La dolce vita

Film - Feature | January 26 | 3:30 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

After the screening on January 26, enjoy a Film to Table dinner at Babette, the cafe at BAMPFA. Join an intimate group of fellow filmgoers for a four-course, prix-fixe meal in a convivial, dinner-party atmosphere. Purchase dinner tickets in advance at (film tickets must be purchased separately).

A helicopter flies over Rome dangling a gigantic statue of Christ. “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. 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. “Whither Jesus?” is a question perhaps addressed, perhaps dismissed in several witty set pieces, from Anita Ekberg’s visit to St. Peter’s wearing a tight-fitting curé’s habit, to Marcello and his poker-faced compatriots finding a dead fish, with its enormous open eye, on the beach. In Italy, Catholics were forbidden to see La dolce vita, but in the world on which Fellini, former journalist, files his report, there are more scenes of quick and real pathos than there are orgies.

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