There’s no shortage of genius here. 8 1/2 provides some of the most fluid and striking cinematography I’ve ever seen, endlessly imaginative and furiously thought-provoking. The imagery of Anselimi’s surreal misadventures is memorable in its unsettling combination of mysogyny and morbidity. Unfortunately, the film suffers similar symptoms as Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane in that all of its elaborate choreogaphy serves an unsound story and a dislikable protagonist. In this case, it’s a self-lementing paradigm of creative suffocation that leads to emotional destruction of both self and society. As far as confict goes, it isn’t as serious as Fellini would have you believe. It’s relentless, loud, and abrasive qualities would be given the benifit of the doubt in light of the film’s impeccable craft, but since it is a sort of woeful autobiography it’s quite obviously a masturbation project in which the filmmaker is exorcising his demons. Respect to that, but I’ll stick to Stardust Memories, Woody Allen’s more light-hearted adaptation. Thematically, 8 1/2 is rewarding and dense. Fellini studies the origin of character through unannounced flashbacks of the stifling Catholic Church and the birth of a boys sexuality. It’s technically innovative, visually incomparable, a monster of an experience.