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4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Look at The Sweet Life's Hollow Center
LA DOLCE VITA presents a series of incidents in the life of Roman tabloid reporter Marcello Rubini (Marcello Mastroianni)--and although each incident is very different in content they gradually create a portrait of an intelligent but superficial man who is gradually consumed by "the sweet life" of wealth, celebrity, and self-indulgence he reports on and which he...
Published on May 2 2002 by Gary F. Taylor

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars One Of Fellini's Masterpieces!
The English translation for "La Dolce Vita" as many know by now is "the sweet life". And, that's what Marcello Mastroianni seeks throughout this entire film. He plays a thrid-rate newspaper man who writes a gossip column. He thinks life would be so much better if he was wealthy, as does everyone else I know! He wants to be a respected reporter. This movie as with other...
Published on Aug. 26 2001 by Alex Udvary


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5.0 out of 5 stars L'Agrodolce Vita, Dec 2 2001
By 
A. Carter (Pittsfield, MA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: La Dolce Vita (VHS Tape)
I first saw La Dolce Vita when it was released into American theatres back in the 60s. Until then, movies were just an easy escape for me, something to do on a Saturday afternoon. This first Fellini experience changed everything. Money-and-beauty-don't-buy-happiness is not a new idea. What is new--still--is how Fellini shapes our experience of the idea and of film as art. For contemporary audiences looking for eye candy, many spots in La Dolce Vita can feel like a bad home video. Every time I watch it, I ask why he left in this pointless shot, that futile business. Fellini answers, when I want you to feel good, I'll make Amarcord.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ah....... Rome at night!!!!!!!!, Oct. 1 2001
By 
Masafumi Yamamoto (Koganei-shi, Tokyo Japan) - See all my reviews
This review is from: La Dolce Vita (VHS Tape)
This movie really describes what is the sweet life.
Fellini big fan??????????? BUY IT NOW!!!!!!!!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars La Dolce Vita, My Views and Suggestions, March 24 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: La Dolce Vita (VHS Tape)
Upon my first viewing of La Dolce Vita I had been very excited. I did not know much about it but had seen photos of Anita Ekberg's fountain frolic and had read a few selected articles. I soon learned La Dolce Vita is not the kind of film you go into unprepared. 15 minutes into the film I really enjoyed it, within a half hour I was loving it. But as time went by things got slower and slower as well as more tastless. by Vita's end I absolutely hated it. I went to bed that night guilty and confused, angry over wasting a good three hours. But the next day an odd thing happened, I was sitting in school when I began thinking of it. I tried to stop but couldn't get the images out of my head. I felt a strange desire to watch it again, as if I had missed something. However I quickly put these thoughts out of my head. About two weeks later I was in the video store when I came across 8 1/2. I had thought I would never be interested in any of Fellini's works again but I had accumulated a strange urge to see it. So I rented it, brought it home and was blown away. It quickly vaulted to the top of my favorite films list and Fellini to the top of my directors. Fascinated I began viewing some of his other works. Eventually though I came to the inevitable, La Dolce Vita, so a few days later I ordered it off Amazon. That viewing left me utterly stunned and wondering what I had missed the first time. I began to see things I had never seen and think things never thought. I began to find meaning in Vita I had never acknowledged, masses of it. However I won't get into that now. Upon my first viewing Vita would have recieved about one star, now I've come to realize its brilliance. However, I would not recomend it to virgins of Fellini's work. It would probably be best, in that case, to start with some of his earlier more enjoyable films, ala La Strada. Also it would probably be best to read up on it before hand. Its good to have an idea of what you are looking for, before you try to find it. Oh, and one more thing, don't fall into the articles that will tell you La Dolce Vita is an immoral and an ungodly film. The material is a bit tasteless but the meaning behind it can easily be viewed in a very christian way. Follow these suggestions and I guarantee your expieriances will be far more pleasurable.
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2.0 out of 5 stars A musty period piece, smelling bad, March 6 2001
By 
Eric Krupin (Salt Lake City, UT) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: La Dolce Vita (VHS Tape)
Only its undeniable status as one of central relics of the Sixites (one that has held up as well as, say, the Nehru jacket) saves this dull, pretentious, massively over-rated film from the lowest rating. Maybe you had to be there, but I wasn't, and, judging from this, I'm not sorry.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Marcello kickin-it in Rome, Feb. 8 2001
This review is from: La Dolce Vita (VHS Tape)
this movie is cool because Marcello hangs out, parties with the 'in crowd', and trashes somebody's apartment in Rome. but seriously, this is another must see of Fellini's (8 1/2 of course) and definitely a msut if you love Rome. if you're familiar with the cities monuments, smells or people you'll really enjoy this. while not quite aspiring to the philisophical pretentions of 8 1/2, and not quite as visually appealing, this film rocks and you better see it!
this reviewer also recommends 'Wild Strawberries', '8 1/2', 'Cinema Paradiso', 'Goodfellas', 'Raging Bull', 'Home Alone 6', etc.
