New on Video: ‘La Dolce Vita’

La Dolce Vita

Directed by Federico Fellini

Written by Federico Fellini, Ennio Flaiano, Tullio Pinelli, Brunello Rondi

Italy, 1960

Right from the start of Federico Fellini’s 1960 film La Dolce Vita, we know we’re in for something different, something exciting, something audacious. Fellini’s choice of initial imagery announces immediately that this is a film about the contradictions of modern life. First, we get a helicopter carrying a large statue of Christ over Rome. It’s a powerful image with extensive connotations. This holy figure stands as the traditional and the sacred, and is slightly vulgarized in its absurdity here. But it moves on, and what follows further illustrates that things have changed: out with Christ, in with Marcello (Rubini in the film, Mastroianni in real life). He and his “photo reporters,” now known because of this film as paparazzi, take time away from their coverage of the transport to
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