I just watched Fellini’s La Dolce Vita (the sweet life) again and couldn’t help taking pictures of the iconic scene I like most; the film has lost much of its ability to shock but it remains a visual delight:
Anita Ekberg is beautiful in a midnight splash in the Trevi fountain basin and Marcello Mastroianni plays one of his best roles as the quintessential Latin Lover, a gossip columnist torn between the sweet life and his more intellectual aspirations.
The Trevi Fountain scene is amazing when you find out that because of the cold, Mastroianni is wearing a wetsuit under his clothes and she has gulped down a bottle of cognac; Ekberg stood in the water for hours with no problem:
The handsome Mastroianni remains one of the icons of Italian cinema. It was his role as a womanizing tabloid reporter in this 1960 film that won him worldwide acclaim. I love watching old movies with 21st century eyes.
So what happens when the self-deprecating charmer of Italian films,
meets the most beautiful French woman, Catherine Deneuve?
So I am a movie junkie (and a news junkie, a history junkie, etc…) but the Oscar ceremony in spite of the very funny Jon Stewart almost always leaves me cold. A bunch of over-pampered, over-paid brats with some over-hyped films to be over-promoted! How about an award ceremony for great teachers or diligent beekeepers for a change? The red carpet saw a lot of blood this year…
Don’t get me wrong, I like big budget films but it’s always refreshing to see a low/no budget movie that makes it…I came out of Juno with smoke coming out of my ears – teen pregnancy is no laughing matter to me and to be so nonchalant about it in a movie that caters to the young is even worse – the script was over-written and awash in smart-ass dialog but I have to admit that the actors were all good.
Having an abortion is hard (just watch the great movie 4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days from Rumania) but keeping the baby when you are 16 and giving it away must be harder. The U.S. is the only western country that still has a constant debate about abortion (thanks to organized religion of course). The picture above is from a métro billboard in France; it says: Sexuality, Contraception, Abortion, a right, my choice, our freedom. Can you imagine this happening in the States?
I am glad that Once won in the song category and the acceptance speeches were the best of the the night. I saw Glen Hansard first in the excellent rock and roll film The Commitments and he’s just gotten better. The song that got the oscar, Falling Slowly, is worth listening to.
“Étais-je aveugle et sourd ou bien faut-il nécessairement la lumière d’un malheur pour éclairer un homme sous son vrai jour?” Le scaphandre et le papillon
“Had I been blind and deaf it wouldn’t take the harsh light of disaster for me to find my true nature” The diving bell and the butterfly
I just saw this wonderful film, Starting out in the evening, about an old writer who has outlasted the social order in which his life made sense. How can you go wrong with New York in the fall and tons of books? I can’t believe that the lead actor is the same guy who played in Superman returns.
I am a movie junkie but so much of what’s being produced now is blissfully forgettable; I know I like a film if I keep thinking about it the next day and when I start talking about it to others.These are a couple of them: The lives of others which got an oscar is about the constant question of how a good man acts in circumstances that seem to rule out the very possibility of decent behavior. The actor, Ulrich Muhe, was amazing – unfortunately he passed away in July.
The one movie I will always remember is Into great silence. The film is an eloquent achievement in capturing the slow and delicate rhythm of the Carthusian monks’s daily lives in silence – a great meditation if you are stressed out. “Silence. Repitition. Rhythm. The film is an austere, next to silent meditation on monastic life in a very pure form. No music except the chants in the monastery, no interviews, no commentaries, no extra material.”
I enjoyed Children of Men, a superbly directed political thriller – London has never looked this scary…
My favorite of all action movies was The Bourne Ultimatum. An unusually smart work of industrial entertainment with the great Matt Damon – as good here as he was in the two previous Bourne films. The music is so interesting I had to shell out a buck for Moby’s “Extreme Ways”.