Wednesday, April 23, 2014

273 of 1001 Movies: La Dolce Vita (1960)

I would compare La Dolce Vita to how I feel when I watch Mad Men. Sometimes entertained by the acts of a philanderer. Federico Fellini though isn't one of my favorite Italian directors, and he has brought to the screen some of my least favorite Italian movies I've seen, which is odd considering I've loved most everything I've seen that is Italian made. La Dolce Vita adheres to no plot, which is fine, but with a string of painful characters it makes the movie sometimes unlikable, unless you just want to see Nico make a pop up appearance.

Summary: Marcello has many women in his life, and all these women add a bit of drama he wouldn't otherwise have. Marcello seems to like drama though as he also seeks it out as a journalist, mostly of entertainers. His fiance is suicidal, and he seems like he could care less, and he has another lover, Maddalena, who has a nature who allows him to come and go. He even crosses paths with famed actress, Sylvia, who he eyes, but doesn't take seriously with her very overbearing boyfriend always near her.

Acting: Perhaps the crew in this movie was already used to their roles as most of the people work in the entertainment business and were translating their lifestyles to the screen. Marcello Mastroianni plays essentially himself in the movie. Anita Eckberg is Sylvia, and of all the women I have to admit she was the most intriguing. Her personality just jumped off the screen. Anouk Aimee was Maddalena, and also intriguing as well. I think the cast member that got me most excited to see in the movie though was Nico, but not because her acting talent was great, but more so I'm just well acquainted with the music she did. To sum it up it wasn't that the acting was bad, but more so I just couldn't relate to the personalities of the movie.

Filming: The movie captures the 60's very well. The style and the glamour is all there. There is something balanced within the movie though that shows the characters lives darkly though. I couldn't help but prefer this type of movie in color though. I know it was the early 60's, actually the beginning, but there was so much that would have looked great some color added. Otherwise, there are some intense scenes, and lot of fun scenes. I had lot more fun watching the fun scenes though.

Plot: The plot jumps from scenario to scenario. By the end you get what is pretty typical, or at least for this type of movie if you like it. It's obscure, but there is a lot deeper lurking beneath the top layers of the movie. I just didn't find the lead character to be interesting enough for me to feel deeply involved in the movie. Some of the women he meets are interesting, and whenever it seems the movie might be pulling at something deeper it just doesn't. The most appealing thing for anyone might just be seeing a lot of hipster people romp around, and then cry sometimes.

I was unaware that this director had directed one of my other least favorite Italian films. His stories do include many characters, and he tries to show a range of backgrounds in his movie, which might be likable for some. For me I felt the movie was dragging a lot though, and the scenes were never built upon to lead into growing with the movie as I like.

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