I was going to give it 4 out of 5 but the ending was amazing the feelings it evoked in me so profound. I believe it was a summation of the dreams of the child Federico realized through his life as a film director but enacted from the eyes of his child self. If 8 1/2 is an autobiographical account of a life as a great director then the ending is so profound a personal summation that 5 out of 5 is indisputable.
«I thought my ideas were so clear. I wanted to make an honest film. No lies whatsoever. I thought I had something so simple to say. Something useful to everybody. A film that could help bury forever all those dead things we carry within ourselves. Instead, I'm the one without the courage to bury anything at all. When did I go wrong? I really have nothing to say, but I want to say it all the same.»
3-4. For the first half of the film, I thought the story was just a cast of characters and ideas swirling around in a vacuum, abjectly intriguing, but static and lacking a contextual framework. Then Guido is challenged by the cardinal, his wife enters the picture, and suddenly the film seems to catch fire. Suddenly the movie bears down with interesting questions, revealing the meat of the story as it moves forward.
In this misogynistic fantasy, we need to listen to the women, in particular Luisa - so different from herself in Guido's Salomonic dreams. But in the end, I didn't get the feeling that he had finally understood the importance of Truth. Perhaps he will continue attempting to teach lies through his fantasies. After all, he's not the artist telling lies to tell the truth. Instead, he's saving himself from it.
Huitième film et demi (un court métrage) du grand réalisateur italien qui est une date dans l'histoire du Septième Art et a fortiori le chef-d'oeuvre du cinéaste. Sur le thème de l'art, de la création, de ses difficultés et de son impuissance, des sources de l'inspiration, du doute artistique, un film inoubliable et mythique... www.cinefiches.com