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Marcello (Marcello Mastroianni) is a playboy journalist in Rome, going from one party to the next, one womanís bed to the next, mixing with the glitterati and socialites. And film stars like Sylvia (Anita Ekberg) who instantly attracts him. He follows her, intent on seduction, and she teases him. The decadence of the setting, largely along Romeís via Veneto (the street of nightclubs, restaurants and bars) is heightened as Marcello prowls the street by day, by night and at dawn, looking for . . . something . . .†

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
I suggest you forget everything youíve ever heard or read about the late Federico Felliniís captivating La Dolce Vita and see it afresh. Itís shot in black and white but thereís nothing black and white about the treatment of its subject Ė which is humanity. Made in 1959, the film will have a totally different resonance seen with todayís sensibilities, yet the script is so well written, so truthful about 20th century western society, it remains perfectly contemporary in its terms of reference. But that sounds a trifle earnest and serious Ė the film is anything but heavy going, indeed its strength lies in Felliniís gossamer-like touch, the filmís energy and its string of extraordinary scenes, directed with instinctive flair. La Dolce Vita is at once melancholy and sweet, but its edginess comes from a cynical, yet still compassionate view of humanity. Those elements brought together are what makes the film quite special. And achingly nostalgic.

Winner of the Palme díOr at Cannes, with Oscar winning costume design (and Oscar nominated for writing, directing and art directing), La Dolce Vita remains a heady film. The DVD delivers luminous black and white images and while the sound is very good (Nino Rotaís terrific score is beautifully captured), youíll notice it is not up to the digital standards of today, especially some of the dialogue. Donít let this put you off, it in no way mars the experience. There are no features to speak of, but there are filmographies on the disc and some trailers.†

You might wonder why there is a terrible, colourised still on the back of DVD slick, showing Anita Ekberg and an almost unrecognisable Mastroianni. I donít have the answer.†

Published March 20, 2003

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CAST: Marcello Mastroianni, Yvonne Furneaux, Anouk Aimee, Anita Ekberg, Alain Cuny

DIRECTOR: Federico Fellini

RUNNING TIME: 167 minutes


SPECIAL FEATURES: filmographies


DVD RELEASE: March 12, 2003

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