The Trevi Fountain at night nowadays. The chances of a busty blonde and a callow journalist wading in unnoticed have been reduced significantly in the last forty-two years.
From the museum at the Cinecitta Studios in Rome, the dress purported to be the one worn by Anita Ekberg in the La Dolce Vita. It looked a bit too small to contain the Milky Way in person, but who are we to judge?
And how Anita looked behind the scenes.
Images via oldhollywood:
Anita Ekberg & Federico Fellini during rehearsals for Ekberg’s dip in the Trevi Fountain in La Dolce Vita (1960, dir. Federico Fellini) (via)
How Anita looked to Fellini:
[Giovanni Grazzini:] La Dolce Vita.
[Federico Fellini:] I answer right away, as in word association tests: Anita Ekberg! Twenty-five years after the film, its title, its image are still inseparable from Anita.
I saw her for the first time in a full page photograph in an American magazine: a powerful panther playing the mischievous young girl, astride the banister of a stairway. ”My God — I thought — don’t eve let me meet her!” That sense of the marvelous, of the hypnotic stupor, of the disbelief one feels confronting exceptional creatures like the giraffe, the elephant, the baobab tree I felt again several years later when I saw her coming toward me in the garden of the Hotel de la Ville. She was preceded, followed, flanked by three or four little men, husband, agents, who disappeared like shadows around a haloed source of light — I insist that Ekberg is most of all phosphorescent. She wanted to know about the script, whether the character was good, who the other actors were, the while drinking one of those cocktails full of colors, flags and little fish from an enormous glass and speaking in a husky childlike voice that made her even more overwhelming. I seemed to be discovering the platonic reality of things, of elements, and in a total stupor I murmured to myself: ”Ah, these are ear lobes, these are gums, this is human skin.” That same evening, I went to see Marcello Mastroianni who listened somewhat disturbed but not wanting it to show. […]
With her profound knowledge of men Anita, when Marcello was introduced to her, offered him her hand while absentmindedly looking elsewhere and didn’t say a word to him all evening. Later Marcello, while discussing something else, mentioned that Ekberg was not so big a deal. She reminded him too much of a German soldier in the Wehrmacht who once during an MP round up tried to escape in a truck. Perhaps he felt offended, disdained. Instead of making him feel exalted, that elemental glory of divinity, that healthy shark, that reflection of tropical suns had angered old “Snaporaz”.
- excerpted from Federico Fellini: Comments on Film, edited by Giovanni Grazzini, translated by Joseph Henry, The Press at California State University, Fresno, copyright 1988, pages 132-133, 136.
Image via oldhollywood:
Sylvia come Via Lattea (“Sylvia as the Milky Way”): One of Fellini’s preparatory sketches of Anita Ekberg as La Dolce Vita’s Sylvia
I have no idea what this is from, but it may be the most hypnotizing thing ever created. Still trying to figure out how the Dutch angle helps, because it does.
I find things of this nature sad and wonderful and touching all at the same time.
Via Old Hollywood:
Fritz Lang & Peter the Monkey at home, c. 1960’s (via)
“Lang had a weakness for stuffed monkeys. His first one was probably a present from Gerda Maurus in Berlin. Even in production stills, a monkey can often be seen perched on a camera . [Film critic] Lotte Eisner once found herself in the awkward position of having to explain to Kurt Pinthus who Peter was: ‘It is, however, very difficult to convey Peter’s value to a serious scientist. So I alluded to the romantic element, that he had been given to you by a beautiful woman. Which he understood better’ (Dec. 3, 1968)
Lang had a rather touchingly tender, sentimentally boyish relationship to Peter the Monkey: he took him with him on trips, put him to bed, dressed him up and posed in pictures with him. In the countless letters he exchanged with his lifelong friend Eleanor Rose, there are many passages devoted to Peter: for example, greetings from him for Magali, Eleanor Rose’s favorite cat; or letters directly addressed to Peter or ‘written’ by Peter to Eleanor:
‘Peter sends his warmest regards. He is meditating a great deal and enjoying the California sun. He loves martinis, smokes a long pipe now and again, and has taken to chewing gum. He sends his compliments to Magali and wishes her the best.’” (Fritz Lang to Eleanor Rose, July 30, 1963)
-excerpted from Fritz Lang: His Life and Work, Pictures and Documents