There is the repeated view of Jeanne Moreau walking away from the camera. Jeanne Moreau is a brilliant film actress and her face is a marvel of sullen boredom that can suddenly be brought to life by a smile (…); but what are we to make of this camera fixation on her rear? (…) In ‘La Notte’, obviously we are supposed to be interested in Jeanne Moreau’s thoughts and feelings while we look at her from the back, walking around the city. What kind of moviemaking, what kind of drama is this? Is the delicate movement of the derrière supposed to reveal her Angst, or merely her ennui?
Pauline Kael, “The Come-Dressed-As-the-Sick- -Soul-of-Europe Parties: La Notte, Last Year at Marienbad, La Dolce Vita”, in I Lost it at the Movies, Little, Brown & Company 1954.