Well, it seems there’s nothing sacred in this world anymore. In the past year, it seems there are new remakes being announced, on an almost weekly basis. There will always be remakes of horror films, because of a guaranteed audience. It’s the classic works of cinema however, that cause the greatest uproar from fans of the celluloid world. Case in point, a remake of Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita was recently announced. As you can imagine, I’m less than thrilled at this prospect. This is a large bit of bad news, for any fan of the Italian cinema. This modern tragedy of celluloid, is all thanks to Fellini’s niece, Francesca Fellini. Who has more than likely given the go ahead, most likely for financial purposes.
First of all, let’s examine the director of the original. It goes without saying, Federico Fellini was undoubtedly one of the greatest directors of all time. His unique style, his method at storytelling, and his visual talents have their own name, “Felliniesque.” A man of diverse methods, he had the ability to capture fantasy, and reality all within the same film. Much like his magnum opus 8 1/2, La Dolce Vita captures the chic fashions, and glamour of 1960’s Rome. The glare of the paparazzi, the economic boom of post war europe, Fellini’s camera captured all of these, in this magnificent work of art.
Much of the genius with the original however, was contained within its’ writing. The screenplay was devised by Fellini, and one of my favorite filmmakers, Pier Paolo Pasolini. Pasolini, had spent years writing poetry in a Italian dialect, known as Friulan. This is one of the many elements, that gave La Dolce Vida a distinctive authenticity and feel. It would be almost impossible, for a modern adaptation to recapture this. You have two of the greatest filmmakers in Italian history, taking neorealism as their foundation, and building upon it.
In retrospect, there is one filmmaker who might possibly have the ability to pull this off. I could See Alejandro Jodorowsky in the directors chair. Much like Fellini, Jodorowsky is both an artist and a visionary. I also feel he would have the hindsight, not to attempt a re-imagining of this classic. Fellini’s works are timeless, and are products of their time. They offer a window, into the mind of one of the screens master storytellers. I’m not sure what the end result will be, but it’s safe to assume it will fall short. However, it just might give a whole new generation, a greater appreciation for the original.
“The Visionary, is the only true realist” – Federico Fellini