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8½ - Otto e Mezzo
Federico Fellini Italia, 1963
In many ways, 8½ defined what modern cinema is. I feel its influence all over the place. It’s expressionistic, and it’s also a film that describes the feelings of confusion that we are all dealing with living in the modern world. All the signs and symbols are messed up, and everything is subjective. It’s like some aspect of cinema reached a limit in this film, and I don’t know how it can be surpassed.
June 01, 2018
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As Fellini noted, “what I should like most is that 8 ½ should help banish the neurotic complexes that obsess people who want to change others. I think people should be taken as they are. If the film restored this sense of freedom, then it succeeded”. And in this, 8 ½ succeeds admirably, as a document of personal liberation for its director, and a document of the triumph of the human creative spirit for its audience.
January 07, 2017
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Federico Fellini’s two biggest smash hits were both filmed in black-and-white. But we recall La Dolce Vita as black — the chic night of the Via Veneto. And we recall 8½ as white — the clouds through which the film’s hero floats in the opening dream sequence; the steam room billowing at his spa; the blown-out sunshine blinding his stone courtyards. 8½ is the ethereal one.
May 01, 2015
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If there’s a movie defensible for groundless style, it’s 8 1/2, a portrait of a film director’s vibrant inner life as a mosaic of memories, dreams, sex fantasies, and ever-surprising images. Marcello Mastroianni, at the height of his star power, managed to make an iconic performance by standing in for Fellini, but the whole cast is ultimately dwarfed by the scope of Fellini’s imagination.
July 30, 2010
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It deserves to be seen by anyone interested in the evolution of the cinema as a personal director’s statement of his own limitations and frustrations in dealing with the inevitable chaos of filmmaking.
April 19, 1999
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If what you know about this exuberant, self-regarding movie comes from its countless inferior imitations (from Mazursky’s Alex in Wonderland and The Pickle to Allen’s Stardust Memories to Fosse’s All That Jazz), you owe it to yourself to see Federico Fellini’s exhilarating, stocktaking original… It’s Fellini’s last black-and-white picture, and conceivably the most gorgeous and inventive thing he’s ever made — certainly more fun than anything he’s made since.
May 07, 1993
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