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Oltre il cerchio del circo
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Dino Frittoli

Dino Frittoli
Oltre il cerchio del circo
Note: Interno stampato tricromia
Anno: 2011
Pagine: 184 | Formato: 23,5 x 30 cm | Copertina: Sovraccoperta plastificata opaca
Editore: Logo Fausto Lupetti Editore
Isbn 9788895962795
“Vi domando scusa, dolcissime creature: non avevo capito,
non sapevo. Come è giusto accettarvi, amarvi, e come è semplice.
Luisa, mi sento come liberato. Tutto mi sembra buono, tutto ha un
Senso, tutto è vero… Ah, come vorrei sapermi spiegare!
Ma non so dire.”
Guido in 8½ (Federico Fellini, 1963)

È un circo differente, quello di Dino Frittoli. Discende dritto filato, invece, dall’ultima scena di 8½, quella in cui il bambino suonando il flauto porta via con sé tutti i personaggi veri-finzionali del film, che poi sono tutti i ricordi del protagonista-regista, tutte le sfumature della sua vita.
Anche in Oltre il cerchio del circo, la vita è al centro degli scatti, dei movimenti, dei pedinamenti. Dino Frittoli ha passato dieci giorni insieme alla compagnia (un’enorme famiglia, in realtà) del Circo Embell, Il circo è un sogno. È l’immagine di un tendone effimero che, bambino, scorge incorniciato dalla finestra di casa. Un tendone dietro cui si nascondono chissà quali segreti, segreti antichi come il mondo.
Ancestrali. Cosa accade dietro quel sipario circolare?
Il sogno è fermare lo scorrere della vita dietro il tendone, i gesti quotidiani ma provvisori, uguali ma diversi in ogni piazza, in ogni paese. La preparazione all’ardimento, al gesto atletico.
Il sudore, la fatica, la provvisorietà. La polvere. Gli sguardi dei circensi, la verità fugace nella luce che li accarezza. Fermare in un clic la vita attorno al cerchio del circo: ora il cerchio è perfetto.

“I apologize, sweet creatures: I hadn't
understood, I didn't know. How right it
is to accept you, love you, and how easy
it is. Luisa, I feel freed, Everything
seems good to me, everything has a
Sense, everything is true....Ah, how I
would like to know how to explain
myself! But I do not know how to
say it.”

Guido in “8 e 1/2” (Fellini, l963)

Dino Frittoli's circus is a different one. It is far from the clichès between carnivalesque and amarcord, far from easy sentimentalism and kitsch intimacy. On the contrary, it descends directly from the last scene of Fellini's “8 e 1/2”,where the boy playing the flute takes away with him all the true-fictional characters in the film, and they are all the memories of the director-protagonist, all the nuances of his life.
Even in “Oltre il Cerchio del Circo”, life is at the center of the springings, the movements, and the trailings. Dino Frittoli spent ten days living with the company (an enormous family, actually) of the Embell Riva Circus. They are the characters that have filled all our childhood dreams and nightmares, when the circus tent arrived in town during winter, and Stephen King's “It” had just come out. However, while we obliged Daddy to take us to the circus to be overwhelmed by the clowns, the acrobats, and the animals, the little boy who was-to-become-a-photographer walked across the whole town of Putignano till he reached the farthest borders of the village (at that time we had not yet heard of the term “outskirts”, but it was the outskirts), far from the known, familiar streets, in order to discover how the magic of the circus worked.

That very same curiosity also guided him during the month of April this year, urging him to go through the spectre that links the production of spectacular, commercial images to artistic production. In fact, Dino – like many photographers – comes from the world of fashion. That is, for his work he usually has to deal with models, hair-dressers, and make-up artists who are all part of the world of reproduction. Therefore, it is not strange that in the midst of the economic crisis of the century, he decided to search for reality: in this case, the life that is behind the show and makes it move. In other words, what goes on “in the wings”.
In two days' time, after contacting the circus, he was already there taking photographs, from 7 a.m. to 3 night. He shared their meals, took part in their conversations, and worried with them about what the weather would be like on Thursday, the date of their opening. Would it rain? Would there be good weather? There was great preparation, seriousness and hard work on everyone's part. Some think that the circus, by definition, is the place for people who simply want to make ends meet. That is a huge mistake. It is absolutely one of most professional (and the most elite, the most closed) worlds: the clowns, for example, come from the Russian school,which is one of most famous in the world. These are not improvised artists. This microcosm has a core: it is the little boy portrayed in the hula-hoop circle, the son of the circus owner. Actully, while Dino was taking his pictures he began worrying about this little boy who was running all the risks that a child from the “ouside “ world would probably never be exposed to. And what answer does he give to the meddling photographer? “I never go beyond the circle”. The circus is a self-sufficient universe, with is own rules and it own humanity, However, it does not seem to be disconnected from the surrounding community. Looking at these photographs, we become aware of what they are really telling us, in a mysterious, secret way, about the life outside, the reality that exists there. It is like a mirror that captures the collective transformations and the refractions of the imaginary. When we observe, with Dino Frittoli, the backstage of what we consider the oldest show in the world, we are actually very probably observing what happens behind the veil of the greatest Show that governs our existence and our place in the world. The pensive clown who plays two trumpets contemporaneously in front of the camera lens, while the real show is taking place in the tent, is just practicing for his performance. He is outside of the tent and the applause, and the tension, but very soon he will go inside. And the very young trapeze artist ( she, too, is suspended inside a circle), in the only photo taken during the performance, is preparing for what will happen in the next picture of the sequence: the terrible, epic jump of a shadow into the dark. A jump from the space of the tent into a cloudy reality. And when on Monday everybody – from the owner to the great artists – will have disassembled every single piece of the scenery, and the circus will have left the town, there will only remain an empty area of raw grass and cememt, bordered by cold buildings built in the sixties.

Christian Caliandro

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