Features and Columns · Movies

From Fellini to Felliniesque: The Turning Point of ‘La Dolce Vita’

Here’s a video essay on why ‘La Dolce Vita’ represents a stylistic shift in the career of Federico Fellini.
La Dolce Vita
Criterion Collection
By  · Published on August 4th, 2020

Welcome to The Queue — your daily distraction of curated video content sourced from across the web. Today, we’re watching a video that explores La Dolce Vita.

There was a shift in Federico Fellini‘s career in 1960. And that shift is called La Dolce Vita.

The film tells the episodic journey of an Italian gossip columnist scouring Rome for love. Surrounded by paparazzi and hedonistic excess, La Dolce Vita is simultaneously enchanted by and critical of glamour and superficiality. Post-war social change favored more extravagant tastes. And Fellini responded to these social changes with a change of his own: a departure from the raw, neo-realist authenticity towards a bolder, more poetic, and showy sensibility.

Many think of Italian neo-realism as the most influential movement in the history of film, a move towards a more honest depiction of reality, especially the realities of the poor, war-weary, and disenfranchised. Filming on-location and favoring non-professional actors, the movement represents a rejection of the sanitized glamour of commercial cinema. This is what makes La Doce Vita such a fascinating case study, a turning point in Fellini’s career away from grit towards the fantastical.

Watch “La Dolce Vita | Federico Fellini’s Stylish Cinematic Landmark“:

Who made this?

Leigh Singer wrote, narrated, and edited this video essay. It exists under the auspices of The Discarded Image, a video series created by Julian Palmer that deconstructs what else? Film. The series began with a deconstruction of how Steven Spielberg creates suspense with the beach scene in Jaws and has steadily grown from there. You can check out The Discarded Image’s video essays here.

More Videos Like This

Related Topics: , ,

Meg has been writing professionally about all things film-related since 2016. She is a Senior Contributor at Film School Rejects as well as a Curator for One Perfect Shot. She has attended international film festivals such as TIFF, Hot Docs, and the Nitrate Picture Show as a member of the press. In her day job as an archivist and records manager, she regularly works with physical media and is committed to ensuring ongoing physical media accessibility in the digital age. You can find more of Meg's work at Cinema Scope, Dead Central, and Nonfics. She has also appeared on a number of film-related podcasts, including All the President's Minutes, Zodiac: Chronicle, Cannes I Kick It?, and Junk Filter. Her work has been shared on NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour, Business Insider, and CherryPicks. Meg has a B.A. from the University of King's College and a Master of Information degree from the University of Toronto.