[Film Review] La Strada (1954)

Title: La Strada
Year: 1954
Language: Italian
Country: Italy
Genre: Drama
Director: Federico Fellini
Federico Fellini
Tullio Pinelli
Ennio Flaiano
Music: Nino Roto
Cinematography: Otello Martelli
Anthony Quinn
Giulietta Masina
Richard Basehart
Aldo Silvani
Marcella Rovere
Livia Venturini
Mario Passante
Rating: 8.6/10

A KVIFF screen of Fellini’s black and white classic LA STRADA.

First I must refresh my memory to gather all the Fellini’s I have watched so far. from 8 AND A HALF (1963), LA DOLCE VITA (1960) to AMARCORD (1973), LA STRADA is the fourth one. The film has a direct exertion of pathos by coupling two disparate characters, an angelically miserable Gelsomina (Masina) and an uncivilised macho Zampanò (Quinn), which may not pander to the New Wave trend at that time, but time proves its longevity and flags the upcoming career flourish which would verify Fellini as one of the most creative and intelligent film auteur in an historical scope.

LA STRADA has a starkly primitive settings for the always-on-the-wheel couple, the peripatetic, footloose lifestyle seems to be endless and bleak along with the melancholic tunes, Gelsomina’s hapless experience could melt any steel heart and her wide-eyed subservience is too heart-rending to even blame her; Zampanò, on another level, is a far cry from an evil soul, merely is a man with rudimentary desires and an irascible temper.

Giulietta Masina did an almost-perfect work to embody herself with all the ups-and-downs of a poor girl’s misadventure both inwards and outwards, her Chaplin-esque clown mimicry and antics have a genuine comedic infusion to the views and by comparison, Quinn’s chest chain-snapping stunt is over-used and outdated, but he has his own time, namely, the scenes of his final wail of grief are the salvation for him (a great solace for the audiences as well). Richard Basehart, his portrayal of “Il Matto” is queerly vivacious, a sincere contrast to the adversity he would meet in due course.

The cameras work miracles too, for example, the night shots of tightrope-walking among crowds has its enchanting depth of focus. Although the world in LA STRADA is a period I could never experience, and it is a more straightforward tale compared with Fellini’s other oeuvres, but through the film I could potently sense a clear-minded manifesting of some most precious humility virtues which would also affect people under whatever conditions, to use a tear-jerking story to give hope, which is a marvelous achievement!


3 thoughts on “[Film Review] La Strada (1954)

  1. Pingback: [Last Film I Watch] Nights of Cabiria (1957) | Cinema Omnivore

  2. Pingback: [Film Review] I Vitelloni (1953) – Cinema Omnivore

  3. Pingback: [Film Review] The Secret of Santa Vittoria (1969) – Cinema Omnivore

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s