La Dolce Vita is a 1960 film by the critically acclaimed director Federico Fellini. The film is a story of a passive journalist's week in Rome, and his search for both happiness and love that will never come. Generally cited as the film that marks the transition between Fellini's earlier neo-realist films and his later art films, it is widely considered one of the great achievements in world cinema. In various interviews, Fellini claimed that the film's initial inspiration was in fact this particular style.
Brunello Rondi, Fellini's co-screenwriter and long-time collaborator, confirmed this view explaining that "the fashion of women's sack dresses which possessed that sense of luxurious butterflying out around a body that might be physically beautiful but not morally so; these sack dresses struck Fellini because they rendered a woman very gorgeous who could, instead, be a skeleton of squalor and solitude inside."The famous scene in the Trevi Fountain was shot over a week in winter. Fellini claimed that Ekberg stood in the cold water in her dress for hours without any trouble while Mastroianni had to wear a wetsuit beneath his clothes - to no avail. It was only after "he polished off a bottle of vodka" that Fellini could shoot the scene with a drunk Mastroianni.