Giulietta Masina

Giulietta Masina

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La Strada Review


Essential
La Strada begins and ends with two of Federico Fellini's most simple yet memorable images.

Gelsomina (Giulietta Masina, who was Fellini's wife) is walking along a bright and uninhabited beach. She's in the low corner of the frame, a diminutive figure with her back to us, facing an endless stretch of white sand going off to one side and the infinite vastness of sea and sky going the other. Tentatively, yet hopefully, she moves forward. In a few seconds we know this character.

Continue reading: La Strada Review

Nights of Cabiria Review


Weak
Fellini. For some reason we in film perform a sort of idolatry at the altar of all of the films he made. Ironically, this seems to be just what Fellini would have wanted of us. His films aren't great. They have good camerawork, are visually stunning, and have plenty of lofty notions behind them... but they're not great. Yet we come. And we worship. And we put up with those damn white subtitles on a black and white movie one-too-many times.

Fellini's Nights of Cabiria is one of the many movies that no one knows the man directed. Squeezed in between La Strada and La Dolce Vita, it's most remarkable feature is that it immediately proceeds the controversial and three-hour long opus that Fellini will always be remembered for. It is the story of a Hooker with the Heart of Gold, who wants nothing more out of life than romance, marriage, or a job with a health plan. Only one problem... people continually want to off her for the 40,000 to 400,000 lire that she has lying around.

Continue reading: Nights of Cabiria Review

Juliet of the Spirits Review


Terrible
Come near and bear witness to Federico Fellini's biggest fiasco, Juliet of the Spirits. Essentially a 2 1/2 hour dream sequence, Fellini cast sometime-collaborator (and longtime wife) Giulietta Masina (Nights of Cabiria) as a put-upon housewife who summons up the energy to leave her philandering husband.

Along the way, she has nonstop visions and heavily symbolic dreams, which are interrupted only by non-sequitur trips to bizarre locales (such as a basket ride to a treehouse in a nearby forest). I'd love to explain further, but to be perfectly honest, none of this makes a lick of sense, leaving us to stare perplexed at Masina's enormous head (perpetually smirking) atop her waifish body while trying to put the nonstop circus/brass band soundtrack out of our heads.

Continue reading: Juliet of the Spirits Review

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