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La Dolce Vita

Fellini’s emotional travelogue of the soul of modern Rome is a seductive meditation on what was truly meaningful (if anything) for the dusk-to-dawn Italian jet set of the era. Marcello Mastroianni was catapulted into superstar status in America as the sensitive (and Brioni-suited) tabloid reporter juggling the affections of several women (voluptuous movie star Anita Ekberg, icy mistress Anouk Aimée, and neurotic girlfriend Magali Noel) while making the rounds of the spirit-destroying nightlife of the Via Veneto. The film’s costumes–which won Piero Gherardi the Academy Award for Best Costume Design–portray a sophisticated, expensively dressed, and sensually alluring Mastroianni, an elegantly feline Aimée wearing black dresses and cat’s-eye sunglasses, and an impossibly glamorous Ekberg. “I feel that decadence is indispensable to rebirth.”—Fellini.

Appears in: Italian Style

Genres: Melodrama

Other Films by Federico Fellini

La Strada

Perhaps Fellini’s greatest film, La Strada straddles his early neorealist period and his later magical and fantastical work, combining elements of both in its portrayal of Gelsomina (Giulietta Masina), a naive young woman who was sold to the strongman Zumpanò (Anthony Quinn). Zumpanò makes a living performing in small countryside towns, and Gelsomina quickly takes

Juliet of the Spirits

The female counterpoint to 8½, Fellini ventures deeply into the surreal as Juliet of the Spirits explores the repressed desires of a bourgeois housewife, played by Giulietta Masina who stars as a middle-aged woman haunted by hallucinations from her past and subconscious. While her husband philanders, she consults clairvoyants and mediums and escapes into a

The White Sheik

Fellini’s first feature, an uproarious comedy skewering the popular notion of marital “bliss,” stars Brunella Bovo and Leopoldo Trieste as newlyweds in Rome with vastly differing agendas. While Ivan (Trieste) has a rigid schedule set (including a rendezvous with the Pope, of all people) Wanda (Bovo) is single-minded in her mission to meet the “White