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Dept of Film, Media and Cultural Studies | About us | Events | A screening of Federico Fellini's LA STRADA (The Road)

A screening of Federico Fellini's LA STRADA (The Road)

Venue Birkbeck 43 Gordon Square, Cinema
Booking details
Free entry; booking required

Event description

Fellini's Oscar-winning masterpiece, La Strada (1954), tells the story of the enchanting Gelsomina (Giulietta Masina), who is sold by her mother to the brutal strongman Zampanò (Anthony Quinn) in order to take part in his circus act. She learns to play the trumpet and perform a clown act, but she is simultaneously beaten and abused by Zampanò. Upon their travels through impoverished Italy, Gelsomina encounters 'Il Matto' /' The Fool' (Richard Basehart), a gentle, tightrope-walking acrobat. Her wistful longing for a life that is other to her life of drudgery and servitude is beautifully portrayed in The Fool's imaginative exchanges with her and epitomized by his high-wire act in angel wings. 

Trapped within the gender politics of the time, Gelsomina feels bound by loyalty to stay with Zampanò; The Fool provokes Zampanò, whose temper erupts and the tragedy unfolds. Masina is mesmerizing as the child-like Gelsomina, whose face lights up with wonder when she glimpses the possibility of grace and transcendence. Quinn is magnetic as the brutish Zampanò, who loves but cannot express it. Gazing up at the stars, he realizes too late what he has lost and that he is alienated from his own conscience. In the words of Martin Scorsese, 'the road is the road of life' .

Beautiful and heart-wrenching, with stunning music by Nino Rota, La Strada is a masterpiece of poetic realism. A seminal classic of Italian Cinema shown on the big screen in a beautiful new restoration Come and see it in the Birkbeck Cinema!

As taught by Dr Nicolette David on 'Introduction to Italian Culture’. Stay after the film and find out more about our Italian programmes!

This event is free, but tickets must be secured via our Eventbrite page.

Followed by refreshments

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