This month at 12:30.
The Italian Cultural Society film of the month is La Dolce Vita (1960). Gossip magazine columnist Marcello Rubini (Marcello Mastroianni) is sent to Rome’s Ciampino Airport to report on the arrival of the beautiful, world famous Swedish American actress Sylvia (Anita Ekberg). At the press conference, Marcello suggests she tour St. Peter’s Cathedral and Sylvia takes the advice. The paparazzi dub Sylvia “the elevator,” because they cannot match her energetic climb up the many flights of stairs inside the dome. Suddenly, Marcello seizes his opportunity for an exclusive interview by sprinting like a cheetah to catch her as they finally reach the balcony overlooking the Vatican. La Dolce Vita won an Oscar for Best Costume Design at the 1960 Academy Awards, won the Palme d’Or at the 1960 Cannes Film Festival and was voted the sixth best major motion picture of all time by Entertainment Weekly. La Dolce Vita will be shown in Italian with English subtitles.
The famous Hollywood on the Tiber phenomenon of 1958 was about American studios profiting off less expensive studio labor available in Cinecitta`. This provided the backdrop for photo journalists to start taking candid snapshots of celebrities along Via Veneto. Those actions inspired critically acclaimed screenwriter and director Federico Fellini to film a movie about tabloid exploitation of the stars. Fellini’s work gave birth to the word “Paparazzi” in our culture to describe intrusive photographers. Some say that is an actual family name. Some say that is the name of a person who frequently did that to Federico’s wife Giulietta Masina. Fellini scholar Peter Bondanella explained paparazzi was a corruption of the Italian word papataceo, a bothersome mosquito.