Deadline‘s Anita Busch is reporting that Federico Fellini’s estate has closed an option agreement with AMBI Group’s Andrea Iervolino and Monika Bacardi to remake La Dolce Vita, Fellini’s 1960 classic which put Marcello Mastroianni and Anita Ekberg on the map. All this means is that the rights-holders want some money. It also indicates that Iervolino and Macardi aren’t aware that La Dolce Vita was more or less remade two years ago by Paolo Sorrentino‘s La Grande Bellezza (The Great Beauty).
From my 5.20.13 Cannes Film Festival review: “La Grande Bellezza is not just a return to the highly stylized realm of Il Divo, but a channelling of Federico Fellini‘s 8 1/2 and La Dolce Vita with perhaps a few sprinkles of Fellini Satyricon…it’s a contemporary Roman dream fantasia, familiar and picturesque and deliciously unreal. [It’s] a kind of meditation or spiritual journey piece about a 60ish good-time-Charlie journalist (Toni Servillo), a likably decadent party animal living the nocturnal high life with a crowd of elite Roman pallies cut from the same cloth as Marcello Mastroianni, Anita Ekberg and all the other decadent revellers from the Rome of 50-something years ago.”
Every great film draws from its particular time and cultural attitudes, but once those elements have been replaced by new ones you can’t go home again. You can’t recreate anything — you can only create anew.