By Samantha Hughes-Johnson

On this day (3 February) in 1960, Federico Fellini, script writer and visual artist, premiered his movie, La Dolce Vita, in Milan. 

The film was essentially a hedonistic romp, in which a journalist character, Marcello Rubini, conducted a week-long search for romance and pleasure. Nevertheless,  the movie was visionary in its treatment of certain subjects considered risqué or taboo during the 1960s: blasphemy; homosexuality and sex. The piece also attempts to deal with the main protagonist’s moral dilemmas and introduced two new words into the English language: paparazzi (independent photographers and reporters who are not members of the affiliated press) and Felliniesque (used to describe the unconventional portrayed in the style of Fellini). 

Denounced by the Vatican and banned in Spain until 1975, La Dolce Vita was nominated for four Academy Awards, subsequently winning an Oscar for “Best Costume Design.”  The film also was awarded the Palm d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival of 1960. 

References: Philip French, “Italian Cinema’s Sweet Success.” In The Guardian, 17 February, 2008. 

Images: Wikimedia Commons.

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