La Dolce Vida: The Business of Spectacle
La Dolce Vida fundamentally is about the business of Spectacle. It is about a tabloid reporter covering celebrity news. It seems though that the only thing he does each and every day is go to a new and different party. It changes in tone and abatement, but it is always just a party.
The scene with the intellectuals is also a form of Spectacle. They are performing for each other the biggest and most elaborate things that they can think of.
It is the Society of Spectacle because it shows that always looking to be recognized is a pointless and shallow thing. It seems amusing in the moment, but it becomes a pointless way of living.
In the scene when the main character’s friend kills his children and then himself, the media swarms around the wife who hasn't learned of what's going on yet. All the photographers there are his friend, and they are following the Society of Spectacle. They are trying to get a picture of this woman learning her kids have just been murdered, just so they can make it into a spectacle. They are turning it into a news story. And they have turned religion into a spectacle with the episode about the tree and the religious siting.
Bondanella, Peter. The Cinema of Federico Fellini. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1992.