The ‘Dolce Vita’ according to Marcello Geppetti
An epoch of cultural and social change for an entire country plays out on less than a kilometer of asphalt. The hidden myth of the world in transformation. Italy has shaken off the rubble of war, and starts to rediscover individual well-being and an economic miracle that stretches beyond the collective identity. And finally finds lightness after years of searching in the dark. That kilometer of asphalt is via Veneto, an open-air stage connecting verdant Villa Borghese to the historic center of Rome, and where many young actors found their chance to make it… either to Italy’s Cinecittà studios or to Hollywood. It is impossible to replicate that era, the unique conjuncture of worldliness and intellectual ferment that have generated an immortal image.
It is a legendary period, consciously and happily frivolous, dominated by a morbid curiosity for a previously unknown stardom that preceded. Rome - and Italy overall - was the ideal set for the extremes, overwhelming loves, star-clad quarrels and scandals, bars, restaurants and nightclubs. That curiosity could not foment the moment, however, without photographic care and patience. Endless stalking around the city waiting for the right moment, speed and dexterity to elbow into the crowd, amongst the fans encircling the protagonists. A burst of photography — somewhat overwhelming — delving into a routine that many desired and envied. All with a ideal-image city as a backdrop. For years they have been shamefully labled as simple “paparazzi”, a category far from the high standards of photography, and yet today we realize that thanks to those moments, privacy profaned or not, they gave us the ability to go beyond what we see, beyond the objective, beyond the scoop — making us breathless spectators of an unrepeatable era. Marcello Geppetti is one of these interpreters. As a film artist, he was able to transpose the unpredictable, the impalpable charm of everyday life. Yet for years he was only associated with Rotogravure... in other