8 1/2 Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ March 22, 2015
Fellini takes his existential musings from La Dolce Vita to a radical level with this fascinatingly intimate and gorgeous exercise in self-reflection (the title couldn't be more perfect), shaping it as a stylish anti-comedy and building it upon a surprising anti-structural narrative skeleton.
TheDudeLebowski65
Super Reviewer
½ August 7, 2014
Finely executed picture 8 1/2 is a splendid film experience that boasts a great cast, brilliant direction and a wonderful story. Shot in gorgeous Black &White, I felt that it added so much atmosphere to the film and in retrospect gave a much more in depth atmosphere that elevated the simple story quite well. This is a great film, one that should be seen by cinema fans, and if you enjoy classic, foreign dramas, then you're in for a real treat. I really enjoyed the film, and its premise, for what it is it's definitely of the top films that has ever been committed to film, and it's well worth your time. The story is simple, yet engaging, and it's a smartly crafted picture that delivers something truly special. 8 1/2 is a fine picture that manages to be captivating and enthralling from the first frame right up to the final shot due to the simplest of plots. Under the direction of Frederico Fellini, it is a standout feature, a film that is near perfect, and like I said, is well worth your time if you enjoy the genre. 8 1/2 works very well due to powerful performances, effective storytelling and great direction, and for what it is, it's a finely executed drama that does something quite wonderful with its story. This is a stunning picture that is enthralling from start to finish, and is one of cinemas finest films. Although at times a little long, you end up not caring because the story and performances are so rich in character that the make the weaker moments seem insignificant compared to the entire film. 8 1/2 is a stunning piece of filmmaking that will delight anyone looking for powerful, engaging storytelling, and it's a movie that is accomplished in the way it handles its subject.
Bathsheba Monk
Super Reviewer
March 3, 2014
An author trying to find his story. I saw this movie in an art house when I was a kid and didn't get it. I didn't understand the imagery. I certainly didn't understand his problem. Now I do.
366weirdmovies
Super Reviewer
December 12, 2007
A movie director is trying to make a film but he's constantly being interrupted by doubts, personal problems, flashbacks and dream sequences. This stream-of-consciousness classic shows Fellini laying out the creative process right before our eyes almost in real time; despite their superficial appearance of randomness, the scenes flow together amazingly well, and each individual segment is a flawless gem in a sparkling bracelet. The fantasy scene with Mastroianni ruling over an imaginary harem with a whip still shocks and amazes to this day.
Super Reviewer
½ April 18, 2012
Like the troubled director at the core of the story, and the actual director, 8 1/2 kind of roams aimlessly for a long time. Yet, when it finally tells us something, it does so with a type of profound insight that all filmmakers would aspire to.
blkbomb
Super Reviewer
October 28, 2011
Guido: All the confusion of my life... has been a reflection of myself! Myself as I am, not as I'd like to be. 

"A picture that goes beyond what men think about- because no man ever thought about it in quite this way."

8 1/2 may just be the most perfect film I have seen. Fellini gives us a based somewhat on him, director named Guido(magnificently played by Marcello Mastroianni). This director is being hassled by everyone in his life. He deals with two relationships, one with his wife and one with his lover, and the repercussions of his sexual desires. He is hounded by produces and writers to get moving on his next film, but he doesn't know what to do. So he escapes at various times throughout the film, into his fantasies.

Some of these fantasy sequences are easy to spot, some a bit harder. Some are realistic, some are not. But these fantasy scenes are simply brilliant and amazing. I for one absolutely loved where he was in a fantasy with all the women of his fantasies. He talked to them and sent them "upstairs" because they reached a specific age which he deemed to old. With today's lingo, we basically go into Guido's spankbank.

I haven't seen that many Federico Fellini films, but the ones I have seen I have loved. None more so than 8 1/2. I can see this movie being very hard for some people to sit through because virtually nothing happens. We watch a man struggle in the real world and resort to fantasies of women he lost and childhood memories of guilt. This isn't meant as pure entertainment. It isn't going to have you waiting with bated breath for what happens next and it probably isn't going to excite in the least. 

But for the viewer who loves these type of films(films that dive more into a character's thoughts, guilt and struggles, then into a plot), I couldn't think of a better movie. What this movie really makes me want to do is watch every Fellini film right now just to make sure this is his best, because if it isn't there's a movie out there that is basically going to change my life. 

I have to talk about Marcello Mastroianni's performance. This was easily the most insightful and vivid performance I have ever seen from an actor. I'm not going to say it is the best performance by an actor ever(it is definitely up there) because I don't know how'd that would even be judged, but it is one of my personal favorites.

The best thing about this is that the next time I watch it, I probably appreciate it even more because it will be a lot easier to follow and I will pick up on a lot more. 

Guido: My Dears... Happiness consists of being able to tell the truth without hurting anyone. 
Super Reviewer
½ October 7, 2011
Oof. It's hard to know what to make of this movie. It's got extremely severe pacing problems, and just when you think that the film has run out of steam, it starts cannibalizing itself. It would seem that Frederico Fellini lives vicariously through a character named Guido, a director of art films who inside a maze of his own making, peopled with women and made of indecision. He spends his life chasing a dream through his maze, and trying to nail it down to celluloid. He chooses to roll around in his sticky tangled web instead of extricating himself from it. 8 1/2 is a cool little Mobius strip of a movie, but I kind of started losing interest before it flipped over and culminated. The language barrier also made it a little hard for me to follow. This film is full of high, lifty ideas, but has too much navel-gazing introspection and to few engaging characters to make it worth the trip.
Super Reviewer
½ February 10, 2011
This is the greatest movie ever made. Oh, but there's no shooting, no fighting, no car chases. No 800 years old frogs, no light sabres, although people do fly! Instead, there is an artist and his fickle imagination, struggle with the lack of inspiration and the creative process, which remains a mystery. Fellini said that all his life he was making Lo sceico bianco (his first film). I think he was wrong. All his life he made Otto é mezzo. All his early movies were rehearsals to this tour de force and subsequently he developed themes from 8 1/2. La cittá delle donne, develops Guido's dream, Amarcord - the Saragina scene, Casanova the futility of Guido's love affairs, Giulietta - Guido's wife etc. This is movie making at its best.
Super Reviewer
September 5, 2010
I absolutely love this movie! It's brilliantly directed, acted, and shot. The story is perfect, I love it. I highly recommend this movie to anyone who is a true movie buff or a filmmaker.
neverteaseaweasel
Super Reviewer
April 15, 2010
So, being a sort of cinema ignoramus of anything created before say 2006, I had never heard of 8 1/2 until Rob Marshall's Nine was released. This probably is not surprising news to anyone, but the original is hands down the better of the two films. Fellini's film focuses far more on Guido than on the women in his life. It's also straightforeward in the storytelling. The story itself is infused with more emotion and meaning than Marshall's film and also does not feel quite as contrived. Both are great films, but I really feel that Fellini's is better. The whole thing has a really surreal, dreamlike quality. I loved the visual style, and, really, pretty much everything else about it. A lot of films, even if they are good, are forgotten as soon as the credits role. This is not the case with 8 1/2. It is a poignant, breathtaking endeavour that will forever linger in the memory and soul.
Super Reviewer
December 27, 2006
Didn't really capture my attention, so I kind of just blazed through it.
Mr Awesome
Super Reviewer
March 13, 2010
Watching Federico Fellini's "8 1/2" is a bit like watching a Mozart opera: the uninitiated might possibly find it confusing, pretentious or overly demanding, whereas those with a little more patience will enjoy the complexity and whimsy even, of the characters as they move through the story. The story revolves around a film director who's resting at a spa retreat, attempting to recuperate from an undisclosed illness (perhaps a nervous breakdown?), but is never afforded the opportunity to relax, as he's bombarded by demands from producers, actors and writers to begin work on his next project, which no one seems to know what it is. The director is not unlike Fellini himself, he uses surrealism to create imagery his detractors often dismiss as nonsensical. Guido (Marcello Mastroianni) doesn't know what kind of film he wants to create, he seems to be suffering from a creative block. He can only imagine the images he wants to use, and many of these come directly from his childhood memories. And yet he sends his crew and backers on wild goose chases, having them build enormously expensive sets for space ships and such. The film in his head has nothing to do with what he's making the people around him work on. At times, the whole thing borders on farce. Fellini plays with reality and fantasy, weaving in and out of both so effortlessly. There's nothing obnoxious about the film, nor is it too heavy handed with metaphor. In fact, the whole thing is clever and witty. The director Guido is trying to create a film about truth, and his own bias obviously prevents such a thing from happening. While this isn't a difficult film to understand, it's a difficult film to digest, requiring more than one viewing to catch on the details possibly missed on the first viewing.
FilmFanatik
Super Reviewer
March 5, 2010
There are times when I enjoyed this and there were times when I was yawning. I might have to see this more than once to really appreciate it. I agree with some of the other comments though that there is absolutely TOO MUCH dialogue in this and gets old really really fast.
sanjurosamurai
Super Reviewer
½ January 25, 2007
it took a second viewing of felllini's classic for me to fully appreciate it, as well as to really grab ahold of exactly what he was doing with each character and each sequence. the film is shot beautifully, most scenes could be frozen as postcards. the acting was superb and the dialogue was simply brilliant. one might think this is a film about making movies, but guido never cares enough about his film for that to be the point. you might say this is a film about love, but although you learn a lot about guido, we learn very little about any of the women he is tangled up with. in the end, im not really sure what the take away should be for this film, which is normally a bad thing, but for this film its exactly what makes it work. as guido spirals into deeper levels of lostness mastroianni plays him with a sense of depression that makes his dreams and day dreams all the more effective, and makes his memories all the more relevant. i cant wait to watch this film again in another year or so and see if my opinion of it improves again, which would make it one of my favorite films, because as it stands now i already love it.
Super Reviewer
September 30, 2009
Fellini's classic autobiography/poke in the eye of the film business is brilliant. A real must for people who are passionate about their films! The mix of dream sequences, irrelevant script and outstanding choreography amount to one of the greatest films in cinema history.
Super Reviewer
July 28, 2009
Like a friend pointed out a few days ago, movie reviews should be subjective. A film can be aesthetically or technically perfect, but if it doesn't impact you on some level, it doesn't really matter how great it is. Still, after watching 8 ˝, I'm trying to brace myself for the boatload of crap I'm going to get from some of the people on here for screwing with a classic.

I really wanted to like 8 ˝ (I even purchased it, which is not something I usually do), especially now that "Nine" is coming out (if that one disappoints me, I think I will kill myself).

"Otto e Mezzo" is a self-indulgent, overly long, incredibly boring and uninvolving story about an asshole. And not a "cool" asshole (if that's even possible) like Rhett Butler in "Gone With the Wind" or Rick Blaine in "Casablanca". This douchebag is a self-absorbed, womanizing liar, surrounded by a slew of women just as unlikeable.

8 ˝ excels in technical aspects such as cinematography, art direction and costume design, but this Fellini indulgence is a challenge to endure. A frustrating experience, due to the fact that there's not a clear distinction between reality and imagination, present and past.

Some directors can make long dialog scenes work (see Quentin Tarantino), but in 8 ˝, the characters just talk, talk and then talk some more, but always about some pointless crap.
arashxak
Super Reviewer
½ October 26, 2008
"La Bella Confusione"
hunterjt13
Super Reviewer
August 6, 2008
I was not surprised to see that this was an "autobiographical" movie; it gives the line "you and your famous virility" a whole new category of arrogance. The subtitle of this film could be "the story of a rakish douche bag and the women who inexplicably love him." In sum, I don't know who I hate more: people who like Fellini, people who hate Fellini, or Fellini. The people who like him generally are trying to tell you that they're smart enough to "get" him. People who hate him are trying to tell you the "get" him and are above him. Fellini himself doesn't want to be "got."
Super Reviewer
½ April 19, 2007
Not really my cup of tea, but I can tell I will appreciate this more with repeat viewings.
Super Reviewer
May 26, 2008
I am no longer a Fellini virgin.

This is the kind of film that needs to be rewatched over and over again to get the subtleties. Fellini chose a hoard of memorable women so sexy, so saucy, so tempestuous it's no wonder he couldn't limit himself to just one. He teeters on the brink of reality and fantasy so much everything just kind of blends with the other, creating something new that transcends either reality OR fantasy.

I can see where All That Jazz gets its inspiration. Must watch that again too.
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