A trio of films from Federico Fellini: I Vitelloni (1953), La Dolce Vita (1960) and Juliet of the Spirits (1965). From the sharply observed account of the social mores of Italy in the 1950s in I Vitelloni, through the satire of a society obsessed with celebrity and sensation of La Dolce Vita, to the exploration of desire in Guilietta degli Spiriti, Fellini’s world is engrossing, fantastical, satirical and thoughtful, and shot through with his own preoccupations.
La Dolce Vita: Marcello Mastroianni plays a gossip columnist (the term paparazzi derives from a character in the film) who aspires to be a more serious writer but knows he never will be, because like society, he is fascinated by decadent hedonistic pursuits. This is a spectacular morality play which has lost none of its relevance in today’s celebrity obsessed world. The winner of the palme d’Or in 1960 and an Oscar in 1962.
Giulietta degli Spiriti (Juliet of the Spirits): Giulietta Masina (Fellini’s real wife) gives a superb performance as the bored, timid, frumpy and ultimately unfulfilled housewife who suspects her husband is being unfaithful. In an effort to escape the hurtful reality of her situation she enters a surreal fantasy world of sensual pleasure.
I Vitelloni: Fellini picked up the Venice Film Award for this sharply observed account of the post war social mores of fifties Italy. The film is essentially a rites of passage story involving a group of friends growing up together in a small provincial town.