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5.0 out of 5 stars five star decadence!, Aug. 20 2000
By 
Miko (Jersey City, NJ United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: La Dolce Vita (VHS Tape)
Fellini's masterpiece brilliantly showcases Roman decadence. Top rate performances from Marcelo Mastroianni and Anouk Aimee. Humorous, haunting and almost surreal only Fellini or Bunuel could create for the screen. Can't wait to own the DVD version. Catch that unforgettable song "Arrivederci, Roma" in the club scene.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Living the sour life, Aug. 14 2000
By 
Edward (San Francisco) - See all my reviews
This review is from: La Dolce Vita (VHS Tape)
Most critics consider the soulful "La Strada" to be Federico Fellini's masterpiece, but for just plain entertainment nothing beats "La Dolce Vita". From the opening shot of the Christ statue suspended from a helicopter blessing the City of God to the final close-up of the Umbrian angel gazing after the debauched hero (literally stranded very much like Zampano in "La Strada"), "La Dolce Vita" has one scene after another to fascinate on the first viewing or to anticipate time and again. I'm sure everyone has his or her favorite sequence: the sex goddess wading in the Fontana di Trevi, the giggling children leading a gullible crowd to a "vision" of the Virgin Mary, or the beach house orgy which climaxes this study of jet-set corruption. Corruption is the key word here, and the movie was critized for saying "tsk tsk" to its characters while exploiting their depravity. The cast (or type-cast) is headed by Marcello Mastroianni as Marcello, a bachelor who is cat nip to females. Anita Ekberg, a Swedish-born American movie star, plays ... a Swedish-born American movie star! On a sadder level, Lex Barker, a washed-up Tarzan, plays a washed-up Tarzan. The plot consists of Marcello's affairs with a succession of beauties, including Anouk Aimée as a jaded heiress who drifts in and out of Marcello's life and Yvonne Furneaux as Marcello's mistress, pathetically attempting domesticity in an unfurnished apartment. Between beds, he wanders around viewing Roman fever in various locales: a Renaissance castello, a tacky nightclub (where his visiting father picks up a chorus girl), and the Via Veneto, crowded with celebrities and sports cars. Rarely has decadence looked so attractive, photographed in black-and-white widescreen and hopped-up by Nino Rota's nervous music. (Incredibly, I can't find a cassette in letter-box format.) Marcello is a journalist who specializes in tabloid scandal stories. (His sidekick is a ruthlessly aggressive photographer named Paparazzo -- his plural is "paparazzi".) An intellectual acquaintance named Steiner (hauntingly played by Alain Cuny) encourages Marcello to pursue more serious writing, but it is Steiner's incomprehensible act of destruction that finally sends Marcello over the edge, causing him to fall headlong into the sweet life which becomes increasingly "acida". Fellini shows the lassitude and futility of these beautiful but blank lives, the characters bored and, yes, basically boring. So why is the story so engrossing? I think it's because the director never repeats himself. Each sequence is a variation on the same theme. Fellini, fascinated by the circus, knew how to hold an audience's attention; and in "La Dolce Vita" he has all three rings going at once: a tremendous life force, degeneration, and (in the closing shot of the innocent girl's smile) hope. All you have to do is sit back with a glass of Chianti and enjoy the show.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Living the sour life, Aug. 9 2000
By 
Edward (San Francisco) - See all my reviews
This review is from: La Dolce Vita (VHS Tape)
Most critics consider the soulful "La Strada" to be Federico Fellini's masterpiece, but for just plain entertainment nothing beats "La Dolce Vita". From the opening shot of the hovering Christ statue suspended from a helicopter blessing the City of God to the final close-up of the Umbrian angel gazing after the debauched hero (literally stranded very much like Zampano in "La Strada') "La Dolce Vita" has one scene after another to fascinate on the first viewing or to anticipate time and again. I'm sure everyone has his favorite sequence: the sex goddess wading in the Fontana di Trevi, the giggling children leading a gullible crowd to a "vision" of the Virgin Mary, or the beach house orgy which climaxes this study of jet-set corruption. Corruption is the key word here, and the movie was critized for saying "tsk tsk" to its characters while exploiting their depravity. The cast (or type-cast) is headed by Marcello Mastroianni as Marcello, a bachelor who is catnip to females. Anita Ekberg, a Swedish-born American movie star, plays ... a Swedish-born American movie star! On a sadder level, Lex Barker, a washed-up Tarzan, plays a washed-up Tarzan. The plot consists of Marcello's affairs with a succession of beauties, including Anouk Aimée as a jaded heiress who drifts in and out of Marcello's life, and Yvonne Furneaux as his