La Strada

Introduction

La Strada (lit. "The Road") is a 1954 Italian drama film directed by Federico Fellini from his own screenplay co-written with Tullio Pinelli and Ennio Flaiano. The film portrays a naïve young woman (Giulietta Masina) bought from her mother by a brutish strongman (Anthony Quinn) who takes her with him on the road.

Fellini has called La Strada "a complete catalogue of my entire mythological world, a dangerous representation of my identity that was undertaken with no precedent whatsoever."[1] As a result, the film demanded more time and effort than any of his other works, before or since.[2] The development process was long and tortuous; there were various problems during production, including insecure financial backing, problematic casting, and numerous delays. Finally, just before the production completed shooting, Fellini suffered a nervous breakdown that required medical treatment so he could complete principal photography. Initial critical reaction was harsh, and the film's screening at the Venice Film Festival was the occasion of a bitter controversy that escalated into a public brawl between Fellini's supporters and detractors.

Subsequently, however, La Strada has become "...one of the most influential films ever made," according to the American Film Institute.[3] It won the inaugural Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1957.[4][5] It was placed fourth in the 1992 British Film Institute directors' list of cinema's top 10 films.[6]


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