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Martin Scorsese Presenting 'La Dolce Vita' at Rome Fest

ROME – The fifth edition of the International Rome Film Festival lineup is packed with world, international, and Italian premieres but one of the most anticipated events involves a film made 50 years ago.
 
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the release of Federico Fellini's "La Dolce Vita," the festival will screen a fully restored copy of the masterpiece, with Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese on hand to present the remastered film ahead of its public premiere Saturday.
 
"Fellini brought something new to Italian cinema and with 'La Dolce Vita' he conquered the universe," Scorsese said.
 
The Italian press has been discussing the event for days. The Rome daily "Il Tempo" said "La Dolce Vita" casts a shadow over Italian films even today, while La Gazzetta del Mezzigiorno said the festival was presenting a "restored mythical film."
 
"There's no doubt that 'La Dolce Vita' changed the course of Italian film," Carlo M. Pauer, a Rome-based film historian and author, told The Hollywood Reporter. "Critically speaking, it may not be the best film of its era, and it may not even be Fellini's best film, but in terms of impact there is no comparison. There is 'La Dolce Vita' and then everything else."
 
Placing further attention on the famous era when Rome was affectionately known as "Hollywood on the Tiber," the festival, which gets underway Thursday, will also screen 24 Italian films made during the country's so-called Golden Era, which ran from 1952 to 1980. The city will also host a series of exhibitions, including one called "The World in the Times of 'La Dolce Vita'."
 
Not that the festival is limited to Fellini's iconic masterpiece and its era.
 
The fast-growing Business Street market -- which takes place along the city's picturesque Via Veneto, which much of "La Dolce Vita" was shot -- runs through Monday.
 
The festival's opening night film will be "Rabbit Hole," a drama from John Cameron Mitchell, which marks Nicole Kidman's debut as a producer. The film will screen in competition. Actress Julianne Moore will be presented with a career honor.
 
Additionally, the festival will introduce a new section called "Spettacolo" -- Italian for "spectacle" -- that will seek to provide publicity for what festival organizers say are strong films that would benefit from additional exposure.
 
The festival runs through Nov. 5.