A small-time thief steals a car and impulsively murders a motorcycle policeman. Wanted by the authorities, he reunites with a hip American journalism student and attempts to persuade her to run away with him to Italy.
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>
When Guido and Claudia go out for their drive, they stop near some springs. Guido exits the passenger side of the car (off camera); we hear the door open and close. But when Claudia, who was driving, steps out moments later (also off camera), we never hear her door open or close. See more »
You see, what stands out at a first reading is the lack of a central issue or a philosophical stance. That makes the film a chain of gratuitous episodes which may even be amusing in their ambivalent realism. You wonder, what is the director really trying to do? Make us think? Scare us? That ploy betrays a basic lack of poetic inspiration.
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I have to admit that my love of movies has always allowed me to endure those which demand a lot of me. When I watched my first Fellini movies, I have to admit I was confused. I was young and they were intimidating. And, yes, there were a lot of pretentious people around, acting as if they understood every second. What films like "8 1/2" did for me was to stretch my own thoughts and intellectual being. Those of you who write such angry commentary on movies thought to be classics by the vast majority critics seem to think that Fellini was making art so people could sit around pontificating. To give this a one out of ten shows a kind of petulance and childishness. It simply shows that you have disdain for people that don't agree with you, not with the director or his product. It would be like disliking "Ghandi" because people who see it sit around with their friends and pretend to be compassionate. There are numerous parts of this film that are very accessible and gripping. Fellini was attempting to show how difficult it is to make films that give us the soul of the director.
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