Reviews

  • May 02, 2022

    The film uses a lot of dream symbolism, so you need to try your best to stick to the images that you see in front of you and use that to follow along. Despite the great dialogue and impressive technical work, the film would probably be more appreciated by fans who know Fellini's personal life, due to the correlation. May be a chore for the average viewer, but who knows, you may like it if you give it a chance.

    The film uses a lot of dream symbolism, so you need to try your best to stick to the images that you see in front of you and use that to follow along. Despite the great dialogue and impressive technical work, the film would probably be more appreciated by fans who know Fellini's personal life, due to the correlation. May be a chore for the average viewer, but who knows, you may like it if you give it a chance.

  • Feb 05, 2022

    Avant-garde film. About a director who is in a director's block, and in the process find himself, while navigating between his mistress, his wife, and all crews. Average audience is not clear what the film is really about, what are the takeaways. I am a little lost some time too.

    Avant-garde film. About a director who is in a director's block, and in the process find himself, while navigating between his mistress, his wife, and all crews. Average audience is not clear what the film is really about, what are the takeaways. I am a little lost some time too.

  • Dec 26, 2021

    Fellini in his own madness is a good artist, too bad for this selfish and extremely long surreal product. 6/10

    Fellini in his own madness is a good artist, too bad for this selfish and extremely long surreal product. 6/10

  • Dec 25, 2021

    Un film che a distanza di oltre 50 anni riesce a mantenere ancora un trama speciale e di rara complessità e delicatezza. Chiunque è in grado di mettersi nei panni del "regista" Marcello Mastroianni, dei suoi dubbi e del suo tentativo di scappare dalla realtà. Tutti i gli altri personaggi ruotano intorno al protagonista, fungendo da oggetti volti a scatenare le emozioni più disparate di quest'ultimo. Location originale, molto complesso invece seguire la trama nei suoi spostamenti dalla realtà alla dimensione onirica.

    Un film che a distanza di oltre 50 anni riesce a mantenere ancora un trama speciale e di rara complessità e delicatezza. Chiunque è in grado di mettersi nei panni del "regista" Marcello Mastroianni, dei suoi dubbi e del suo tentativo di scappare dalla realtà. Tutti i gli altri personaggi ruotano intorno al protagonista, fungendo da oggetti volti a scatenare le emozioni più disparate di quest'ultimo. Location originale, molto complesso invece seguire la trama nei suoi spostamenti dalla realtà alla dimensione onirica.

  • Nov 25, 2021

    Now and then, I like to catch up with one of the classics I've missed. Most I've enjoyed, 8 1/2, however, felt like a punishment exercise. Pretentious nonsense from a filmmaker making a film about a filmmaker making a film to impress his filmmaker friends

    Now and then, I like to catch up with one of the classics I've missed. Most I've enjoyed, 8 1/2, however, felt like a punishment exercise. Pretentious nonsense from a filmmaker making a film about a filmmaker making a film to impress his filmmaker friends

  • Sep 15, 2021

    There is something about seeing this for the first time when one is well-seasoned in life...I'm quite sure I might have been simply amused and a little baffled had I seen it when I was in my 20's. 8 1/2 is more than a film about a film-maker with writer's block. It's about coming to accept that to live involves passion and theatre and absurdity and truth and ignorance, that we can never fully comprehend ourselves or others but love nonetheless, and that to revel in all the wonderful madness along with others and to try to be kind to one another despite our imperfections is to truly live.

    There is something about seeing this for the first time when one is well-seasoned in life...I'm quite sure I might have been simply amused and a little baffled had I seen it when I was in my 20's. 8 1/2 is more than a film about a film-maker with writer's block. It's about coming to accept that to live involves passion and theatre and absurdity and truth and ignorance, that we can never fully comprehend ourselves or others but love nonetheless, and that to revel in all the wonderful madness along with others and to try to be kind to one another despite our imperfections is to truly live.

  • Aug 13, 2021

    Fellini demonstrates a keen eye for shot composition and, more than anything, the script keeps the viewer on their toes by meshing past, present and fantasy in a captivating, fluid manner. The emotional impact might be slightly reduced as a result of this peculiar fusion and the duration is probably a little much, yet "8½" is a movie inviting you to figure out how it all fits together and, thankfully, gives you all the necessary clues without losing its poetic value or becoming too confining.

    Fellini demonstrates a keen eye for shot composition and, more than anything, the script keeps the viewer on their toes by meshing past, present and fantasy in a captivating, fluid manner. The emotional impact might be slightly reduced as a result of this peculiar fusion and the duration is probably a little much, yet "8½" is a movie inviting you to figure out how it all fits together and, thankfully, gives you all the necessary clues without losing its poetic value or becoming too confining.

  • Jul 05, 2021

    It's a whopping traffic jam. Cars are aligned as in multiple adjacent assembly lines. The camera shifts focus from our protagonist, Guido, in an over-the-shoulder shot to someone setting in a nearby car. The frame freezes before it does the same after moving once again to a woman in the driver's seat in the same car. A smoke incrementally fills the car, suffocating Guido. He tries with all his might to get out of it while everybody in their cars apathetically staring at him, with robotic smiles in their faces. Finally he gets out of his car, and begins to ascend in an ethereal way, with the camera moving as if in a 360° photo. Guido soars high and levitates in the sky. He is, at last, free from this static and stifling world, right? Wrong. That was only a sip of freedom that's too short to savor, as he realizes that somehow there's a rope tied around his leg. Controlled by someone who looks like a member in a production crew on the other end of the rope like a kite, the man let go of him in a sea, following an order from a clergyman, "Down for good." These men symbolize both Guido's sinful childhood and stressful present that form the inescapable force of the confusing and barren life Guido has descended into its maze. Tell me if there's any other opening sequence that paints the picture and draws the lines for what's to come in a movie in a more sublimely emblematic way! Aged 43 and suffering from a bad liver, Guido is a renowned filmmaker who's been in a hiatus after being wrung out of ideas and lacking inspiration. "So, what are you cooking up? Another film without hope?", these words are said to him by his doctor before prescribing him a drink of 'holy water' at a spa. Loaded with mostly elderly, some aristocratic, people, everyone at the spa seems to recognize Guido. The point-of-view shot technique is recurring throughout the film and it's employed to lend a connotative meaning. Whether the camera is floating in the air, moving back and forth (like in a fever dream-like sequence where he meets his late mother and father) or panning the camera, focusing on each face gazing directly at the lens and addressing Guido (which happened frequently in the movie, one scene taking place in the aforementioned spa is a case in point), Guido being the subject of focus asserts his esteemed and famed status while simultaneously implying the stress he feels due to his exposed dwindling imaginative faculty. All eyes are on him and judging of him: his infamous reputation precedes him wherever he goes. In a scene early on in the movie, Gloria, his old friend Mezzabotta's fiancée, spontaneously tells Guido she had an argument with her fiancé because she was very critical of Guido's last film. Guido also tends to elude any question he's being asked about his next project, as he himself has no precise itinerary for it. "A crisis of inspiration? And what if it weren't a passing one, my dear? What if it's the final collapse of a filthy liar with no glair or talent?" This quote marks a major turning point in the story. The stakes are raised, and Guido at this point seems to doubt the very talent that made him the famous filmmaker he is. He begins to have fear of being a fraud. As the movie adopts a stream-of-consciousness narrative, Guido's conscious suddenly connects a certain moment in his present life to one memory from his childhood that significantly attributed to his sexual awakening that led him astray from the Catholic Church. Chalking his failure up to a sin in the past, Guido even seeks repentance. But although he never attains absolution, it's from here on that the movie probes into what regards his relationships in a mature way rather than tracking his lustful whims. At last he tries to reunite with his estranged wife, Luisa, according to his father's advice in one of the same dream-like scenes I referred to above. Things didn't work out as intended, and the artificiality of Guido and the authenticity and intelligence of Luisa are never reconciled even when the two characters are at their most intimate. Here comes to mind a certain scene. After having an argument while sleeping in bed, Guido and Luisa are revealed to be sleeping in separate beds, suggesting that the gap between them still exists. This phase in the story reaches its peak in the magnificent harem sequence. It's a prolonged dream-like sequence about 20 minutes long where Guido is reunited with his harem of every woman that left a mark in his memory. At first, the dream plays out like a euphoric fantasy, before gradually descending into a nightmare in which his harem rebel against him. Finally, he triumphs over them, taming his wild, lustful imagination. My only major issue with this film is that I felt it overstayed its welcome by the end. The last 15 minutes could've been easily trimmed and the movie would've come to a closure that's more satisfying for me. The circus-like parade scene at the end didn't appeal to me either. Nevertheless, 8½ is a tapestry of labyrinthian proportions, weaving in and out of different memories that burden Fellini's alter ego's soul and trouble his mind. It's an in-depth exploration of an auteur's block that's at once chaotic and considerably digestible due to Fellini's masterful directing and co-writing as well as Leo Catozzo's exquisite editing that if it hadn't been for it the movie would've ended up being a fragmentary mess. Nino Rota's equally playful and evocative score also adds up to the large picture, gingering up Guido's experience and making it more accessible.

    It's a whopping traffic jam. Cars are aligned as in multiple adjacent assembly lines. The camera shifts focus from our protagonist, Guido, in an over-the-shoulder shot to someone setting in a nearby car. The frame freezes before it does the same after moving once again to a woman in the driver's seat in the same car. A smoke incrementally fills the car, suffocating Guido. He tries with all his might to get out of it while everybody in their cars apathetically staring at him, with robotic smiles in their faces. Finally he gets out of his car, and begins to ascend in an ethereal way, with the camera moving as if in a 360° photo. Guido soars high and levitates in the sky. He is, at last, free from this static and stifling world, right? Wrong. That was only a sip of freedom that's too short to savor, as he realizes that somehow there's a rope tied around his leg. Controlled by someone who looks like a member in a production crew on the other end of the rope like a kite, the man let go of him in a sea, following an order from a clergyman, "Down for good." These men symbolize both Guido's sinful childhood and stressful present that form the inescapable force of the confusing and barren life Guido has descended into its maze. Tell me if there's any other opening sequence that paints the picture and draws the lines for what's to come in a movie in a more sublimely emblematic way! Aged 43 and suffering from a bad liver, Guido is a renowned filmmaker who's been in a hiatus after being wrung out of ideas and lacking inspiration. "So, what are you cooking up? Another film without hope?", these words are said to him by his doctor before prescribing him a drink of 'holy water' at a spa. Loaded with mostly elderly, some aristocratic, people, everyone at the spa seems to recognize Guido. The point-of-view shot technique is recurring throughout the film and it's employed to lend a connotative meaning. Whether the camera is floating in the air, moving back and forth (like in a fever dream-like sequence where he meets his late mother and father) or panning the camera, focusing on each face gazing directly at the lens and addressing Guido (which happened frequently in the movie, one scene taking place in the aforementioned spa is a case in point), Guido being the subject of focus asserts his esteemed and famed status while simultaneously implying the stress he feels due to his exposed dwindling imaginative faculty. All eyes are on him and judging of him: his infamous reputation precedes him wherever he goes. In a scene early on in the movie, Gloria, his old friend Mezzabotta's fiancée, spontaneously tells Guido she had an argument with her fiancé because she was very critical of Guido's last film. Guido also tends to elude any question he's being asked about his next project, as he himself has no precise itinerary for it. "A crisis of inspiration? And what if it weren't a passing one, my dear? What if it's the final collapse of a filthy liar with no glair or talent?" This quote marks a major turning point in the story. The stakes are raised, and Guido at this point seems to doubt the very talent that made him the famous filmmaker he is. He begins to have fear of being a fraud. As the movie adopts a stream-of-consciousness narrative, Guido's conscious suddenly connects a certain moment in his present life to one memory from his childhood that significantly attributed to his sexual awakening that led him astray from the Catholic Church. Chalking his failure up to a sin in the past, Guido even seeks repentance. But although he never attains absolution, it's from here on that the movie probes into what regards his relationships in a mature way rather than tracking his lustful whims. At last he tries to reunite with his estranged wife, Luisa, according to his father's advice in one of the same dream-like scenes I referred to above. Things didn't work out as intended, and the artificiality of Guido and the authenticity and intelligence of Luisa are never reconciled even when the two characters are at their most intimate. Here comes to mind a certain scene. After having an argument while sleeping in bed, Guido and Luisa are revealed to be sleeping in separate beds, suggesting that the gap between them still exists. This phase in the story reaches its peak in the magnificent harem sequence. It's a prolonged dream-like sequence about 20 minutes long where Guido is reunited with his harem of every woman that left a mark in his memory. At first, the dream plays out like a euphoric fantasy, before gradually descending into a nightmare in which his harem rebel against him. Finally, he triumphs over them, taming his wild, lustful imagination. My only major issue with this film is that I felt it overstayed its welcome by the end. The last 15 minutes could've been easily trimmed and the movie would've come to a closure that's more satisfying for me. The circus-like parade scene at the end didn't appeal to me either. Nevertheless, 8½ is a tapestry of labyrinthian proportions, weaving in and out of different memories that burden Fellini's alter ego's soul and trouble his mind. It's an in-depth exploration of an auteur's block that's at once chaotic and considerably digestible due to Fellini's masterful directing and co-writing as well as Leo Catozzo's exquisite editing that if it hadn't been for it the movie would've ended up being a fragmentary mess. Nino Rota's equally playful and evocative score also adds up to the large picture, gingering up Guido's experience and making it more accessible.

  • Jun 30, 2021

    Works not only as a satire of 20th Century masculinity and the supremacy of the ego, but also wholeheartedly owns the irresponsibility and manic glee of the artist-as-charlatan. Cemented the visual language of dreams in film.

    Works not only as a satire of 20th Century masculinity and the supremacy of the ego, but also wholeheartedly owns the irresponsibility and manic glee of the artist-as-charlatan. Cemented the visual language of dreams in film.

  • Jun 19, 2021

    In the world of dreams. A playful look at a director who is in over his head with idea, projects and lovers.

    In the world of dreams. A playful look at a director who is in over his head with idea, projects and lovers.