UCLA Stages Multimedia Concert of Fellini and Nino Rota's Italian Film Classics

"Beyond La Dolce Vita," a tribute to the movie music masters, takes place Nov. 22nd at Royce Hall.
Photo courtesy Marco Patrignani/OIC

For audiophile cinema fans, it doesn't get much better than this sonic event to honor the 20th anniversary of Federico Fellini's death.

On Nov. 22, 50-plus members of the Orchestra Italiana del Cinema, known for performing movie soundtracks, will present Marco Patrignani's "synaesthetic" multimedia symphony concert Beyond La Dolce Vita, at UCLA, incorporating the Italian master's films and the scores of Nino Rota, whose long collaboration helped inspire Danny Elfman's with Tim Burton. The show will also include Oscar-winning Life is Beautiful composer Nicola Piovani's music for Ginger and Fred (1985) and The Voice of the Moon (1990).

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Rota was an Italian child prodigy encouraged by mentor Toscanini to study at Philadelphia's Curtis Institute -- America's most exclusive music school, according to The Hollywood Reporter -- and propelled to fame along with Fellini by 1953's I Vitelloni, based on the director's beach-town childhood in Rimini, Italy.

Celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, I Vitelloni means "Young Bulls," though it might better be translated as "Slackers," and it inspired Martin Scorsese's breakthrough film Mean Streets. It also informed Barry Levinson's ode to slacker-youth reminiscences Diner, which you could say is an American I Vitelloni.

It is Rota's immortal, quicksilver music that gives Fellini's sprawling, circus-like movies much of their sheer dreaminess and sense of movement, even when the characters refuse to go much of anywhere.

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The UCLA program includes pieces from La Strada (1954), Le Notti di Cabiria (1957), La Dolce Vita (1960), 8 1/2 (1963), The Clowns (1970), Roma (1972), Amarcord (1973) -- Fellini's late-in-life revisiting of his hometown Rimini -- Casanova (1976), and Prova D’Orchestra (1979).

Beyond La Dolce Vita, conducted by music director Daniele Belardinelli, starts at 8 p.m. Nov. 22nd at UCLA's Royce Hall.

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