The Italian Cultural Society concludes our 2013-2014 season with the first Italian film to win an Academy Award in over a decade. Neapolitan director Paolo Sorrentino(OneMan Up,Il Divo) pays tribute to the silver anniversary of La Dolce Vita (1963) with La Grande Bellezza (2013). Federico Fellini’s fresh reporter in wide- eyed shock at the wild behavior of Roman socialites in the sixties now becomes a veteran reporter immune to the lavish life styles of the jet set in modern Rome. Where Fellini won with dazzling performances and colorful scenery, Sorrentino won with sensational costumes by Daniela Ciancio and upbeat music by Lele Marchitelli.
“Rome is both a marvelous playground and a trap promoting inanition. The city is eternal because nothing is allowed to change if you belong to the upper-class and those who surrender to its magnetic pull can spend the rest of their lives in gilded entropy”.
Roman high society has gathered to celebrate Jeppino Gamardella (Toni Servillo) 65th birthday. He wrote the best-selling book, The Human Apparatus. Jep should be ecstatic because he always wanted to be the king of high society and who could blame him? He spends his days in a hammock on the terrace of his million-dollar penthouse overlooking the Coliseum and evenings dancing at parties hosted by the elite. Fans like Romano(Carlo Verdone) and daughter Ramona(Sabrina Ferilli) ask Jep why he never wrote another book. Jep explains that the problem is that the great beauty of Rome can waste your time. “Writing takes focus and calm, but I went out at night, “he confesses. After an interview with a woman in town to receive an award, Jep finds himself unexpectantly taking stock of his life. Can Jep turn to the Vatican to fill the emptiness in his soul? La Grande Bellezza will be shown in Italian with English subtitles.