Friday, February 3, 2023

Rome Journal: Passeggiata

Passeggiata by Hallie Cohen (60"x144")
The famous Christ figure hanging from the helicopter in the opening scene of La Dolce Vita is on a collision course with the materialism and vacuity of post-war Rome. However, it was not so much the Via Veneto or even a tourist site like the Trevi fountain, where Anita Ekberg takes her famous bath. It's the history of fascism and, in particular, the Holocaust on which Fellini’s time machine had set its sights. Pius XII had notably remained silent as the Jews were rounded up in l943. If you travel to the now bohemian neighborhood of Pigneto, you’ll come across the devouring Pasolini Eye painted by Mauro Palotta or “Maupal.” This looking glass with its massive animal eyebrow reigns like an esthetic security camera surveilling for inauthenticity and moral corruption. Today the Jewish Ghetto, bounded by the Portico of Octavia on one side, is a tourist attraction. It’s hard to believe that these bustling streets were once a scene of terror for which the ancient ruins of the past, and the nobles and Gods they memorialized, provided little protection.

read "Rome Journal: A Glass of Water" by Francis Levy, HuffPost

and listen to Nino Rota's soundtrack for La Dolce Vita

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