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PNFS: La Strada (The Road)

PNFS: La Strada (The Road)

Sorry this event has been and gone


  • Wed 13 Jun ’12, 5:30pm
  • Wed 13 Jun ’12, 8:00pm


Downtown Cinemas, 70 Broadway Ave, Palmerston North


All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Waged membership: $85.00
  • Unwaged membership: $70.00
  • Triple feature card: $30.00
  • High school student: $30.00

Directed by Federico Fellini
Italy, 1954, 108 mins, M - adult themes

The trailer - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tD2X29Y3Kl4

The inaugural winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1956 and is sometimes cited as one of the greatest films in cinema history.

Gelsomina (Giulietta Masina) learns that her sister Rosa has died since going on the road with the strongman Zampanò (Anthony Quinn). Now the same man has returned a year later to ask her mother if Gelsomina will take Rosa's place. The mother accepts 10,000 lire and her daughter departs the same day.

Zampanò makes his living as an itinerant performer, entertaining crowds by breaking an iron chain bound tightly across his chest, then passing the hat for tips. He teaches her to play the snare drum and trumpet, dance a bit, and clown for the audience. Despite her willingness to please, he relies on intimidation and even cruelty at times to maintain his dominion.

Finally, she rebels and leaves, making her way into town. There she watches the act of another street entertainer, Il Matto (Richard Basehart), a talented high wire artist and clown. The interaction of these three characters drives the narrative for the rest of the film.

The idea for the character Zampanò came from Fellini's youth in the coastal town of Rimini. A pig castrator lived there who was known as a womanizer: according to Fellini, "This man took all the girls in town to bed with him; once he left a poor idiot girl pregnant and everyone said the baby was the devil's child." In 1992, Fellini told Canadian director Damian Pettigrew that he had conceived the film at the same time as co-scenarist Tullio Pinelli.

“I was directing I vitelloni, and Tullio had gone to see his family in Turin. At that time, there was no autostrada between Rome and the north and so you had to drive through the mountains. Along one of the tortuous winding roads, he saw a man pulling a carretta, a sort of cart covered in tarpaulin. A tiny woman was pushing the cart from behind. When he returned to Rome, he told me what he'd seen and his desire to narrate their hard lives on the road. 'It would make the ideal scenario for your next film,' he said. It was the same story I'd imagined but with a crucial difference: mine focused on a little traveling circus with a slow-witted young woman named Gelsomina. So we merged my flea-bitten circus characters with his smoky campfire mountain vagabonds. We named Zampanò after the owners of two small circuses in Rome: Zamperla and Saltano.”

Did you know?
Bob Dylan cites La Strada as an influence for the song "Mr Tambourine Man" and Kris Kristofferson has said that it was an inspiration for the song "Me and Bobby McGee".

Two screenings - 5.30pm and 8pm at Downtown Cinemas.

Members only. Palmerston North Film Society Membership is available at the door before each screening and lasts for one full year.

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