First Time Federico Fellini: 8 1/2

I watched 8 1/2, widely considered to be among famed Italian director Federico Fellini’s greatest masterpieces. Well… the film was brillliantly shot. When I say brilliant, I mean marvelously solidly splendidly brilliant. The framing, the camera work, the lighting, the cinematography (consider that this film was done in black and white) contain such refined cinematic richness. If this film was in color I’m sure it would dazzle just as much. But it doesn’t need the color. That is where this film excels the most. The characters are basically selective portraits of people the director knew at the time. Essentially, when he was trying to film 8 1/2, Fellini had “director’s block” and didn’t know what to make. Then he came to his moment of inspiration: make a film about a director who doesn’t know what to make a film of. Duh. But the movie takes a number of Adaptation(esque) turns by writing the true story of Fellini and his struggles with a marriage in shambles, a preoccupation with women, and an overactive yet unfocused imagination into the fictional story of Guido, an ailing director being hassled to no end by people of all sorts. And all of it by his own stupid making as well. The film is egocentric, and yet it makes you really dislike and admire the man. 8 1/2 is an instructive example of how to create a perfectly shot film, but not a very coherent one. Still, I recommend it, if only for the amazing direction, and also the film has some really great moments that will make you laugh out loud. From what I can tell, Fellini does seem to be the fabled ‘magician’ that so many movie buffs claim he is.

8 1/2

lead acting: 8/10

supporting acting: 8/10

story: 7/10

directing: 10/10

production design/value: 7/10

overall score: 8.0

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