The title translates as Giulietta (Masina) and Federico (Fellini), and this 1986 story of two old vaudeville hoofers reunited for an appearance on a TV variety show is a thinly veiled metaphor for Fellini’s own sense of physical and artistic exhaustion. With Marcello Mastroianni made up to resemble the maestro and the doe-eyed Masina (Mrs. Fellini) twinkling at his side, the film is obsessed with impostors, imitators, and phantoms; it even plays less like a Fellini film than the ghost of a Fellini film, in which all of his trademark mannerisms and visual tropes are evoked with a bored, halfhearted sense of obligation. The ultimate impostor is television, which Fellini excoriates for borrowing and debasing his own flair for the grotesque and excessive. The film isn’t a particularly pleasurable experience (the satire of television is broad and wayward, and the attempts to wring pathos from Ginger and Fred’s geriatric infirmities fall far short of the mark), but it does have a cranky, old-man’s integrity. With Franco Fabrizi. In English and subtitled Italian.
Ginger & Fred
2 hours 6 min