Very Good Condition
Four films by Italian director Federico Fellini. 'La Dolce Vita' (1960), Fellini's epic tale of Roman decadence circa 1960, focuses on the adventures of gossip columnist Marcello (Marcello Mastroianni) as he runs with the jet set. Following him as he interviews a young starlet (Anita Ekberg), rushes a girlfriend (Yvonne Furneaux) to hospital after a suicide attempt, and attends a variety of more-or-less wild parties, the film shows how he is both drawn to and repelled by the rich lifestyle that provides his living, and details the crisis in which he finds himself torn between an easy enjoyment of the ephemeral and a desire for a more productive life like that of his intellectual friend (Alain Cuny). The film features a host of famous scenes, including Anita Ekberg's dance in the Trevi fountain, the statue of Christ being lifted by helicopter over the city, and the exhausted striptease of the final moments, as well as early performances from Anouk Aimee and future Velvet Underground singer Nico. In 'Giuliette degli Spiriti' (1965), a bored housewife discovers she can conjure up spirits who lead her into a life of sensual pleasures and a surreal fantasy world. Fellini's first film in colour shows the director's imagination running riot and creating a bizarre and outlandish film with the visual intensity of a horror film. 'I Vitelloni' (1953) is a semi-autobiographical story of a group of friends - 'i vitelloni' (the young calves) - who have grown up together in the town of Rimini. Fausto, Moraldo, Alberto, Leopaldo and Ricardo spend their days in bars and cafes, dreaming of adventure, discussing women and sponging off their parents. Only Moraldo (Fellini's alter-ego, who later becomes Marcello in 'La Dolce Vita') manages to escape the small-town existence and go to Rome. In '8 ½' (1963), Marcello Mastroianni once again plays a character based on Fellini himself. Guido Anselmi (Mastroianni) is a successful filmmaker who takes a rest at a spa between projects, but finds himself creatively bankrupt and constantly pestered by his writer, several actresses, his wife and his mistress. The director begins to re-live moments from his past as he becomes increasingly distanced from the present. The film won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.