Practising the world's oldest profession in the archaeological walk of Rome's Parco di Porta Capena, the trusting and stubbornly optimistic streetwalker, Cabiria, refuses to lose faith in love. After escaping death by the skin of her teeth, hurt, and momentarily disenchanted Cabiria continues to confront life with a mixture of naivety and arrogance, and one evening, she ventures into the elegant Via Veneto and gets picked up by the suave movie star, Alberto Lazzari. Now, once more, disappointment awaits, and as poor Cabiria preys to Virgin Mary for guidance and a blessing, the man of her prayers, Oscar D'Onofrio, barges into her life after a chance encounter at a vaudeville theatre. But do miracles happen?Written by
Nights of Cabiria has been available until recently only in poor quality videos. The Rialto Pictures version (the one released in theaters in 1998), including the additional "Man with the Sack" sequence, beautifully restored picture and sound, and a brand new translation, is available only from The Criterion Collection (DVD) and Homevision Cinema (DVD). Update 2019: The film has been restored in 4K from the interpositive and is now available for the first time on home video in a Blu Ray version that is comparable to a good 35mm print. See more »
on the timelessness of Fellini's overlooked masterpiece
As a film-lover, there are movies that I've outgrown, movies that disappointingly lose their connection to me as I age and mature. Fellini's "Le Notti di Cabiria" is one of those movies that seems to grow with me. It grows richer with each yearly viewing. I never tire of it; I am moved in different ways each time I see it. Fellini and his amazing muse, Giulietta Masina, created one of those rare movie masterpieces in 1957 that comments on its time, yet remains fresh and contemporary as well. But I lament that this gem is so little known today. I trust its recent restoration will help remedy the movie-going public's oversight. The film's rich concluding scene alone (and Masina's glance into our eyes) remains one of the most magical moments ever projected on a screen.
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