Criterion Collection: 8 1/2 [Blu-ray]  [US Import]
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An Italian film director seeks the meaning of life despite his wife, mistress and flatterers. Directed by Federico Fellini. Oscar for best foreign-language film.
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Top Customer Reviews
The film itself is not to all tastes, and sadly not quite to mine. For the most part 8½ left me cold, one of those films where you get what is being done but it's just not on your wavelength. It's pointless to complain about it being hit-and-miss or confused, since erratic confusion is the nature of the beast as Fellini becomes possibly the first man to film his own nervous breakdown (or at very least his crisis of creativity). In many ways the turning point in Fellini's career where fantasy and grotesquery would become an increasing part of increasingly disjointed phantasmagorias with a design style as cluttered as a tart's dressing table, there are moments that strike home and the latter scenes with his wife and with Claudia work because there's a sense of self-awareness of Fellini's limitations not just as an artist but as a human being. But overall I was just left with the feeling that I'd got on the wrong train by mistake.
(Incidentally, to strike a timely note, it's amusing to note that the producer's brainless bimbo girlfriend is the spitting image of Paris Hilton!)
It's a shame Criterion's otherwise excellent 2-disc DVD couldn't locate the deleted sequences, although they are well represented in the excellent stills galleries. Alongside the 50-minute 'Director's Notebook' documentary TV special by Fellini, the 45-minute German Nino Rota documentary is interesting and has a wonderful moment where the composer accepts a proffered cigarette only to turn down a light because he doesn't smoke!
Marcello Mastrioani (Guido) acts as Fellini who is uncaring and unsympathetic to the world that surrounds him. He does this with professional perfection, in my view better than in La Dolce Vita. Every muscle in his face works to add to his stunning performance.
It raises so many questions about artistic creativity and integrity. This leaves you able to watch it time and time again as new questions are raised in each viewing. I have seen it innumerable times and am glad I can now watch it as many times as I want. If you like cinema as art you will love this - pure cinema!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Master piece of Fellini, something no one can replace its master work in film history.Published 6 months ago by Chi Wong
The greatest master of shot composition in the history of cinema. And an object-lesson in the application of non-linear story-telling. (With a large dose of CG Jung. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Filmfan
With this movie, one has a choice between writing a long review that seeks to place it in the context of modernism as an artistic movement or writing a short review that just says,... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Stanley Crowe
Superb film, would definitely recommend although perhaps not to those with short attention spans!Published 11 months ago by Callum McGee
Nothing much to say here except that this classic film is touching and massive, surreal and superbly realistically detailed, and also humorous. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Robert R