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Criterion Collection: 8 1/2 [Blu-ray] [1963] [US Import]

4.1 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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  • Criterion Collection: 8 1/2 [Blu-ray] [1963] [US Import]
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Product details

  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: NR (Not Rated) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Criterion
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002U6DVQM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 92,829 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

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.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
There are several different issues of Fellini's 8½ available, but the quality varies wildly. As others have noted, Nouveaux's PAL disc has almost illegible subtitles and offers a poor presentation: on the other end of the scale, Criterion's remastered 2-disc NTSC edition is quite outstanding (though be careful not to confuse it with their earlier single-disc edition).

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!
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Format: VHS Tape
8 ½ is often hailed as a masterpiece of cinema and in my opinion is THE best film ever made. In 1963 it was awarded an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. This mind-blowing and inspirational film is about a film director who doesn't know what to make a film about. It is partly an autobiographical film taken from his own experiences - he ran away with the circus for a week and it's easy to see this in his films - just look at La Strada! What is so encapsulating about this film is that you are never able to anticipate what will happen next. Right from the opening sequence I realised I was in for a surreal and haunting experience. It was a journey into the unknown where anything can happen. It is like being thrown into some unknown bizarre world. Some dream sequences are combined with eerie music that create atmosphere and make the whole experience of watching this film more involving.
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!
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Format: DVD
A wonderful montage of dream, memory and fantasy, Fellini's '8 1/2' is a cinephile's dream. As the troubled director 'Guido Anselmi' Mastroianni is again Fellini's screen persona and he turns in a performance worthy of the auteur himself. The film asks us to look in detail at the art of making a film. This self- reflexivity favours character emotion over narrative continuity. The film is the antithesis of contemporary Hollywood production values- if you have seen one explosion or heard one cheesy line too many- then watching this crisp DVD of Fellini's '8 1/2' will remind you what cinema should be about.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Bravo Guido! Welcome to the wacky world of 8 and a half! Fellini goes less overboard than in his stranger works (Satyricon) and yet harder to decrypt than the more famous La Dolce Vita. Guido, a loveless and forlorn, yet suave and sophisticated film maker, played with amiable genius by Marcello Mastroianni, is surrounded by adoring females, desperate for a word, a part in his movies, some acceptance or completion for their longing. He in turn is stuck with an unmakeable film, against a ravishing backdrop of 1960's health-spa Italia, his wife Luisa (Anouk Aimée) joining him half-way along to add yet more casual Italian high-chic and designer angst, and more jealousy and pathos. Is this great and memorable film really about making movies? Or something more profound? We are treated to ravishing entertainments, a bewildering montage of images, including the extraordinarily cynical and mournful demolition of the Catholic Clergy and their role - yet the movie remains for all that strangely elusive. Perhaps it's about Italy, about modernity and the struggle for meaning. Perhaps it's about childhood and it's effect on the adult. Guido is obsessed with memories of the kindness he had from the women who looked after him in a pre-war orphange - but then he's also obviously untroubled and cheerful. Every now and then, the characters break out of their misery and do a little dance to themselves - look out for one of the sexiest moments in cinema when Aimee does this - yet the music track, full of circus and decadence, suggests decay and despair more than light and lively. The real problem with this, as with other Fellini movies, is the lack of guidance. Guido cannot guide us as to meaning, because he does not know himself; and we are supposed to just sit back and absorb the cinematic experience.Read more ›
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