La Strada ★★★★½

I began viewing this film three nights ago. Between Internet connection issues and not feeling well, I wound up having to watch it in sections. Not ideal at all, but it couldn't be helped. I saw my first Fellini film last year: 8 1/2. This was only my second, and it was interesting to go from the heavily autobiographical film to one of his actual stories. It's much like reading an author's memoir before reading any of his novels.

I was reluctant to even come back to this film tonight. Earlier today, I lost a friend of mine. I'm still stunned and saddened, but I needed a respite from my grieving friends and somehow, given her taste in film, it seemed an entirely appropriate way to step aside and get my bearings again. I don't have anything insightful to say about the film at this time, though I would like to note that it threw me every time I heard Nina Rota's two themes. The circus theme, I recognized from its re-use later in 8 1/2; The Fool's theme, I recognized because John Barry swiped it for The Man with the Golden Gun and every time I heard the string arrangement in this film, I immediately began to hear Barry's work.

I was, of course, ultimately captivated by Giulietta Masina as Gelsomina. Her entire performance is steeped in the traditions of stage theater and silent film, and her facial expressions are perfect. Despite all the talk throughout the film of her "ugliness," I found Masina quite lovely, particularly when she smiled. She exuded a very touching warmth, not at all unlike Audrey Tautou as the titular Amélie.

Martin Scorsese on La strada (13:43)
Not really a lot to say here, except that I enjoy listening to Scorsese talk about film. Even though this was just my second Fellini film, I understand what he meant that this is the perfect microcosm of Fellini's pre-8 1/2 work.

How La strada Entered My Flickchart
La strada > Full Tilt Boogie
La strada > Friday
La strada > Ferris Bueller's Day Off
La strada < Catch Me If You Can
La strada > Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
La strada > Roman Holiday
La strada > Red
La strada < Office Space
La strada < Bride of Frankenstein
La strada < The Seventh Seal
La strada < The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

La strada entered my Flickchart at #99/1421