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La Dolce Vita (1960) - Federico Fellini

Marcello Mastroianni and Anita Ekerg in the Trevi fountain, Rome, 1960

La Dolce Vita (1960) - Federico Fellini

Marcello Mastroianni and Anita Ekerg in the Trevi fountain, Rome, 1960

La Dolce Vita (1960) is a film directed by Federico Fellini. One of the works that defined the characteristic Fellini style, it is a vast panel of long, loosely connected scenes that paint a portrait of the high and low life of Rome in the late fifties and early sixties, as seen through the eyes of its main character, a jaded society reporter, Marcello (played by Marcello Mastroianni), in his dealings with his simple, jealous lover (Yvonne Furneaux), a sophisticated woman (Anouk Aimée) with whom he has an episodic relationship, a beautiful bombshell (Anita Ekberg) whom he follows in her wanderings through Rome (including the notable scene of her night bath in the Fontana di Trevi), and a multitude of other characters of all walks of life. Fellini observes all these people with evident affection, but passes no moral judgment on their actions. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_dolce_vita [Apr 2005]

Anita Ekberg (1931 -)
Kerstin Anita Marianne Ekberg (born September 29, 1931 in Malmö) was a model and actress. A 1950 Miss Sweden -- she competed in the Miss Universe pageant -- she is most known for her role as Sylvia in La dolce vita, directed by Federico Fellini.

Ethel Merman dubbed the well-endowed Ekberg (measurements 40-22-36) "the thinking man's dunce cap: two of them." Bob Hope joked that her parents had received the Nobel Prize for architecture.

She made many movies, but few in English. Among her most prominent films are the low-budget Screaming Mimi in 1958, Fellini's La Dolce Vita in '60, in which she played the unattainable "dream woman"; Boccaccio '70 in '62, a movie that also featured Sophia Loren; two films in '66, The Alphabet Murders and Way...Way Out, the latter introducing Linda Harrison in her first movie; Woman Times Seven in '67, with Shirley MacLaine; and a small role in If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium in '69.

Ekberg was married to the British actor Anthony Steel from 1956 to 1959. From 1963 to 1975, she was married to the actor Rik Van Nutter; during their marriage, she had several miscarriages. She reportedly also was romantically involved with Tyrone Power, Marcello Mastroianni, Errol Flynn, Yul Brynner, Frank Sinatra, and Gary Cooper; she also had a three-year affair with Fiat chairman Gianni Agnelli. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anita_Ekberg [May 2005]

Amazon review

Satyricon (1969) - Federico Fellini [Amazon.com]

Amazon.com essential video
At three brief hours, La Dolce Vita, a piece of cynical, engrossing social commentary, stands as Federico Fellini's timeless masterpiece. A rich, detailed panorama of Rome's modern decadence and sophisticated immorality, the film is episodic in structure but held tightly in focus by the wandering protagonist through whom we witness the sordid action. Marcello Rubini (extraordinarily played by Marcello Mastroianni) is a tabloid reporter trapped in a shallow high-society existence. A man of paradoxical emotional juxtapositions (cool but tortured, sexy but impotent), he dreams about writing something important but remains seduced by the money and prestige that accompany his shallow position. He romanticizes finding true love but acts unfazed upon finding that his girlfriend has taken an overdose of sleeping pills. Instead, he engages in an ménage ā trois, then frolics in a fountain with a giggling American starlet (bombshell Anita Ekberg), and in the film's unforgettably inspired finale, attends a wild orgy that ends, symbolically, with its participants finding a rotting sea animal while wandering the beach at dawn. Fellini saw his film as life affirming (thus its title, The Sweet Life), but it's impossible to take him seriously. While Mastroianni drifts from one worldly pleasure to another, be it sex, drink, glamorous parties, or rich foods, they are presented, through his detached eyes, are merely momentary distractions. His existence, an endless series of wild evenings and lonely mornings, is ultimately soulless and facile. Because he lacks the courage to change, Mastroianni is left with no alternative but to wearily accept and enjoy this "sweet" life. --Dave McCoy, Amazon.com

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