritica XI (Rome), February 1960. In Fava and Vigano, 104-105
  30. ^ Doniol-Valcroze’s review first published in France observateur (Paris), May 19, 1960. In Fava and Vigano, 104
  31. ^ Crowther’s review first published in The New York Times, April 20, 1961. In Fava and Vigano, 105
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^ Ebert, Roger (January 5, 1997). “Great Movies-La Dolce Vita”. 
  35. ^ “All-Time Top Grossers”, Variety, 8 January 1964 p 69
  36. ^ “Big Rental Pictures of 1966″, Variety, 4 January 1967 p 8
  37. ^ Scott, A. O. La dolce vita at the New York Times. The New York Times . Retrieved 2007-02-03. 
  38. ^ “Awards for La Dolce Vita”. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2007-02-03. 
  39. ^ “Entertainment Weekly’s 100 Greatest Movies of All Time”. Retrieved 2009-01-19. 
  40. ^ “The 100 Best Films Of World Cinema”. Empire. 
  41. ^

Bibliography[edit source | edit]

Further reading[edit source | edit]

  • (Italian) Costa, Antonio (2010) . Federico Fellini. ‘La dolce vita’. Lindau: collana Universale film.
  • (Italian) Fellini, Federico, and Joseph-Marie Lo Duca (1960). La dolce vita. Paris: Jean-Jacques Pauvert Editeur.
  • Kezich, Tullio (2005). “Federico Fellini and the Making of ‘La Dolce Vita’”. in Cineaste, Volume 31, no. 1, 2005, p. 8-14.
  • (Italian) — (1960). ‘La Dolce Vita’ di Federico Fellini. Bologna: Cappelli editore, collana Fellini Federico: dal soggetto al Film, 1960.
  • (Italian) — (1996). Su ‘La Dolce Vita’ con Federico Fellini. Venice: Marsilio.
  • Ricciardi, Alessia (2000). “The Spleen of Rome: Mourning Modernism in Fellini’s ‘La Dolce Vita’”. in Modernism/Modernity, Volume 7, no. 2, 2000, p. 201-219.

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