Wednesday, 12 February 2020

MARCH Monday 23rd: LA DOLCE VITA - Connaught Cinema  

Special Presentation in 4K!


March's screening is Italian director Federico Fellini's La Dolce Vita (1960) at The Connaught Cinema.
Date: MONDAY 23rd March 2020
Tickets: free to members/ member's one guest £5
£7.50 for adults £6.50 for seniors and students
Doors open: 8.00pm

WFC are proud to present the decadence and decay of Fellini’s ‘sexy, surreal masterpiece of modernity’ - La Dolce Vita, in this its 60th Anniversary. Aptly and ironically the title translates to The Sweet Life where Federico Fellini's groundbreaking 1960 satire put Italian cinema firmly on the world stage with its tale of hedonistic excess, delivering a new type of cinema. Pitched between his earlier neo-realist films I Vitelloni and La Strada and his later more aggressively arthouse films like and Amarcord, La Dolce Vita manages to straddle both arthouse and box office blending both into an accessible, beautiful, bold large-scale satire with grand set pieces and forceful visual metaphors. The riveting and  stylish cinematography and Fellini's bizarre, extravagant visuals have ensured the film’s longevity, influence and iconic status. Thrilling the critics and audiences outside of Italy but condemned by the Vatican, it managed to eloquently capture the bold new vision, stylistically and morally of a new decade, aptly signalling the birth of modernity.

Foregoing the tradition of neorealism the film introduced a new kind of cinema appropriate to a country that had emerged from fascism, the Second World War and post-war poverty to embrace (at least in Rome and the north) a glitzy affluence and a changed set of values that challenged Catholic morality. The neo-realist pictures were shot in the streets; but here La Dolce Vita, like Fellini’s later pictures, was made for the most part on expensive sets at Cinecittà. This use of sets cleverly heightening the sense of the artificiality of the the hollow lives on display, after all the film asks how real is any of this?

From the opening shot that shows a helicopter lifting a statue of Christ into the skies and out of Rome - where God symbolically departs - the way is paved for Fellini's extraordinarily prophetic vision of a generation's spiritual and moral decay. La Dolce Vita is at once a rebuke and a celebration of all that had come before and of all that would be to come. The depravity is gauged against the exploits of Marcello (Mastroianni), a playboy hack who seeks out sensationalist stories by bedding socialites and going to parties. Marcello - like us - is both repelled by and drawn to the lifestyles he records. Fellini targets at once both a godless society that has become a kind of hell (there are pointed references to Dante) and Religion that has that is on the precipice of playing the celebrity game itself. Coining the phrase Paparrazzi (derived from the word for mosquitos) the film predicts a world of celebrity hollowness and the industry that thrives on and drives it. 

La Dolce Vita may not have the shock value it once had but it's still a unrivalled masterpiece with Fellini’s genius for revealing dreamlike and surreal images everywhere. Big, bold and surreally beautiful, but with much food for thought, we at WFC headquarters cannot wait to screen it for you, and in pristine 4K! What an absolute treat.

Watch the trailer here

‘It is a brilliant film, but there is nothing sweet about it.’ Peter Bradshaw - The Guardian

‘But it has not lost the power to fascinate, stimulate and provoke, and it remains a work of moral force and a visual delight.’ Philip French  - The Observer

***Don't forget you can join our film club with membership still only £30 for a year of screenings! Pay cash or cheque on the night, with at least FOUR screenings at the Connaught included in your subscription PLUS use of our extensive DVD library, priority booking with any other on location or WFC screening and exclusive invite to our lavish Christmas party. You KNOW it makes sense!***