Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Ginger and Fred|
Actors: Giulietta Masina, Marcello Mastroianni, Franco Fabrizi, Friedrich von Ledebur, Augusto Poderosi
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
The legendary Federico Fellini, Oscar®-nominated 12 times for such films as "La Dolce Vita" and "8-1/2," skewers society in general and TV in particular with this nostalgic tribute to the past that won a Golden Globe® as B... more »
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Through A Glass, Brightly
Reviewer | 03/26/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Memories are time capsules kept within every one of us, stored in the mind, but activated by the heart; the indelible images and sensations that make up an individual's life. A heartbeat away, they can be opened at any time, but let the bearer beware, for often they are bittersweet at best. "Ginger and Fred," directed by Federico Fellini, and starring Giulietta Masina and Marcello Mastroianni, brings two people back together after nearly thirty years apart, a reunion of the professional dance team who for fifteen years prior to their retirement imitated Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire to the delight of audiences all over Europe. Now, all these years later, they are to dance together again; this time on the popular television show, "We Are Proud To Present," a "tabloid" type show which presents a variety of acts and guests weekly for the perusal of their curious audience. And so, amid a circus atmosphere of acts comprised of a troop of midgets, an Admiral, a number of celebrity impersonators and those whose personal lives have attracted media attention, Amelia Bonetti/"Ginger" (Masina) and Pippo Botticella/"Fred" (Mastroianni), come together again for one magical night during which they hope to recapture that spark of life they had embraced those many years ago. At it's core, Fellini's film is heart-felt and poignant. On one hand, it's a satire of popular television; on the other, it's an examination of the very real ramifications of those so-called "sentimental journeys" that those of a certain age are wont to take, and during which it is often discovered that it is, indeed, impossible to go home again. What really makes this film work is the stoic attitudes of the principal characters, especially Ginger, who though she is happy to see Pippo again refuses to allow sentiment to engulf her. Obviously, her memories are fond ones, but she manages to stay in the here and now, taking life as it is and not merely basking in what it was. Pippo, though, has a bit more of the wanton dreamer in him, possibly due to the fact that his life since the split with Amelia has not been as directionally grounded as that of his former partner. But as showtime approaches, they manage to strike a balance between the past and now that keeps them on track and holds much promise for an evening of making new memories to add to the old. Besides the story itself, what makes this film a real treasure is the presence and performance of the indomitable Giulietta Masina. In her mid-sixties when this was filmed, she still had "it" in spades. All the moves, the attitude, the coquettishness that made her one of the most expressive actresses ever. Even in her advancing years she was still an absolute joy to behold. There was something so down-to-earth, yet almost mystical about her, that gave her that rare quality of being "real" in every role she played. Extremely talented and charismatic, she was quite simply an extraordinary actress. Somehow-- and it's quite puzzling-- she never achieved the international stardom nor received the acclaim she deserved. This film proved to be her theatrical swan song, and simply put, what a way to go. She bowed out as she had always lived her life and performed-- with style, grace and more than a touch of class. Her "Ginger" is a truly memorable character. Not to be outdone by his diminutive co-star, Mastroianni gives a wonderful performance as well, capturing the essence of a man whose life has apparently been in one continuous state of flux. As the story unfolds, you get the feeling that his aloofness merely masks a somewhat undisciplined determination, probably more often than not derailed by the boy still residing in the man. Most importantly, though, he makes Pippo entirely believable, and the fact that he is so good in this film reflects, I believe, not only upon his ability as an actor, but upon the fact that Masina was so giving as an actress. It is apparent in the way they play so well off of one another, and the real chemistry between them is unmistakable. The supporting cast includes Frederick Ledebur (Admiral), Friedrich von Thun (Industrieller), Francesco Casale (Mafioso) and France Fabrizi (Show Host). One of Fellini's tenderest films, "Ginger and Fred" is something of a reflection upon life and love; watching it is like reminiscing with, or about, an old friend or loved one. The film has something of a dream-like quality about it that is so in keeping with Fellini's visionary style, and by the end you will find that you have been absolutely transported. Still, of all the wondrous images brought to the screen by Fellini during the many years of his career, the greatest of all was irrefutably Giulietta Masina."
"The fresh look that has always been there"
Pochito Juárez | Túxpan, Veracruz, México | 02/08/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's been said that it was part of Fellini's own decay. That is a sad feeling, and the bottom line is that, "Ginger and Fred" is an anti-decay film because it refuses to show an artist's anihilation. Decay? Fellini was always interested in it. He depicted the decay of the roman society in such acclaimed films as "La dolce vita" and "Satyricon". Now, maybe a bit of old age, maybe a touch of bitterness (confirmed with his last film, "The voice of the moon", showed in 1990's Cannes Film Festival) towards noise and the nonsense of television. It's common knowledge that TV is the new oracle (along with the device that's allowing you to read this right now, the Internet), which, added to the lost of past innocence, when dancing and music were enough to satisfy a night's seek of emotions, were elements that mixed in the confusion that "Ginger and Fred" were samples of decay. "Ginger and Fred" was the first Fellini movie I saw at age 10, and I was inmediatly captured by the direct sense of humor, capacity of observation and freshness of a film director's name that sounded pretty strong to me ("Amarcord", especially). There's a camaraderie in the scenes with Marcello that could only come from a true artist love for actors and performers, which is the real subject of this movie. It's a real feast just to catch Fellini's cleverness when dealing with little people, priests, a transexual, a cow with twenty teats, imitators, an almirant, and a couple of Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers veteran personification dancers, all rolled up in a christmas television marathon. Along with Fellini's most obvious resources (actors of strange characteristics; bittersweet situations that deal with the unexpected and the surreal, the vulgar and the humor towards everything) there's a subtle suspense feeling that culminates with the tender dance in the film's ending, before the aged dancers' last good-bye."
No Pretense, Just Straightforward Love
Bruce Kendall | Southern Pines, NC | 07/21/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This could almost be regarded as Fellini's Swan Song, both to his wife and to his audience. I for one, have never been bored by any image Fellini produced. The same goes for Mastroianni and Giulietta (who could ever forget her in Juliette of the Spirits?). This is a simple piece, not overly symbolic or enigmatic, as much of Fellini's previous films were. It really boils down to a slice-of-life representation (akin to Bergman's "Scenes from a Marriage), with cast, director and crew indulging in a bit of nostalgia, sans deeper significance. If this leaves some viewers feeling cheated, it is their loss. Life is not always as complex as we make it out to be. This film is about life lived well. One doesn't have to live a life of glamour and riches to reach stardom. Sometimes the reverse is true. These characters are similar to those in Henry James' short story, "The Real Thing." Sometimes the best actors are those who in reality are least like what they represent. A "common" representative might sit in more convincingly for an Astor or an Astaire, than the original could."
Jason Whiton | California | 11/01/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is finally coming out, but only dubbed in English? I hope the advance info is wrong about that. Otherwise, I can't wait to see a new print of this."