Sunday, March 30, 2014
Somewhere Fellini is touched. Somewhere Mastroianni is touched. Sorrentino's Great Beauty has transmuted the scenes of La Dolce Vita and Otto e Mezzo, refigured them, changed them, an elevator scene from 8 and 1/2 with Cardinal and priests is now the criminal of national industry, equably untouchable. The party animal, originally Mastroianni, now replayed by a guy who looks like both actor and director. Borrowing heavily, but changing, reinterpreting, recombining… The sleek modern bare setting that in the black and white of La Dolce Vita is a hospital where the young journalist's wife has been taken after an overdose is now redone for the meeting of an older man meeting a young woman after the event of the suicide of a socialite son with mental health issues (and self-styled as Jesus.) Yes, roots are important. There it all is, the Trevi Fountain, the rooftop salon which in the original is that of the ill-fatted intellectual, Steiner, the mortuary redone as a a temple lined with daily photographs of a young man (not the parental tomb of the original.) Where Steiner played the organ, 'music coming from the very center of the Earth,' the church now holds a funeral, an it's the Mother Theresa stand in who offers the kernel of wisdom, 'roots are important.'