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Film: La Strada
Sunday, October 26, 2008 - 3:00pm
Although overshadowed by Fellini's later, better known films (such as 1960's "La Dolce Vita" and 1963's "8 1/2"), "La Strada" (The Road) has always had a special place in Fellini's canon, not least because it was the film that won an Oscar for Best Foreign Film and secured his reputation as one of Europe's leading postwar directors."La Strada" is, as its title suggests, a road movie. Circus strongman Zampano (Quinn) buys Gelsomina (Masina) from her starving family to act as his assistant. The simple, doe-eyed girl quickly realises that her employer expects her to be more than just a circus performer. Although she's terrified of his violence and overawed by life on the road, Gelsomina begins to feel affection for her brutish employer. Moving away from the neo-realist tradition that had originally inspired him, Fellini turns "La Strada" into a magical story of life among the peasant circus performances and gypsies of postwar Italy. It's a marvelous film, charged with an emotional forthrightness that never squanders the two fantastic central performances. Quinn is stunning as the savage strongman - a drunken, whoring, violent thug - and manages to keep him from becoming a one-dimensional symbol of oppression by imbuing him with a twisted humanity all his own. But it's Masina's film. Her Chaplinesque clowning, wide-eyed wonder and desperate attempts to please are full of tragi-comic pathos. Touching, funny, and completely enchanting, "La Strada" is a deceptively simple film. And simply put, it is a haunting, lyrical masterpiece.


La Strada (1954 Federico Fellini)
Format: 35mm Film
Runtime: 108 mins
When: October 24th & 25th at 7:00 pm and 9:30 pm, October 26th @ 3:00 pm
Where: 5th Ave Cinema, 510 SW Hall St. @ PSU
Admission: Free for PSU Students, Faculty and Staff with ID; $2 for Other Students, Seniors and Children; $3 General Admission

For more information:
PSU Film Committee