La Dolce Vita (1960)

La Dolce Vita (1960) Marcello Mastroianni plays his defining role as a tabloid journalist in the post-War economic rise of Italy. The movie exposes the crass intrusiveness of the paparazzi, who relentlessly pursue celebrities. Condemned by the Vatican and Neo-Realist filmmakers, this film combines artificial sets with real locations. Winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes, this motion picture marks a major breakthrough in episodic narrative, dissolving the border between realism and fantasy. A supporting cast of beautiful women fill the screen, including Anouk Aimée, Yvonne Furneaux, and Anita Ekberg in her most memorable role [as herself]. “The movie business,” Felinni once said, “is a combination of a football game and a brothel.”


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Mussolini built Cinecittà to rule the world.

La cinematografia è l'arma più forte

After allied bombings, it became a refugee camp.

Out of defeat, how did a nation recover

From having chosen the worst leader?

Mussolini a Cinecittà, 1937

The Sala Bianca fashion show in Florence

At the Pitti Palace won over American buyers.

Even the Marquis Eelio Pucci made a career

In Kandinsky sportswear and silk scarves.


The age of tabloid journalism was born.

Vespas swarmed ruins of the Via Venito

Shooting Ingrid Bergman with Roberto Rossellini

As the U. S. Senate condemned her pregnancy.

Scattini sucked the blood out of celebrities from

Hollywood on the Tiber, where Ava Gardner gleamed

In green satin designed by the Fontana sisters

Whose couture Pope Pius XII blessed.

The pink press paid for celebrity shots;

The black press paid for crime photos.

Graphic Speed Graphic or Leica lenses

Lashed out their bolts of flash lightning

On Anita Ekberg in the Trevi Fountain.

Then the Virgin Mary appeared

In a tree in an Umbrian village

Before two starving children

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As a shadow of Jesus Christ flew

By helicopter to Vatican City.

Scorpion Dagger gif stars red carpet paparazzi GIF

Il Boom broke the soul of the great

Cesare Pavese, whose suicide

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Shocked the intelligentsia.

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A cult of personality left no privacy.

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A photocopy of the suicide note that Cesare Pavese left when he took his life on the night of Aug. 26, 1950, hangs on a wall here, in the house where he was born. It reads: “I forgive everyone and ask everyone’s forgiveness. O.K.? Don’t gossip too much.”

Wasps swarmed those in their deepest grief.

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The Vin Venetto was faithfully rebuilt

Inside Cinecittà to restage tabloid scandals

As Gheraldi labored to create

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Piero Gherardi (costume designer) and Federico Fellini.

A beached white ray with staring eyes.

What began in spectacle ended in spectacle. 

[Disposable Poem August 1—18, 2017]

Dr. Mike





















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