Guido is a film director, trying to relax after his last big hit. He can't get a moment's peace, however, with the people who have worked with him in the past constantly looking for more work. He wrestles with his conscience, but is unable to come up with a new idea. While thinking, he starts to recall major happenings in his life, and all the women he has loved and left. An autobiographical film of Fellini, about the trials and tribulations of film making. Written by
Colin Tinto <email@example.com>
Because of a strike at the development & print lab at Cinecittà, during post-production, Federico Fellini was unable to check the daily shoot. He reportedly never took vision of the filmed material until the movie editing phase. See more »
When Guido visits the cardinal in the mud bath, the cardinal is sitting in a chair, fully dressed in his cassock, as two attendants use a sheet to form a curtain around him; however, as the camera cuts to a closer angle, the cardinal is suddenly undressed to the waist. See more »
Why piece together the tatters of your life - the vague memories, the faces... the people you never knew how to love?
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"I really have nothing to say, but I want to say it anyway".
Fellini's films is one of the main reasons I came to love movies in the first place. I first saw 8 1/2 several years ago. I remember it quite clearly: I went to see it with a small group of fellow students at a friend's house. It was at the beginning of a now already long-since destroyed relationship. It was a cold day in early January. As the film started, a girl who was there, who happened to be a make-up artist and hairdresser by profession, remarked on the odd juxtaposition in the opening scenes of hair-styles and dresses from different eras, the 30's and the 60's. Surely, this was a strange anachrony?
My friend calmly remarked: "Time doesn't exist."
Heck, I won't pretend to know just what he meant by that, perhaps it wasn't as profound as it sounded. In any case, after that, no one spoke. For the next couple of hours, I certainly lost track of place and time, as I was hypnotized, mesmerized and amazed by the images on the screen. Since then, I've always kept a copy of it within reach (even though I am one of those people who can usually never hang on to my possessions for any length of time), and it has lost none of its power to continually amaze me. I've seen it more times than I can count, and yet, it must always be seen again. It's a movie about which everything seems to have been said, and yet, everything still remains to be said. Thanks to the wonders of DVDs and MPEG encoding, I can keep it one mouse-click away whenever I'm working on my computer. I must admit that by now, its already from the outset discontinuous and jumbled content has been spread all over the place for me. Unlike Woody Allen, I'm not anal. I've never had a compulsion to have to watch movies straight from beginning to end, without interruptions. Of course, that's how I watched 8 1/2 the first few times, but now it seems that I'm always chopping it up, skipping at will between my favorite sections, always moving around it and rearranging it in new and unexpected ways. I hope Fellini, in his Heaven, forgives me for it, because it seems to me that I'm in a way just continuing what he began. 8 1/2, even in its purest state, does of course blow the traditional temporal narrative, with a defined beginning, middle and end and a causal relationship between its parts, to complete smithereens, and in the jumbled landscape that is left behind, nothing can ever be as it was before, as what we are left with is a completely new world, of new possibilities and new kinds of beauty. It's a story of dream-logic, held together by different kinds of connections that transcend temporal sequence and causal relationships. It's a film that never begins, and still has always been there.
It's a movie about the most glorious success that can only be brought around through complete failure. It's about how we can only find ourselves when we let go of ourselves - and discover that the only place we can fall is into ourselves, our true selves. It's the ultimate self-referential masterpiece, and the ultimate piece of self-reference, as it is, of course, about nothing except itself.
It really is, in my opinion, the best movie in the world, and by now I can't even imagine a world without it. That's really all I want to say.
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