Fellini 100
New Restoration

Rarely has a film expressed so completely its director’s sense of the wonder, fantasy, surprise, and mystery in the simple lyrical moments of life.”

Peter Bondanella, Italian Cinema

Fellini’s poetic fable was his breakout work and first unquestioned masterpiece; La Strada won hearts and collected prizes (including a Silver Lion at Venice and the first official Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film) around the world. Giulietta Masina (Fellini’s wife) gives one of cinema’s most memorable performances as Gelsomina, a sweet, simple peasant girl who is sold” by her mother to Zampanò (Anthony Quinn), a brutish strongman in a travelling circus. Richard Basehart (of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea fame) co-stars as The Fool, a tightrope artist who befriends the beleaguered heroine. Although ostensibly neorealist in form, La Stradas highly allegorical, profoundly spiritual quality departed from the strict tenets of neorealism, and drew angry attacks from some Leftist critics. Italy’s Catholic press viewed it as a genuinely Christian parable of suffering and redemption. Fellini’s affecting road movie inspired two of popular music’s great road songs, Dylan’s Mr. Tambourine Man” and Kristofferson’s Me and Bobby McGee.”

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For all its sentimentality, this overshadows virtually everything Fellini has made since La Dolce Vita.”

Geoff Andrew, Time Out
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