Last night I attended a screening of “La Grande Bellezza” which both closed the AFI Fest and opened the Italian Cinema Festival.
The film, directed by Paolo Sorrentino, was a visually dense, intriguing movie. It took me back to my film school days when we would watch films only to dissect them. I can see an entire semester being spent on this luscious film.
Ironically, the visuals were alive and vibrant but the story was all about death and dying and not frittering away life. It dealt with issues of religion and faith, class and social distinctions, youth, aging and, of course, it featured Rome almost as its own character. At one point in the movie the greatest fan and champion of the main character, writer Jep Gambardella, says he’s leaving because “Rome has disappointed him.”
I will definitely see this movie again. The subtitles went by so quickly that it was hard to take the time to digest the words. This is text that needs to be contemplated. This is a film for the decades.