PEL Presents (SUB)TEXT: The Fool Gets Hurt in Fellini’s “La Strada” (1954)

PEL Presents (SUB)TEXT: The Fool Gets Hurt in Fellini’s “La Strada” (1954)

By Mark Linsenmayer, Wes Alwan, Seth Paskin, Dylan Casey

The Partially Examined Life Philosophy Podcast

Friday, 14 January

Fellini called his film "La Strada" a dangerous representation of his identity, and had a nervous breakdown just before completing its shooting. Perhaps this identity, and its vulnerability, have something to do with the film’s representation of a disappointed hope that love might vanquish pride, if properly assisted by the forces of playfulness and creativity. The problem is that such forces are often themselves an offense to pride, and become the target of its cruelty. And so while the clown and tightrope walker Ill Matto convinces tenderhearted Gelsomina to stay with heartless Zampanò, his murder severs their tenuous, highwire connection.

Thanks to our sponsor for this episode, NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Aspiring filmmakers and screenwriters can learn more about their online courses at

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