Lana Del Rey’s “Gods And Monsters” As a Pop Culture Doppelganger for La Dolce Vita

There is quite possibly no better movie to encapsulate the loss of innocence than La Dolce Vita. As one of Federico Fellini’s most seminal works, the director pulls out all the stops of symbolism–particularly in the concluding scene. Comparing this masterpiece to the lyrics of Lana Del Rey’s “Gods and Monsters” may seem, to some, disconsonant, but the two works of art bear many similarities.

The lyrics of "Gods and Monsters" fit quite nicely with most of the scenes from La Dolce Vita
The lyrics of “Gods and Monsters” fit quite nicely with most of the scenes from La Dolce Vita
Journalist Marcello Rubini (Marcello Mastroianni) has fallen down the rabbit hole that is Rome in the 1960s. Originally from a small town, he is very much “an angel living in the garden of evil.” His final semblance of innocence is gradually eroded as he lives a life of decadence amid famous people at parties, cultivating a nightly routine of frivolity and meaningless, two words that oft go hand in hand.
Three words Marcello is all too fond of
Three words Marcello is all too fond of
Marcello’s lust for women, drink and the next big story soon begins to take on a life of its own, transforming him into a Bacchanalian drone. One can easily envision Lana Del Rey’s crooning of “I don’t really wanna know what’s good for me. God’s dead, I said baby that’s all right with me” as Marcello tosses feathers from a pillow over an inebriated guest during the final minutes of the film.
In the smoke cloud of debauchery
In the smoke cloud of debauchery
The concluding scene of La Dolce Vita, featuring the iconic score from Nino Rota, shows Marcello re-encountering a waitress he met earlier in the narrative who had just moved to Rome. Still radiating purity and innocence, she beckons to him, calling out and urging him to join her. He is deaf to her cries, insisting he can’t hear her. Though part of the reason he doesn’t hear is because he long ago forgot how to speak her language of virtue. It is here that one could easily substitute Nino Rota’s music for the swell of Lana Del Rey lamenting, “It’s innocence lost, innocence lost.”

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