Director: Federico Fellini
Cast: Giulietta Masina, Marcello Mastroianni, Franco Fabrizi
Italy, France, Germany 125’, 1986, color
Italian and English with Turkish subtitles
In 1986, Fellini's satiric take on television vulgarism might have been considered, well, Fellini-esque. Today, the grotesque commercials and insipid game shows he depicts pale next to reality. Billed in their heyday as Ginger & Fred, Amelia (Giulietta Masina) and Pippo (Marcello Mastroianni) are reunited after 30 years to perform their Rogers-Astaire ballroom dance tribute act on We Are Proud to Present, a television variety show. Amelia is now a widowed grandmother. Pippo has gone somewhat to seed. Can they recapture the magic amidst this surreal circus of transvestites, midgets, and a Ronald Reagan impersonator? Ginger & Fred works best when Amelia and Pippo's bittersweet reunion is center stage, thanks to the impeccable charm and grace of Masina (La Strada) and the incomparable Mastroianni (La Dolce Vita), two actors most closely associated with the director. Ginger & Fred is as much a tribute to artists as it is to the ephemeral state of cinema itself. "We are phantoms," Pippo tells his partner. "We arise from the darkness and disappear again." Like Pippo, Fellini makes a few missteps, but Ginger & Fred is ultimately quite moving film with an unforgettable train station finale.
In 1962 Philip Corner, one of the most prominent members of the Fluxus movement, caused a great commotion in serious music circles when during a performance entitled Piano Activities he climbed up onto a grand piano and began to kick it while other members of the group attacked it with saws, hammers and all kinds of other implements.
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