Toronto Film Festival
With La Dolce Vita, Federico Fellini broke with the neorealist tradition of filming on location, and moved to Cinecittà Studios, where he built a near-exact replica of Rome’s famed Via Veneto. Cinecittà, then known for hosting American epics like BenHur, would become inextricably linked with the great director. In this series of photographs, artist Gregory Crewdson revisits Fellini’s stomping grounds, documenting a cinematic ruin where narratives linger like ghosts. The traces of bygone productions are everywhere: a painted sign, perhaps from Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York; flooded alleyways that evoke HBO’s Rome. Crewdson — known for highly staged, fantastic photographs — chooses to dwell on the gaps in the fragile illusions of these film sets. Scaffolding can be seen supporting each structure. Modern high-rises can be glimpsed behind an ancient cottage. Mussolini once described Cinecittà as the place where “dreams become reality.” For Crewdson — like Fellini before him — it is a place to revel in the dreamlike nature of reality itself.