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1963 . Fantasy, Drama . 2h 19m

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17 total

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About the movie

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Guido Anselmi, a film director, finds himself creatively barren at the peak of his career. Urged by his doctors to rest, Anselmi heads for a luxurious resort, but a sorry group gathers—his producer, staff, actors, wife, mistress, and relatives—each one begging him to get on with the show. In retreat from their dependency, he fantasizes about past women and dreams of his childhood.


Marcello Mastroianni, Claudia Cardinale, Anouk Aimée, Sandra Milo, Rossella Falk


Federico Fellini


Not Rated


Federico Fellini, Ennio Flaiano, Tullio Pinelli


Deutsch, English, Français, Italiano


14 Feb 1963

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Angelo Clausner

4 months ago


A picture that goes beyond what men think about - because no man ever thought about it in quite this way! In our journey through the world of Fellini, we now transition from the supremely humorous Amarcord (1973) to the unmistakably moody 8 1/2 (1963). Off the heels of the tremendous success had with La Dolce Vita (1960), Fellini embarked on the creation of another masterpiece. Though he completely forgot what his next work would be about during pre-production, the world would never forget it. Dubbed the greatest film about film and universal Art, this Fellini masterwork has been admired by many film-lovers and filmmakers alike. Such notable fanatics include Martin Scorsese, David Lynch, Roger Ebert, and Fellini himself, often citing it as one of his favorite movies ever. It’s magnificence was even acknowledged by the Academy in 1964, as it won Best Foreign Film at the Academy Awards that year. On the subject of Academy Awards, 8 1/2 marked Fellini’s second nomination for Best Director, and sixth nomination for Best Writing, Story and Screenplay overall. Named after the number of movies Fellini had directed up until that point, film about the retreat of a pressurized, focused, yet lost movie director into past fantasies and memories stars Marcello Mastroianni — frankly, the finest Italian actor I’ve seen on film — as Fellini’s leading man, as well as Anouk Aimée, Claudia Cardinale, Sandra Milo, among other fine performers. To add, many of the actors in this film go by their own real-life names. Interestingly, this film has more female characters and actresses than male. Regardless, the director made a wise and enduring decision picking Mastroianni to play the main character, as the actor is one of the most enduring things to come out of this powerhouse film, making him one of, if not the most quintessential Fellini film role. Fun Fact: At one point, the director wanted Laurence Olivier to portray the leading role. In the cinematographer’s chair is Gianni Di Venanzo, a quite underrated cinematographer known mainly for his work on 8 1/2, Juliet of the Spirits (1965), Le Amiche (1955), and Il Grido (1957). Di Venanzo does a superb job on this, his most widely appreciated project. With many memorable, exhilarating shots flurried throughout the film, one is destined to find an angle, zoom-in/out that will be engraved in their walls of their memory for a long time. Bravo, signore. As alluded to in my last review, the genius of Fellini cannot be described with words. Among Italy’s shining stars of cinema and the arts, his will undoubtedly shine the brightest for a mighty long time. Such evidence can be found in this film in many shapes and forms. To add quite briefly, the score for this marvel, composed by the cunningly talented Nino Rota of The Godfather score composing fame, is breathtaking and emotionally moving whilst fitting nearly all of the scenes impeccably. As such, music the one of the prime suspects in making this movie so impactful. Side note: if you can, catch the love theme for The Godfather played on piano in one of the scenes in the film, smartly foreshadowing, though it would be unnoticed then, a legendary flick that would come some nine years later for sure. Although unlike Amarcord in ways, Fellini scores big-time with his complex drama 8 1/2, a film that while likely not being for everybody, deserves the attention and praise it so rightfully gets.

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