Nights of Cabiria (Le Notti De Cabiria)
Dir Federico Fellini
Starring Giulietta Masina; Francois Perier; Amedeo Nazzari; Franca Marzi
Academy Award (Best Foreign Film) 1957
The film is a series of episodes in the life of Cabiria, a shabby, aging, dreamy Roman streetwalker – a girl whose hard, knowing air is no protection against her fundamental gullibility, which we finally see, is her humanity and her saving grace. A famous actor picks her up and takes her to his luxurious villa; she goes to a cheap vaudeville show, and when the magician hypnotizes her, the innocent dreams of her adolescence pour out; a young man in the audience meets her and proposes to her… Though the film seems free and almost unplanned, this is art, not carelessness, and each seeming irrelevance falls into place.
Pauline Kael, NY 1970
This film capitalised on Fellini’s big international breakthrough with La Strada (1954) and is still considered to be among his greatest films by many critics, particularly those disenchanted with the escalating self-indulgence of La Dolce Vita (1960), Otto e Mezzo (1963), Fellini Styricon (1969) and so on…
Andrew Langridge (NZFFS)