Saturday, 11 October 2014

Visual & Sound Diary: The Great Beauty (2013)

Visual & Sound Diary is a weekly feature where I explore a chosen film of distinctive cinematography and musical composition via the score, soundtrack and stills. This is how it works: click play on the link supplied of the selected music and scroll through the images. Be reminded and inspired of the cinematic splendour. 
Note: the last shot is my pick for the best shot.

Artistically indulgent and philosophically grounded, The Great Beauty or Le Grande Bellazza, was the most distinguished foreign language film of 2014. The Italian Fellini-esque feature swept up nearly every imaginable foreign language film nomination, from the Oscars to the Golden Globes (albeit the Palme d'Or loss). And with good reason. The sights and sounds of this film are simply revelatory, innovations of cinema. At large, The Great Beauty is an exposition of the cityscape, a love letter to Rome. It is extravagant and melancholias, the film feels as though it is in a constant state of mourning. It even seeks to question the quality of modern art with pragmatism and humour. 

The most distinct merit of The Great Beauty is the achingly nostalgia of its narrator, an ageing writer and socialite of the Roman high life. His wistful reminiscence of a distant youth is told via spectacular cinematography and a soul-stirring, time-honoured soundtrack - a compilation of aged symphonic compositions. The film makes use of many tracking shots to capture the sheer architectural magnificence of the city. It features Rome to be one of almost jarring combinations of the contemporary world and the ruins and preservations of the old. The contemplative temperate of The Great Beauty is not to be missed. Truthfully, the feature is no doubt loaded with vague notions and philosophical tangents but most simplistically it captures a beauty which is not forged but elaborately shown. 

Shooting Location: Rome, Italy - Lungo Tevere, Via Veneto, Parco Degli Acquedotti, Palazzo Spada

"To travel is very useful, it makes the imagination work, the rest is just delusion and pain. The journey is entirely imaginary, which is its strength." 

~ Journey to the End of the Night, Louis-Ferdinand Céline

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