La Grande Bellezza’

On the NYRblog, Alexander Stille writes: “If the character Marcello in Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita—played unforgettably by Marcello Mastroianni—had spent another four decades flitting about the high life of Rome he might have turned into someone like Jep Gambardella, the protagonist of Italian film director Paolo Sorrentino’s La Grande Bellezza (The Great Beauty). A self-conscious twenty-first century version of the Fellini classic, La Grande Bellezza is a visual feast, one of the relatively few films that takes full advantage of the extraordinary, almost hallucinatory beauty of Rome.

La Dolce Vita was filmed in black and white and so Sorrentino uses extremely lively, rich, exaggerated color cinematography to make Rome even larger-than-life than it is: its extravagant baroque fountains and gardens and ancient ruins pop out of the screen in a pageant of saturated hues. The overripe city stands in stark contrast to the dull, futile, and empty life of its main characters—the frenetic partying, the not-so-hidden desperation and the endless “blah, blah, blah” of their conversation (as Sorrentino characterizes it).”

Now playing in selected theaters. For more information, visit janusfilms.com.

Category: Film
Angelika Film Center
18 West Houston St.,
New York, NY