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Film Stills: Nights of Cabiria December 15th, 2010

To try and fit in many of the films I’d like to watch but don’t often get around to, I decided to make December Italian film month. It started it off with one of my favourite directors Frederico Fellini and his film, Nights Of Cabiria (1957). It features his wife Giulietta Masina who is also the star of the fantastic film, La Strada. Her face is so expressive and so perfect in the role of Cabiria were she titters on the line between naiveté and jadedness as an aging prostitute in Rome’s red light district. Her body language and facial expressions remind one of a female Charlie Chaplin with all the sweet vulnerability that underlies the larger-than-life humour.

One beautiful scene shows Cabiria taking part in a hypnotist variety show. She’s taken back to her innocent youthful days and made to believe she’s part of a budding love affair with an idealized young man. Her usual comical face and brash comments turn soft and sweet as she we get a view of her wish to be an innocent and in love. Once she’s awakened by the hypnotist the crowd jeers at her and the ridiculousness of the prostitute’s secret wishes. From there her life goes through more turmoil but she continues to maintain her sense of humour and her fragile sense of hope.

Here are some of the screen shots I took. I love the hand-drawn opening titles! They’re so beautifully imperfect. Hopefully this inspires you as well!

2 Responses to Film Stills: Nights of Cabiria

  1. carolyn says:

    I find inspiration in her eyebrows. Forgot about that detail!

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