Italian Style in Kuwait | Restored version of “La Dolce Vita” by Martin Scorsese Foundation at the Rome Film Festival
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Restored version of “La Dolce Vita” by Martin Scorsese Foundation at the Rome Film Festival

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Scorsese, a New Yorker of Italian origin, is a great admirer of Italian cinema.
His 1999 documentary “My Voyage to Italy” pays tribute to the Italian films that have influenced him, including those by neo-realist masters such as Roberto Rossellini or Vittorio De Sica, or Michelangelo Antonioni. Martin Scorsese was 18 when “La Dolce Vita” first came out in 1960 and he had a great impact of this movie.

Marcello Mastroianni’s main character — a journalist — as he covers jet society, movie stars and Rome’s nightlife in the late 1950s.

Scorsese said his favorite “Dolce Vita” character is Mastroianni’s, “because of the downward trajectory that he so charmingly makes” and because of the look “of acceptance” on Mastroianni’s face at the end of the movie.

“We have an obligation to the future, we have an obligation to our children to at least let them know this is here, this is what it was like,” Scorsese told a press conference at the Rome Film Festival. “This is grand opera from Italy in the late 19th century.”

Martin Scorsese hailed “La Dolce Vita” as changing world cinema forever as he presented the restored version Saturday of Federico Fellini’s back-and-white classic.

The movie broke narrative rules in that “there’s no story, there’s no plot, and the film is an epic length — three hours,” Scorsese said. It said it had “a moral intensity, an intelligence and a maturity” that was unprecedented at that point in commercial movies.

The Rome festival marked the 50th anniversary of the movie’s release with a world premiere of its restored version, an exhibit and other side events. Also shown at the festival were some scenes that did not make the final cut, including one bit from the iconic scene where Anita Ekberg seductively splashes in the Trevi Fountain. The Swedish actress came to Rome for the screening.

Influence is an elusive idea, one that can’t be defined, Scorsese said Saturday. Still, he said, Fellini inspired him to be creatively free, both with “La Dolce Vita” and with later films such as “8 1/2.”

“La Dolce Vita,” Scorsese said, “gave us the freedom to go ahead and break open cinematic narratives” while at the same time creating “a spectacle of life, a spectacle of a society, a culture — and a satire.”

 

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