GINGER AND FRED
DIRECTOR: FEDERICO FELLINI
COUNTRY: ITALY 1986
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Tonino Delli Colli, Ennio Guarnieri
CAST: Marcello Mastroianni, Giulietta Masina, Franco Fabrizi
SUPER FEATURES: It's a Fellini film.
It seems that I have become more curios about this director since his honorary Oscar, this past year. While he is not a great writer of film, he is a fun director to watch, because like Jean Luc Godard, he is quite impossible to predict. There are some stories here and there, and this film has it, but all in all, it isn't the story of two dancers that entertained the ballrooms of Europe by doing their imitation of the famous pair, as much as it is the story of Fellini's opinion of the very Rome he lives in. Maybe we should assure him a candidacy for a top post, and he will accomplish a bit more than Ciccolina ever has done, though it is felt that she is doing a very good job.
Right from the start, we see the incongruence, which Fellini wants us to see about Rome. It is dirty, ugly, and the Italians take to the streets with a reckless abandon of dialogue, which can't be scripted, and is simply shot as is. As is customary, the city life does not stop for the filming of this work, and life just seems to continue as if nothing had happened. And the television studio, which is sponsoring the massive program, makes sure that everyone in this large cattle call gets their two cents worth in. Amidst these 'fifteen minute'rs' are Ginger and Fred. And it is a good thing that there isn't a soccer match on television during the running of this show, because no one would have paid attention to the show at all, if it had. In the beginning of the film, when some of the characters are checking into the hotel, there is a major game, and the whole staff is more interested in the game than they are in the guests.
Amidst the life in the film of Fellini is his constant attack on the insensitivity of many people, and also their sexual proclivity which appears to run rampid. It is all a part of the Rome, most tourists might never have a chance to see. And when the dreamy qualities of the Ginger and Fred characters shine, the film literally stops, and the music starts up.
While it isn't as bombastic as FELLINI'S ROMA, or SATYRICON, or the works which were more extravagant and gave us a copy in KEN RUSSELL, it is still a nice movie to see. Despite the wonderful acting of both Masina and Mastroianni, this film plods along with many gags
and digs at the film business, from its make up moments to the costuming moments, to just about any second during the production at the end. And of course, every dignitary is present, including the mafioso that is being escorted by the police. And the new age gets ripped apart, with its idealistic look at things, rather than accept the reality of the moment.
Good Fellini film.
Fun to watch, and would give you an idea how much many Hollywood films have influenced the television productions in Europe. The stage show would do Busby Berkeley very proud.
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