mistress, pathetically attempting domesticity in an unfurnished apartment. Between beds, Marcello wanders around viewing Roman fever in various locales: a Renaissance castello, a tacky night club, and the Via Veneto, crowded with celebrities and sports cars. Rarely has decadence looked so attractive, photographed in black-and-white wide screen and hopped- up by Nino Rota's nervous music. (Incredibly, I can't find a video cassette in letter-box format.) Marcello is a journalist who specializes in tabloid scandal stories. His sidekick is a ruthlessly aggressive photographer named Paparazzo -- his plural is "paparazzi". An intellectual acquaintance named Steiner (hauntingly played by Alain Cuny) encourages Marcello to pursue more serious writing, but it is Steiner's incomprehensible act of destruction that finally sends Marcello over the edge, causing him to fall headlong into the sweet life which becomes increasingly "acida". Fellini shows the lassitude and futility of these beautiful but blank lives, the characters bored and, yes, basically boring. So why is the story so engrossing? I think it's because the director never repeats himself; every sequence is a variation on the same theme. Fellini, fascinated by the circus, knew how to hold an audience's attention; and in "La Dolce Vita" he has all three rings going at once: a tremendous life force, degeneration, and (in the closing shot of the innocent girl's face) hope. All you have to do is sit back with a glass of Chianti and enjoy the show.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Caio, Marcello! Bravo, Fellini!, June 8 2000
By 
Rachel Newman "winholler" (Tennessee, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: La Dolce Vita (VHS Tape)
From the unforgettable image of its opening scene, (a giant statue of Jesus, arms outstretched in blessing, being flown by helicopter over the rooftops of Rome), to its sad, unforgiving conclusion, (on the beach in the harsh glare of morning), "La Dolce Vita" is a beautiful, disturbing and mesmerizing film which follows the movements of one tabloid writer (Marcello Mastroianni in the quintessential role of his career) as he first reports on and then becomes one of the dissipated pleasure-seekers among the wealthy elite of Rome. Fellini is at the height of his powers here, combining the earthiness of his earlier masterpiece, "La Strada" and the yet to come surrealism of "Juliet of the Spirits" and "Satyricon" to wonderful and totally satisfying effect. I have watched it many, many times and always find something new.....in the visuals, the dialogue, the hypnotic rhythm set to Nino Rota's perfectly jaded musical backgrounds. One striking image follows another......the midnight revelers with candles in the crumbling castle....Steiner's party with it's assortment of strange, self-obsessed souls....the bored socialite's joyless dance at the club where Marcello begins his long night......the voluptuous American movie star (Anita Ekberg)descending from her plane.......the wild dance led by the satyr-like "Frankie" with Ekberg on his shoulder......the "miracle children" leading the crowd on a merry chase in the rain.....and, of course, the desperate, depraved party that thrives in darkness and, even when the sun comes up, will never end. I know of no other film that more powerfully engages mind and senses than Fellini's eternal tale of the Eternal City, "La Dolce Vita." How sweet it is.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bellissimo, Fellini. The best., May 12 2000
By 
L. S. Slaughter "silvanus" (Chapel Hill, NC) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: La Dolce Vita (VHS Tape)
I saw this film when I was five and it has haunted me my whole life. I watch it every couple of years to see who I have become, and how my viewpoint of living has shifted. Any sane soul living quasi-consciously through the last few decades of unbridled mammonism and pop trash may likely identify with its semi-impotent protagonist, Marcello Rubini, who wanders the graytone alleyways of dear old Rome in great suits and sports cars, sporting sexy ennui. Torn as he is between the Idealized Feminine and the Matronly Woman - and committed to neither, Marcello finds himself permanently detached from the eternally-themed scenarios that he watches unfold in whacked-out tableaux around him (sort of like a day in Los Angeles, maybe). Yes, it is a Sweet Life, even as dread and the sense that "nothing ca n be done" overcomes the best of us. Add to this Nino Rota's timeless score; the best costumes ever splashed across a black and white fresco; pregnant dialogue; and, a devastating vignette featuring the sad and lonely Steiner and the fate of his family in an E.U.R. highrise apartment complex. It's three hours of the most penetrating stuff I've ever seen, yet totally entertaining and charming, and ofttimes very, very funny. In a dark way, of course.
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La Dolce Vita (2-Disc Collector's Edition)
La Dolce Vita (2-Disc Collector's Edition) by Federico Fellini (DVD - 2004)
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