For the love of the beautiful Elena the young fisherman's son Marcello turns a whole village upside down.
After shooting to fame with Federico Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita” (1960), actor Marcello Mastroianni (1924-1996) starred in more than 160 films in his nearly half-a-century career. Directors Mario Canale and Annarosa Morri look into the melancholic charm of one of the most famous Italian actors through interviews with his two daughters, Barbara and Chiara; directors Fellini and Luchino Visconti; actresses Claudia Cardinale and Anouk Aimee; and in archival footage of Mastroianni himself. The subject matter ranges from Mastroianni’s passion for kidney-bean pasta and his addiction to the telephone to his famous laziness, humility and talent. Shown in black-and-white, Mastroianni — elegantly holding a cigarette in between his fingers — is undeniably the dandy.
In 1996, Marcello Mastroianni talks about life as an actor. It's an anecdotal and philosophical memoir, moving from topic to topic, fully conscious of a man "of a certain age" looking back. He tells stories about Fellini and De Sica's direction, of using irony in performances, of constantly working (an actor tries to find himself in characters). He's diffident about prizes, celebrates Rome and Paris, salutes Naples and its people. He answers the question, why make bad films; recalls his father and grandfather, carpenters, his mother, deaf in her old age, and his brother, a film editor; he's modest about his looks. In repose, time's swift passage holds Mastroianni inward gaze.