What struck us most about the film classic La Dolce Vita—painstakingly remastered and restored, courtesy of Gucci, and screened last night at Tribeca Grand—was how contemporary it still looks. Released in 1960 and never colorized, it should feel very dated. Such is the timeless vision of director Federico Fellini. In the words of Martin Scorsese, who introduced the screening to a star-packed audience that included Vera Farmiga, Emily Mortimer, Adrien Brody, Matthew Broderick: “The lustrous imagery, the swirl of jetsetters and hectoring reporters, the ease and sophistication of Marcello Mastroianni’s hero and his friends as they walked through this glittering and aimless world, and the ongoing rush of moods…makes you look at the world differently. Maybe the most unusual side of Fellini’s groundbreaking picture was the fact that it was so entertaining—the lure of the apocalypse.”
Scorsese went on to remind us that La Dolce Vita is where the term paparazzi comes from, at which point we came to a mind-blowing realization: this film, all three hours of it, was made for the attention-less Twitter generation of its day, thirty years before our own Twitter generation was born. Scorsese finished with: “La Dolce Vita has no plot. Story, yes. Plot, no.” As if we needed more evidence.