Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Sight & Sound Challenge: La Strada (1954)

Film: La Strada (93/250) 
Critics Poll: 
Directors Poll: 
First Time/Rewatch: Rewatch

It's hard watching a film about character like Gelsomina (Giulietta Masina), a woman so naive and so trusting, so eager to please, and so pushed around by the world. I just wanted to jump into the movie and rescue her, let her know she wasn't worthless. The character is sold, basically, to traveling strongman and brute Zampano (Anthony Quinn) where he subsequently drains her of her vitality, her spunk, and her spirit through physical and emotional abuse. Looking at Gelsomina's big eyes full of childlike wonder at the world around her, you understand how she was able to let everyone take advantage of her. Her life before this was nothing, at least now she gets to play a clown. I'm so impressed with Masina in this film. With another actress playing Gelsomina, I might have felt a little disgusted by her naiveté and willingness to stay by people who don't give a shit about her. But Masina has this quality about her, you can't help but love and pity her even as she continues along the same road of her sad life. It had been years since I had last seen this film but it still has the same magic. A story like this is timeless, and Fellini expertly shows us the beauty in tragedy. And that road, of victims and abusers, of bullies and the bullied, goes on...

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