When it was released in 1969, Federico Fellini’s Satyricon shocked audiences with its irreverent depiction of the Roman Empire. Glistening gladiators, corrupt oligarchs, hermaphrodite oracles, painted men and women fighting over smirking boy-toys—such are the inhabitants of Fellini’s indelibly pagan and pansexual ancient Mediterranean.
Naturally, the fashion world found a lot to latch on to. And it still does: Dolce & Gabbana has contributed significantly to the restoration of the film, and this past weekend presented it at Lincoln Center as part of the New York Film Festival. (Remarkably, it was the first time in the festival’s 50-year history that a Fellini film had ever screened there.)
The Italian house’s namesakes are big Fellini fans and got involved with the project via Italian-American director Edoardo Ponti, who’s the son of Sophia Loren. Carla Gugino and Hilary Rhoda were among those who stopped by the screening and subdued cocktail party that followed in a suite next door to the Francesca Beale Theater. Harry Brant was there, too, reveling in the novelty of archival programming. “It’s kind of like you’re watching old movies in your house, except you’re not as comfortable as you are on the couch,” he said, adding that his brother Peter was stuck at home with pneumonia. Best part about coming out to see the film? People were telling him he resembled one of the dewy boys in it, Brant said. “I actually like to think the movie was a documentary of my life.”