La Dolce Vita

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(1960, d. Federico Fellini)
Starring Marcello Mastroianni, Anita Ekberg, Anouk Aimée, Yvonne Furneaux


Considered revolutionary at the time of its release, Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita changed the landscape of international filmmaking. The film chronicles seven nights and the dawns that follow as journalist Marcello (Marcello Mastroianni) pursues "the sweet life" in post‑war Rome – floating between the debaucherous high society lifestyle he seeks with his rich lover and a Swedish bombshell, and the stifling domesticity offered by his suicidal girlfriend.

Photo credit: © Cineteca di Bologna / Reporters Associati

The film's iconic images – the Jesus statue flying over Rome, Anita Ekberg frolicking in the Trevi Fountain in her evening gown – have become unforgettable snapshots of a society in glamorous decay. Fellini brilliantly conducts Otello Martelli's sparkling black & white cinematography, Nino Rota's jazzy score, and one of Mastroianni's finest performances in a film that encapsulates his many gifts to cinema: the ability to see the absurdity and magic of it all, at the same time – the tragedy and the beauty.


The digital restoration was carried out starting from the original camera negative – shot in Totalscope (2.35:1) on Dupont film stock and scanned at a 4K resolution. Some sections of the film showed clear signs of decay. Some frames, particularly at the beginning of each reel, were seriously damaged and irreparably affected by mold, therefore a lavander print was scanned for those sections.
Following scanning, the images were digitally stabilized and cleaned to eliminate signs of time such as spotting, scratches, and visible splices. In order to bring back the original splendor of the film, the digital grading was executed with particular care using a vintage copy as a reference, as well as a positive copy restored in the 90s by Fellini’s processing expert Vincenzo Verzini. Ennio Guarnieri's contribution, DP Otello Martelli's camera assistant, was invaluable at this stage.

The original sound was digitally restored using the 35 mm optical sound, from which a positive track was printed. Following the acquisition of this element, digital cleaning and background noise reduction was applied. The restoration has generated a duplicate negative and a new soundtrack for preservation.  A complete back-up of all the files produced by the digital restoration was also made using several data storage.
Restored by Cineteca di Bologna at L’Immagine Ritrovata Laboratory in association with The Film Foundation, Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia-Cineteca Nazionale, Pathé, Fondation Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé, Medusa, Paramount Pictures and Cinecittà Luce.

Photo credit: © Cineteca di Bologna / Reporters Associati

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