Castro Theatre Sat, Sep 22, 2018 6:00 PM
Film Info
Running Time:min.
Language:Italian with English subtitles
Director:Federico Fellini
Producer:Giuseppe Amato
Angelo Rizzoli
Screenwriter:Federico Fellini
Ennio Flaiano
Tullio Pinelli
Brunello Rondi
Cinematographer:Otello Martelli
Editor:Leo Catozzo
Cast:Marcello Mastroianni
Anita Ekberg
Anouk Aimée
Yvonne Furneaux
Magali Noël


Fellini’s panoramic portrait of contemporary Roman decadence — parties, paparazzi, and promiscuous sex — is one of world cinema’s most fêted films and one of the key works in the great director’s canon. With La Dolce Vita, Fellini inaugurated the cycle of ambitious, visually extravagant, episodic, self-conscious, autobiographical works that cemented his reputation as an artist of international stature and gave rise to the term “Felliniesque.” Marcello Mastroianni, is one of his signature roles, is the film’s protagonist, a world-weary gossip columnist and would-be serious writer utterly compromised by the amorality and debauchery of the New Babylon in which he lives. Anita Ekberg co-stars as the latest Hollywood sex goddess, come to Italy to star in a Biblical epic; her foray into the Trevi Fountain is one of modern cinema’s most iconic scenes. The film’s opening sequence is almost as celebrated: a huge statue of Christ being transported by helicopter over the rooftops of Rome. “Oh look, there's Jesus!” exclaims a bikinied woman sunbathing on a terrace. La Dolce Vita’s Rome is a phantasmagoria of such contrasts: the sacred and the profane, the spiritual and the material, the Christian and the pagan, the miraculous and the orgiastic. The film was a great succès de scandale in its day; the Vatican denounced it as disgusting and immoral, and even Fellini’s mother was given to ask her son, “Why did you make such a picture?” (The Cinematheque, Vancouver)

Winner of the Palme d’Or at the 1960 Festival de Cannes.

Recently restored DCP projection. Print provided by Paramount Pictures, Los Angeles.