EXPERIENCE ESSENTIAL CINEMA!
Fellini’s Oscar-winning “eighth-and-a-half” feature is often cited as his masterpiece, and is one of cinema’s most influential works. The film was made in response to the enormous acclaim and attention heaped upon the director for La Dolce Vita. Marcello Mastroianni stars as Guido, a famous filmmaker suffering from creative block as he is about to begin his latest project, a big-budget sci-fi epic. Harried at every turn by fans, friends, the press, his producer, his screenwriter, his wife, and his mistress, Guido retreats into fantasy and memory, and gradually comes to the realization that artistic inspiration is rooted in personal experience. Surreal, self-reflexive, and undeniably self-indulgent, this comic fantasia offers a virtual compendium of Fellini’s work, and is one of the definitive films about the process of filmmaking. 8 ½ was named one of the top ten films of all time in Sight and Sound’s 1972, 1982, 2002, and 2012 surveys of international critics, and has been called “an inspired testimony to Fellini’s originality and inventiveness” (Ephraim Katz). The sum in the self-referential title, by the way, was arrived at by adding up Fellini’s seven solo features and his three “half” films: the co-directed Variety Lights, and the short omnibus episodes “A Matrimonial Agency” and “The Temptation of Dr. Antonio.” And while we’re counting: Nine – the Broadway hit that begat a 2009 movie – was a musical remake. B&W, 35mm, in Italian with English subtitles. 138 mins.
"It's Fellini's last black-and-white picture and conceivably the most gorgeous and inventive thing he ever did."Chicago Reader | full review
"Here is the author-director picture par excellence, an exciting, stimulating, monumental creation."Variety | full review
"Here is a piece of entertainment that will really make you sit up straight and think, a movie endowed with the challenge of a fascinating intellectual game."New York Times | full review