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#224- 8 1/2

Quick recap: An acclaimed Italian director has lost interest in his upcoming movie, even though everyone needs him to wrap it up. 8 1/2 refers to the number of movies director Federico Fellini had made up until this point.

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I need this poster.

Fun (?) fact: As was the style with most Italian films at the time, sound was dubbed in afterwards. Fellini had the actors say random lines throughout the movie and then wrote the dialogue later.

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I also need Marcello Mastroianni, who played Guido Anselmi

My thoughts: Milestones are a lot of fun for me to celebrate on this blog, like the time I hit 200 movies or the time I watched Shawshank Redemption for the first time. And now, I’ve finally reached another momentous event-I have an opinion about director Federico Fellini! I watch Juliet of the Spirits a couple of months ago but now that I’ve seen two films of his, I think that entitles me to an opinion, and here it is:

He’s alright.

But really, I liked 8 1/2 much more than I liked Juliet of the Spirits. Juliet I think is more aesthetically pleasing while 8 1/2 has more that I can relate to. Not that I am a famed Italian director (as far as you know), but I understand lack of motivation and all the things that distract me from finishing what I start. Fellini got it too, and managed to turn this basic concept into a work of art. In the film, Guido Anselmi wants to direct a Science Fiction film but with slightly autobiographical characters. Everyone relies on him to make decisions (probably because he is the director), which just leads to him putting off tasks even more. He retreats further into his thoughts and his past as the movie progresses, which don’t help him to finish anything.

There’s a lot about 8 1/2 that I just didn’t get, mainly the religious stuff, but I loved the characters and how Anselmi treated all of them equally horrible- his mistress Carla, his wife Luisa, the Saraghina-a rough woman who did the rumba on the beach. But at the same time, Anselmi is so charming that it is hard to hate him for too long. I’m sure that if I watched 8 1/2 a few more times, it would mean even more to me, but I just don’t have time for that. For a first viewing, it’s still a damn fine movie.

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Final review: 4/5. All That Jazz got inspiration from this movie, which makes me appreciate it even more.

Up next: Who knows? Head on over to this list and pick out something for me to watch. Or not. It’s your life, after all.

 

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