The Sweet LIFE Exhibition

We love classic Italian films. The feel, fashion, and most of all how directors were able to capture the essence of a particular time so well in black and white. Fellini’s 8 1/2, Rossellini’s Rome, Open City Antonioni’s Blowup – they don’t make them like they used to and probably never will.

It was a period of genuine starlets and real leading man. Audiences the world over went gaga over sex bombs like Sophia Loren and suavesters like Marcello Mastroianni.

Now, just in time for the Toronto International Film Festival the “golden age” of Italian cinema has landed in the form of The Sweet Life: A Celebration of the Golden Age of Italian Film.

Running until September 7th at Toronto’s Brookfield Place the exhibition consists of photographs featuring Italian actors and directors who appeared in the pages of LIFE Magazine during the 1950’s.

As the exhibition explains, “the actors – Loren, Mastroianni, Lollabrigida, Masina, and the directors – Rossellini, DeSica, Fellini, Antonioni, were as famous for their amazing talents as they were for their colourful private lives.”

Each photograph is accompanied by a caption, some of which provide very juicy anecdotes.

For instance, the letter below relates to Roberto Rossellini and Ingrid Bergman. He, the famed Italian director and she, the breathtaking Swedish actress. Both married at the time of their meeting but not to each other. They ended up having a steamy affair. It was the talk of the town. Here is a copy of the letter that ignited their love affair:

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