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La Strada

Perhaps Fellini’s greatest film, La Strada straddles his early neorealist period and his later magical and fantastical work, combining elements of both in its portrayal of Gelsomina (Giulietta Masina), a naive young woman who was sold to the strongman Zumpanò (Anthony Quinn). Zumpanò makes a living performing in small countryside towns, and Gelsomina quickly takes to performing, playing music and clowning. But when she meets the Fool (Richard Basehart), a high-wire walker, Zumpanò’s place in the pecking order is threatened, which leads the two men, and ultimately Gelsomina, down a dangerous, tragic path. “As ever for il maestro, life is both cyclic odyssey and circus, a teeming, tragicomic arena of pain, cruelty and solitude. Despite the pessimism of much of the story, memorably embodied in the grey, desolate towns the pair visit, Fellini has already moved far from his roots in neo-realism; symbols, metaphors, and larger-than-life performances hold sway, and moments of bizarre if inconsequential charm abound.”—Geoff Andrew, Time Out. “I have a profound admiration for Fellini. I met him lately and he’s just fantastic. I feel very close to him even though he’s very Italian. But his films could have been made in every country. When I say, I feel close to him, then also because we’re both born on January 20th.”—David Lynch.

Genres: Drama

Other Films by Federico Fellini

Juliet of the Spirits

The female counterpoint to 8½, Fellini ventures deeply into the surreal as Juliet of the Spirits explores the repressed desires of a bourgeois housewife, played by Giulietta Masina who stars as a middle-aged woman haunted by hallucinations from her past and subconscious. While her husband philanders, she consults clairvoyants and mediums and escapes into a

La Dolce Vita

Fellini’s emotional travelogue of the soul of modern Rome is a seductive meditation on what was truly meaningful (if anything) for the dusk-to-dawn Italian jet set of the era. Marcello Mastroianni was catapulted into superstar status in America as the sensitive (and Brioni-suited) tabloid reporter juggling the affections of several women (voluptuous movie star Anita

The White Sheik

Fellini’s first feature, an uproarious comedy skewering the popular notion of marital “bliss,” stars Brunella Bovo and Leopoldo Trieste as newlyweds in Rome with vastly differing agendas. While Ivan (Trieste) has a rigid schedule set (including a rendezvous with the Pope, of all people) Wanda (Bovo) is single-minded in her mission to meet the “White