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on June 8, 2000
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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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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on December 2, 2001
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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on February 8, 2001
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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on November 4, 2003
I am very fortunate to meet Guiletta Masini, the lovely wife of Federico Fellini. I several times wrote letters to Fellini himself and he answered back me. That had been going for a while till he died. If you doubt me, I can provide you copies.
I am only one Deaf authority on Fellini and his movies. I have a good collection of video, vhs or dvd. Many books about him and his movies.La Dolce Vita and 8 and half are my top favorites. I saw them in 35mm, 16mm, tv, vhs and dvd versions but the 35mm verisons are always the best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks, F.R. Gomez
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on April 26, 2000
Inspired by Dante's works, this films stands up as the greatest Italian film ever made. Everything going on today with celebrities, fame, fortune, promiscuity, it is all here. Marcello Mastroianni plays Marcello, a gossip reporter in the entertainment circles of Rome. The film has no specific plot or trama, and it works more as a compilation of vignettes and ocurrences all linked by Marcello. The film touches upon the themes of death, friendship, perversion, love or the lack of it, and fear of one's self. A brilliant accomplishment.
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on February 4, 1999
Very good. An excellent B/W film based solely on content, circumstance and dialogue. Excellent settings and cast. When you go to Rome you WILL go by the fountain Anita Eckberg pranced through. (It is a National Monument now) A not-quite middle aged journalist is trying to make it in a crowded "mod" sort of market. He must deal with insurmountable problems, continuously, but his hair and suit always look great! If you only have one of Fellini's, get this one. In Italian, of course.
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on September 27, 2004
Sans nul doute ce film est et restera un chef d'oeuvre
du cinema italien.Cependant,la maison d'edition a decide
de publier LA DOLCE VITA avec une bande sonore en anglais
et une autre en...italien. De plus,le film est soustitre en
anglais,en italien et en espagnole..oui ..oui en espagnole.
He les amis.....il y a 7 millions de personnes qui parlent
francais au Quebec....L'editeur de Star Wars aurait-il une
quelconque influence sur votre comportement pour le moins bizarre...???
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on September 28, 2003
I does lack a plot. I almost fell asleep during the first half. It picked up during the 2nd half when the main character ran into his father. That was interesting for me, for personal reasons. But, having just watched it, all I can say is that it left me with an emtpy, hollow feeling. If that was the point, then the movie is quite successful. Mind you, I'm not the usual "simplistic" movie watcher. But that was my feeling...
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on August 20, 2000
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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