Thursday, December 16, 2010

Nights of Cabiria. B

Nights of Cabiria was part of a three year span during which Fellini made two films with his wife, Giulietta Masina, that were particularly harsh. The other was La Strada, a film I'm pretty fond of. This one I wasn't as enthusiastic about because I felt that the one central character (as opposed to the two in La Strada) didn't allow enough moral complexity for the story. It's a movie about one person struggling to find happiness, and in that respect it's perfectly respectable. But the movie never really goes beyond that. Cabiria is a Fellini movie all the way, refreshingly candid yet full of emotion. It doesn't have the creative passion that fueled his later projects, but if I had to pick between the two styles, I'd probably select his neorealism roots. Still, as much as Cabiria resembles the bleak tone of La Strada, it does wander into Fellini's classic use of fantasy in the end when Masina is comforted by a strange group of youths playing music and riding scooters. Fellini abandons his somber mood with that scene and ultimately never really turned back.

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