A nostalgic phantasmagoria about Italo disco.
The age of Italo disco with its sweet synths and athletic beauties in shiny leggings was short-lived, and the genre itself was something of a mirage, a fake. Producers picked their singers from among models, who would invent for themselves a foreign name and biography and give interviews in bad English. However, the movement reflected an important aspect of its time: the overpowering aspiration for a beautiful life, following on from the tough times of the 1970s and reflecting naive dreams of a better future with flying cars, something which seemed to be right around the corner.
This is the story of Italo disco as presented by artist and filmmaker Josh Blaaberg in his short for Frieze’s Second Summer of Love. Blaaberg takes three former Italo stars, including singer Simona Zanini, into a strange labyrinth of of archive footage, real memories, and polished fantasies. Campari fountains that should be installed across the country by presidential decree, old music videos with cheap computer effects, and a hike to Mount Etna with a robot make a strange, kitsch, and captivating story that reflects on childhood, unfulfilled hopes, and life as ephemeral as the success of an Italo hit.