Ginger and Fred (35mm!)

What happens when a veritable master of the spectacular takes on the ultimate spectacle? In this case, what results is a gaudy, glittery send-up of the expansive landscape of 80s television (the decade of the private broadcaster in Italy, resulting in an exploding number of channels and programs)—with all its crass pageantry—taken to a new extreme; in other words, TV Fellini-ified. Washed up dance partners Amelia (Giulietta Masina) and Pippo (Fellini regular Marcello Mastroianni) are coaxed out of retirement to take part in circus-like Christmas special for Italian television viewers. The couple performs their old “Ginger and Fred” routine (which attracted the ire of a litigious Ginger Rogers upon the film’s release) alongside a motley crew of typically Fellini-esque characters, among them a Marcel Proust look-alike, famous kidnapping victims, and a defrocked priest. No one can pile on the excess like Fellini—not even on television.

Dir. Federico Fellini, 1986, 35mm, 125 min.

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer!