Oakland Tribune Outtakes

Notes from Oakland, Berkeley and in between

The sweet life tonight on the big screen

By awoodall
Wednesday, July 16th, 2008 at 3:21 pm in Night Owl.

I sort of checked out my brain along with my vacation luggage, but here we are again with some sweet news, namely that Fellini’s film La Dolce Vita is playing 7:30 p.m. at the Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley.  I would describe the 1960 classic this way: If Dr. LSD Tim Leary and Orson Wells had a film baby it would look like La Dolce Vita. Follow the MORE brick road for a high-brow description…“La dolce vita opens with one of the most telling widescreen images ever captured, pure in its symbolism yet entirely mechanical in fact: a helicopter is seen flying over Rome carrying a gigantic statue of Christ to St. Peter’s Cathedral. “Oh, look,” remarks a woman sunbathing below, “there’s Jesus. Where’s he going?” Fellini creates a rich, intricate tapestry of “Rome, the Babylon of my dreams” in La dolce vita, a film in which juxtaposition and composition are finely tuned to exude an air of randomness. The episodic narrative follows a jaded journalist (Marcello Mastroianni) on an odyssey in search of himself amid the decadent, dehumanized beauties of Rome’s glitterati, the sunglasses-at-night crowd. Former journalist Fellini was cunning indeed in casting His Handsomeness to portray his alter-ego, but Mastroianni was cannier still: his Marcello is a shabby soul, chasing miracles he knows to be false, and delivering them as truth.”—Judy Bloch

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