Place II

film 3 of 3

La Strada

Draft Review by Dean Duncan Jun 16, 2015

Much better than remembered, given that post-synchronization and excessive sentimentality are not so much flaws as cinematic and post-operatic conventions, Rota’s music is superb, as much in the surreally jaunty sections as when the heartstrings are pulled at, and speaking of which, instead of rebelling at the manipulations going on, one could always consider that Masina’s carryings-on actually work, and beautifully (her face is miraculous–looks like Joan Plowright–so why not exploit?), instead of worrying about the Quinn-dubbing’s single growling level of performance, one could appreciate the exposé of man’s promiscuous brutality, or speculate about the curious personal psychology that must have given it this expression; the Fool is annoying, but his death is beautifully staged, the film’s slept-in-his-clothes-edness affirms a valid neo-realist lineage. as does the undeniably real–I know; I was there–and immensely impressive location shooting, all dust and paper and expansive fields broken by solitary villas, the retarded boy bit is very powerful, especially since Gelsomina may have the same problem, the succeeding fornication has the same effect, and the commentary-less juxtaposition of a night-time passion play, a church service and the theatre of the circus performance looks forward to much that will follow, I also liked the mountain setting that glowers over the couples’ final interactions