Fellini explores the many links between reality and fiction in his tribute to cinema. Problem is, that's exactly what he's been doing his entire career. The sweet hommage now seems pale and trivial without any reflexion. Yet a simple image persists: Mastroianni and Ekberg, 25 years later, watching a silent reel of La Dolce Vita with a blue tint throughout. Nostalgia for another life.
I felt similarly about this film as with Roma, a delightful, albeit confusing masterpiece. Fellini gives us the Swan Songs of all Swan Songs, a retrospective felliniesque tour-de-force with the camera turned lovingly on himself. If you've liked Fellini in the past this one won't disappoint.
Late-period Fellini shows that he had lost none of his magic, even if his financiers may have thought so, since the lower budget as all to apparent. But it rises above with moments of raucous energy and quiet beauty that are pure Fellini. Not on the level of his earlier masterpieces for a number of reasons, but a nostalgic ode to cinema by one of its masters.