Italian taster and free screening of Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty
Venue: Birkbeck Cinema, 43-46 Gordon Square
Booking details: Free entry; booking required
Jep Gambardella prides himself on being the king of all playboys and on hosting the most decadent parties in Rome. But one day he learns that his youthful love has died and something changes: he embarks on a quest through Rome in search of beauty and the meaning and transcendence that elude him. A love-letter to Rome, a tribute to Fellini, and a gorgeous sugar-rush of a film, Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty (2013) asks how it is possible that Italy, a country steeped in beauty and culture, the country that gave birth to Dante, the Renaissance, Neorealism and Fellini, has ended up here - in the post-Berlusconi era of listlessness and empty sensuality. As Jep casually remarks, the beauty of the dancing conga-lines at his parties is that they go nowhere. Yet at the same time the image of the party, where all the characters dance their lonely dance of desire, is balanced against the longing for beauty and transcendence which permeate the film.
The Great Beauty will be introduced by Dr Nicolette David, who teaches on Introduction to Italian Culture and Italian Film from Neorealism to Fellini. After the film, there will be an opportunity to meet our lecturers and learn more about studying Italian language and culture at Birkbeck.