Cinematic

La Dolce Vita (1960)

Tabloid journalist Marcello passes through the symbolic worlds of his three love interests in Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita (1960).

The heiress Maddalena (played by Anouk Aimée) is tired of Rome. When she’s not at home lounging on her patio chaise, she can be found in the company of aristocrats who, like her, have experienced everything Rome has to offer. The castle: ball gowns, elegant evening capes, silk, diamonds, tiaras, shiny new cars, sunglasses for sake of mystery.

On her visit to the Eternal City, Italian men vie for the attention of Swedish American actress Sylvia (played by Anita Ekberg). She is charming, flirtatious, and skilled at making sure people have fun at parties. Her abusive fiancé Robert often interrupts her nonstop parade with unkind words and an abusive hand. The limelight: airplanes, cameras, flashing bulbs, music, eyeliner, fountain water.

Emma (played by Yvonne Furneaux) is Marcello’s emotionally fragile girlfriend. Her identity is intertwined with his existence; she loves him more than she loves herself. Emma dreams of married life and children with her boyfriend, but the feeling isn’t mutual. She often waits up for him at night, but when she’s kept waiting too long, her mind travels to a dark place. Purgatory: shadows on the walls of a still apartment, newspapers, telephone, remote dirt road, hospital bed, bed head, basic black dress.

Works Sighted

sequin curtain // sunglasses // tiara // umbrella

silk scarf // dress with sheer sleeves // gown // pearl earrings // scoop-neck dress // mosquito net // olive tree

balloons // Valpolicella // heels // heels // heels // bow tie

ash tray // phone // camera // candles // tape recorder // candelabra

Roman Holiday (1953): Princess Off Duty

Princess Ann (played by Audrey Hepburn) travels to Rome on a goodwill tour in Roman Holiday (1953). Her life is governed by tradition, responsibility, and an itinerary full of engagements related to her duty as a royal. Ann’s schedule doesn’t allow for activities that aren’t related to the official tour. But, for 24 hours, the princess makes time for the things she’s always wanted to do. She doesn’t ask for permission. With American journalist Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck) by her side, she experiences the Eternal City and a love that is equally enduring.

Works Sighted

1. chandelier 2. nap dress 3. slippers 4. tiara 5. dress 6. heels

7. gelato 8. shirt 9. skirt and belt 10. sandals 11. Italian lire

12. fairy lights 13. pajamas 14. epaulettes 15. camera

16. scarf 17. comb 18. postcards 19. tray 20. Vespa

21. Champagne 22. phone 23. guitar

Lola (1961): Cécile in Nantes

In Jacques Demy’s Lola (1961), single-mother Cécile (played by Anouk Aimée) balances life’s demands gracefully. She’s always rushing and asking people for the time. On a typical day, she picks her son up from school, tucks him into bed, and heads out the door for work. Known on the stage as Lola, Cécile performs nightly at a cabaret in Nantes.

The cabaret is a party with free-flowing Champagne, ribbons, and music, a playground for the American sailors passing through the port city. In her line of work, it’s common for male patrons to become emotionally attached, but Cécile’s heart is reserved for someone else, and she isn’t timid about making this fact known.

Cécile finds pleasure in being feminine: admiring her silky hair after it has been washed, applying lipstick in her signature color, accessorizing a sheath dress with just the right necklace and jacket. She doesn’t know her own strength when it comes to captivating men on and off the stage. Even if she did, she wouldn’t sacrifice her attractiveness. She adorns herself with makeup, jewelry, and clothing for her own enjoyment.

Works Sighted

shirt // top hat // necklace // coat // tumbler // book

silver ribbon // gold ribbon // Champagne // bodysuit // comb // lipstick // fedora // candles

comic // dictionary // heels // flowers // cake

satchel // trumpet // vinyl // suitcase

Les Amants (1958): Jeanne Between Paris and the Provinces

Jeanne Tournier lives in la campagne but prefers Paris. She escapes to the capital at every opportunity, staying with her friend Maggy. Henri, Jeanne’s husband, doesn’t appreciate her; he hasn’t for years. Henri senses that his wife is slipping away and attempts to shower her with affection. His efforts are inauthentic and too late. Jeanne is a woman who needs to be loved, and Henri is no longer son amant.

Works Sighted

dress // nightgown // robe // sweater // scarf // skirt

heels // hair comb // alarm clock // necklace // flats // flats

La Pointe Courte (1955): Elle in Sète

Elle was born in Paris and prefers city life over the quiet existence of the countryside. When her husband travels to his hometown of Sète in southeast France, she follows by train a few days later. Elle has a lot of time to reflect on their four-year marriage, and when she reunites with Lui, she’s ready to discuss it. Over the next few days, they talk about the meaning of love and the possibility of discontinuing their relationship. The passing of time is signaled by Elle’s changing outfits; her clothes are more sophisticated than those worn by the residents of the coastal town. A conclusion regarding the marriage is reached after several cinematic strolls by the water.

Works Sighted

clothesline // clothespins // top // sweater // kitchen towels

marinière // skirt // scarf // dress

baskets // shoes // suitcase // espadrilles

Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961): Holly Golightly’s World

Ambitious Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn) lives in New York City with her sweet orange cat. She spends much of her time in the company of others; some of her acquaintances are well-known members of society. Holly prefers to leave her less-than-glamorous past in the past. She recognizes the woman she has become in Manhattan but is open to self-improvement and emotional healing. She appreciates the finer things in life like a midday White Angel and browsing at Tiffany. She quickly assembles her polished outfits with minimal effort.

Works Sighted

bag // sunglasses // hat // cat mask // tassel earrings

pearl earrings // lipstick // perfume

croissant // tiara // dress // trench coat // nightshirt // sleep mask // guitar

paper cup // cat dish // whiskey // Champagne // heels // Kangaroo Fern // phone

silk flowers // diamond necklace // piñata // book