Saturday, March 07, 2009

La Strada

La Strada, originally uploaded by sprouseart.

Once or twice a week, we get together with friends and watch a film or two. I was finally able to get my comrades to agree to watch La Strada, one of my favorite Fellini films.

I hadn't seen it since the mid-80's so it was lovely to view it again based simply on fuzzy memories. Of course, it's a magnificent timeless film that doesn't age badly or become dated.

It's such a perfect film on so many levels that it's difficult to describe and best experienced in my opinion. There are moments when it is as sweet and gentle as a delicate baby chick, and then others when it reflects ugly brutality in such a way that it still leaves a shudder even after 55 years.

A wikipedia excerpt contained this mention of a review which I found prescient, "On La Strada’s release in France in 1955, critic Dominique Aubier wrote in Les Cahiers du cinéma that the film “belongs to the mythological class, a class intended to captivate the critics more perhaps than the general public. Fellini attains a summit rarely reached by other film directors: style at the service of the aritist’s mythological universe. This example once more proves that the cinema has less need of technicians - there are too many already - than of creative intelligence. To create such a film, the author must have had not only a considerable gift for expression but also a deep understanding of certain spiritual problems."

La Strada won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film in 1957 and is available from Netflix.

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