Fellini, Mastroianni, Jango
and my missing color negatives.
by Cindy Marler
Rome, July 1979
Summer in Rome is hot. Its hot in a restaurant, its hot in
a hotel, its hot on the beach, its hot in the shade, its
hot in a tent. This particular tent was a theatre called Theatro Tenda,
situated in Rome. I was a performer, playing in a performance with my
man Jango Edwards. Our 2 month old son Turne was with us, mostly backstage
lying in his basket.
One night we heard Frederico Fellini was coming to see the show. After
the show Fellini came backstage to say hello. I was introduced to him
and we proudly showed him our sleeping baby in his basket. In times to
come when Fellini wrote to Jango (they continued a lively correspondance
for years up until his death) He would end the letter saying how
is your lovely wife and your baby in his basket?
Fellini was in the middle of shooting his film Citta delle
Donne and he invited us to come on location of the scene they would
shoot the next day. It was of course an opportunity we couldnt miss,
so we went off to the Roman countryside, along with Carlos the owner of
the Theatro Tenda, Fiametta, Fellinis young red headed secretary,
Jango, our baby in his basket and me. In my bag along with nappies etc
was my camera, my faithful Nikon FE2. It had a roll of color film in it.
Now in those days I was not a professional photographer, and had no intention
of ever being one, but making photos was part of my life, just registrating
events, friends, babies etc. Family album stuff.
So after a light summer lunch in a remote outdoor restaurant, in the sweltering
midday heat we went off to find in a maze of small roads and fields, the
location of the shoot.
A typical Fellini scene, as we approached, a couple of suntanned Italian
men on a scaffold putting up a huge sign along the road, a bridge, a river,
some shady trees and that was it. No one else. No Fellini, nobody. No
sound except for the wind in the trees, the rippling of the brook and
in the distance some Italian men shouting at each other.
We got out of the car and soon found out that Fellini was delayed because
an unfortunate, tragic accident had taken place that morning. The main
actor in the film, alongside Marcello Mastroianni, while at home had fired
off his gun accidently into the artery in his leg and died within minutes.
Despite this terrible news we were told to wait for Fellini because he
was on his way, the filming was to go on. While waiting I took my baby
down by the river, sat on a rock in the shade and started to feed him.
A short while later some cars arrived and parked on the bridge.