Shot in 1965, the movie has been edited and reduced to a half hour episode and put together along with two other episodes for mere economic purposes by producer Carlo Ponti in the movie “Oggi Domani e Dopodomani”.
The complete and uncut movie has been distributed only in France with the title “Break Up” in 1969, and will be available in Italy only from 1979, with three additional scenes shot in colour.
Mario (Marcello Mastroianni) is a rich owner of a candy factory and he’s about to marry Giovanna (Catherine Spaak). He conduces a boring life, until, after seeing one of his advertisment balloons, he decides to find out at which point a balloon can be inflated before it explodes.
An agent for a liqueur company, he became involved in the cinema by making short advertising films; later he worked in the production sector and finally in the sale of cinema equipment, moving to Spain. There he met the young humorist Rafael Azcona, with whom he set up an extraordinary, lasting working relationship: the first fruits of their partnership were “El pisito” (1958), “Los chicos” (1959) and “The Little Coach (El cochecito)” (1960), the three “Spanish comedies” marked by a corrosive anti-bourgeois sarcasm. On returning to Italy, Ferreri continued his Spanish theme with “Queen Bee (L’ape regina)” (1963), an anti-Catholic satire in which the institution of matrimony is so fiercely under fire as to unleash the ire of the censor (requiring various cuts in the film and a slight change to the title). He fared no better with “The Ape Woman (La donna scimmia)” (1964), a bitter and lucid parable on the relationships between the sexes, dominated by the exploitation of the weaker sex… read more
Arguably the most surreal effort from Ferreri. In the beginning, Mario (Mastroianni) is the Man from the Candy Factory (actually the owner). One day he comes back home from work with a raving desire: to find out exactly the number of puffs that can be blown into an air balloon before it pops. There's not a lot more, but thankfully there's a delirious extended scene at a disco, a visit to a famous Milanese drugstore (Peck) and an outrageous cameo from Ugo Tognazzi. Only one unanswered question reallly remains: Why 5 (ballons)?