Martin Scorsese made the trek to Rome on Saturday from the London set of his 3D children’s mystery “Hugo Cabret” to unveil the digitally restored copy of Federico Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita,” a film he hailed as a milestone in world cinema.
“In my mind, there is a before and after ‘La Dolce Vita,'” Scorsese said at a packed presser for the world preem of the remastered 1960 classic.
He praised “Vita” for achieving “a moral intensity, an intelligence and a maturity” that was unprecedented at that point in commercial movies.
The restoration was made possible by Scorsese’s Film Foundation, dedicated to film preservation, as part of its multi-year sponsorship agreement with Gucci, which hosted a gala dinner at the Rome Film Festival.
“La Dolce Vita” star Anita Ekberg was warmly applauded on the fest’s red carpet.
Work to clean the pic’s original widescreen negative took more than 8,000 hours in the L’Immagine Ritrovata lab of the Bologna Cinematheque. Medusa, which holds Italian rights to “La Dolce Vita,” is celebrating the pic’s 50th anniversary by releasing the restored version theatrically next week free in 12 local cities.