Late this morning I drove up to the Chateau Marmont for a brief chat with acclaimed Italian director Paolo Sorrentino about his latest film, The Great Beauty (La Grande Bellazza), which I discussed a couple of days ago (“Beauty in A Shoebox“). Pretty much everyone has called it a modern day, Berlusconi-era version of Federico Fellini‘s La Dolce Vita, but I barely went there. I just don’t have the nerve to ask obvious questions. (Sorrentino says virtually everyone has brought this up.) I mostly asked about Beauty‘s dazzling visual style, which is composed in a luscious old-school fashion. Sorrentino shot Beauty on film, but acknowledges this won’t happen again. Like his pallies the Coen brothers, who have also admitted they’ve thrown in the celluloid towel, Sorrentino is resigned to shooting his next film digitally. He has no clue what that next film might be about, although he says he intends to keep his partnership going with Toni Servillo, the star of Beauty as well as Sorrentino’s Il Divo (’09).

The Great Beauty director Pasolo Sorrentino at L.A.’s Chateau Marmont — Wednesday, 10.30, 11:25 am.

Sorrentino at Manhattan’s Standard Hotel during an Il Divo interview in April 2009.