Monday, June 23, 2014

The Great Beauty

I watched Paolo Sorrentino's The Great Beauty a few months ago, and it has lingered with me in bits and pieces ever since. From its achingly lyrical and fluid opening crane shot to its pulsing Roman night-life scene, the film itself epitomizes its title. With echoes of Fellini, it tells the story of an aging journalist who years earlier wrote the great Italian novel, but, unable or unwilling to write a new novel, he now interviews pretentious artists for magazine articles that seem to bore him. Searching for those fleeting moments of beauty and truth that were a more regular part of his lost youth, he spends his life going to parties, sleeping with beautiful women, and watching a very old nun climb impossibly long stairs. He realizes that his youth can never be relived. But he still tries. I just wish I was cool enough to dress like him.

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