There has never been a face quite like that of Giulietta Masina. Her husband, the legendary Federico Fellini, directs her as Gelsomina in La strada, the film that launched them both to international stardom. Gelsomina is sold by her mother into the employ of Zampanò (Anthony Quinn), a brutal strongman in a traveling circus. When Zampanò encounters an old rival in highwire artist the Fool (Richard Basehart), his fury is provoked to its breaking point. With La strada, winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film in 1956, Fellini left behind the familiar signposts of Italian neorealism for a poetic fable of love and cruelty, evoking brilliant performances and winning the hearts of audiences and critics worldwide. —The Criterion Collection
Federico Fellini was born in 1920 to a provincial middle-class family in Rimini, a small town on the coast of the Adriatic Sea. The lack of available options to young men in provincial towns is an important theme in some of his films, most notably I Vitelloni and Amarcord. In fact, Orson Welles once described Fellini as “a small-town boy who’s never really come to Rome. He’s still dreaming about it. And we should all be grateful for those dreams.” He initially arrived in Rome as a law student but his career as a satirical cartoonist and gag writer was already well established by then. His childhood fascination with the circus and the Grand Guignol also governed his cinephilia in these early years. His favourite films were American comedies by Chaplin, Keaton, Harry Langdon and the Marx Brothers. It was only after he came into contact with the circle of Ettore Scola, Cesare Zavattini, Aldo Fabrizi and Roberto Rossellini, that he would seriously consider the cinema as a medium of expression… read more
My first Fellini and I loved it. Gelsomina encompasses all of the less aggressive shortcomings of the spectrum of human emotion. Zampano encompasses the more abrasive ones. A sad look at the residue of a destructively prideful life, as well as that of an unconditionally loyal one.
Featuring not one but two Herzog gems, a Moonrise Kingdom short, a talk about Twin Peaks and words of discouragement from Richard Brody.
Title: La Strada
Director: Federico Fellini
My first Fellini, and I am glad it is. This film played with my emotions; it digs into every emotion humans are capable of expressing. I really don’t know what better words to describe the brilliance… read review
The performances are wonderful from the three main characters, so the humor and tragedy is believable. Fellini is beginning to move away from his early influence by the Italian neo-realism movement… read review