Sunday, August 4, 2013

La Dolce Vita

A week in the life of an aimless and disaffected gossip columnist (Marcello Mastroianni) as he goes from story to story and woman to woman throughout a decaying and decadent Rome, a lifestyle that, despite his dissatisfaction, he continues to cling to. La Dolce Vita contains so many themes, ideas, and notions (modernity vs. tradition, an amoral culture in a ruinous city, paternal sins being passed on,  and the benefits of a normal life compared to a "nightlife" [just to name a few]) and Italian master Federico Fellini does a masterful job of weaving them into a simultaneously beautiful and repulsive web. It features an unforgettable performance from Mastroianni and contains a final scene that belongs in the pantheon of great final scenes. This is difficult material to be sure, with some segments that are a little too protracted, but is as deep, layered, beautiful, and complex as the movies can get.